Life Coach Magazine

How To Achieve Long Term Goals – The 5 Year Plan!

By Rohan @rohanforsale

quittingWhat is the number one cause of failing to reach a goal? The answer is giving up. Sure there will be plenty of outside forces challenging your pursuit and making it difficult, but in the majority of cases it is not something outside of us that causes us to fail, it is something from within.

Because we do not control anything outside of our own actions, thoughts, beliefs and opinions we cannot guarantee success. Success depends on many factors both within and without. However by giving up, by quitting, we can certainly, and immediately, guarantee failure!

Now that’s not to say that quitting is always a bad idea; it takes a wise person to know when it is the right time to stop putting time, money and energy into a venture and when to continue, however for the sake of this post let’s assume this goal is worth pursuing!

So if quitting is the problem what then is the solution? Well I can’t promise you a fool proof plan against giving up but I can let you in on a simple little trick that has worked absolute wonder for me! I present to you: The 5 Year Plan!

As discussed in a previous post life changes take time to come into effect. Sure you might decide to be fit and healthy today, but the rest of the physical world has to catch up over time! Our lives are the culmination of every moment leading up to this one, and in particular they are the result of the previous five years.

My Five Year Plan

At the beginning of 2012, after leaving an unsatisfying long term relationship, I began my five year plan. I focused on my healing (my embodiment in particular), I quite smoking after 9 years, I healed my trauma, worked on my abundance consciousness, met great new people and redoubled my work in writing and music! The previous 6 years of my life, before the five year plan, saw almost no movement or progression compared with the first two years of the five year plan! And the exciting part is that there are still over 3 years to go!

How To Use The Five Year Plan

1 - First of all you need to set yourself some basic goals, don’t get to specific. For example you might say “In 5 years from now my income will be greater than it is today, I will be happier and healthier than I am now, the people in my life will be more compatible, I will have more satisfying work, I will have more flexibility with my time, I will be more contented with what I have.”

2 - Now begin to think in smaller steps. What actionable steps can be taken within the next 6 months that will help you reach those goals? What small steps can be taken within the next week? As long as you are moving in the right direction you will get to your destination, even the smallest step in the right direction is a huge deal so don’t worry about the scale of your actions!


3 - As you continue to take steps toward your goals and put plans into action, remind yourself that this is a five year plan! You will have setbacks, you will have tough days, weeks and months, some of your ideas will not work but always remind yourself of the 5 year plan. No one expects you to make big, meaningful life shifts over night, or even within a year or two, or three! Remember; this is a Five Year Plan!

The Power of The Five Year Plan

Remembering the five year plan puts everything in perspective. I can’t tell you how many times over the past two years I’ve felt like an utter failure! Maybe one of my ideas fell flat, maybe I didn’t make as much money from a venture as I would have liked, maybe something didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would. Set backs can be devastating, but every single time I felt low or lost I remembered the five year plan; “I will make no final judgments until the end of 2016!” 

Having that target date just makes me want to take a rest and then get right back to working on my five year plan.

Looking Back

The other great thing about the five year plan is being able to look back. Of course when you start out there won’t be much to look back on but once you reach 6 months, and then a year, you’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made. This too is a great reminder of why you shouldn’t give up. 1 year and 9 months ago my life was idling in neutral, and it had been idling like that for at least 4 years! In the past 1 year and 9 months – since I started my five year plan – I have written 3 books, I have written over 100 posts for this blog and met some wonderful people through it, I learned photography, I recorded an amazing album with my dad, I met my partner and we moved in together (something I’d never done before!), I quit smoking and eating meat, I took park in the David Virgin & The Stanley Knife Brothers project, I read more books and I became happier with who I am!

I’m not saying all this to brag by the way, I’m saying this because it is my contention that any of us can see positive changes in our lives by taking on a five year plan and slowly working toward our goals. And I am living proof!

The Future

In my life right now I look ahead and things look tough. I have challenges right in front of me, challenges that are new to me. Sometimes I even wonder if I can really meet them and overcome them, sometimes doubt creeps into my mind, and fear. But then I remember my five year plan. I remember that “Hey, this is a work in progress, we’re not judging it until the 5 years are up remember!” and also “Look at how far you’ve come already! You never thought you’d even get this far, so just go slow, keep at it and try to have some fun!”

So no matter your goal or ambition; whether it’s your career, your level of fitness, your mental health, your relationships and so on, please remember that things take time. It’s easy to quit when you don’t see results immediately but it took a long time to get you to where you are right now, good and bad alike, and it’s going to take a while to get you closer to where you’d like to be! 

If you want to achieve positive life changes then develop a five year plan for yourself and always remind yourself of your commitment


Good luck, thanks for reading, all the best!


Related Articles:

Rohan Healy is the author of “Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism in the 21st Century”, “The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do The Same For You”, “SEX, Not as a Separate Subject: A Guide to Great Sex with Great People” and Sci Fi Action/Adventure novel Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron!

Click the book titles to visit their Amazon pages, read the reviews, and sample or purchase the books.

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