What’s your 5 year plan?

Image by @socialcut on Unsplash.

The fall 2020 semester has officially come to an end and so is this infamous year. Now that assignments, portfolio critiques, thesis writing, and finals are behind us, we have much more free time to focus on the fun stuff.

For some students, this break could also be a great time to start looking around for internships, part-time jobs, or even making plans for next summer.

We don’t mean to give you homework but today, Boss Blog will be sharing a reflection exercise for working towards professional goals. Here’s the big question: if everything went perfectly, what would a day in your life look like in 5 years? 10 years?

This writing exercise was shared by Debbie Millman, designer, educator, and host of the Design Matters podcast. She describes this exercise as a practice in transforming one’s life through visualizing.

The goal of the exercise is to set up a picture of the ideal destination at some point in the future in order to establish your unique direction. Think of this like setting up a 5 or 10 year North Star. It’s not about micro-managing every month for the next few years but more about orienting yourself towards the right direction.

When you first look at the previously mentioned question, it might seem daunting especially as a student. But don’t over think it. This practice will help you to pave a path according to the overall vision you’ve set for yourself. This doesn’t mean that every decision you make after this exercise has to be perfect. You’re still free to take detours or even re-route your entire plan. So, feel free to answer that question from exactly where you are now.

Whenever you’re ready and have cleared some time to do this reflection, here are some tips and questions to help you.

1. Imagine what your life would look like if failure wasn’t an option and you could do anything you wanted. What would you be doing? Where would you want to live? Who are you living with? Do you have pets or children? What are your hobbies at this time? What do you do for work?
2. Try your best not to filter yourself. There’s no need for it to be perfect so write everything as it comes in as much detail as you’d like. Don’t limit yourself to just writing about the career or opportunities you think might be possible to achieve. Dream big!
3. Try to write it in complete sentences like you’re talking to a friend.
4. When you finish your letter, tuck it away some place safe or save it digitally. Revisit it after some time has passed to check in with yourself and your vision. Use this reflection to set the pace for the career and life you’re hoping to build.

Looking for more inspiration? Listen to the podcast interview where Debbie Millman describes this exercise and her experiences with it: https://youtu.be/8S_Ims5oX-s?t=1h33m51s.