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Some people dislike the notion of a 5-year plan. Others swear by it. The primary concern is “planning” yourself into a corner. We talk about ways to still set longer term plans while enabling spontaneity. Having a longer-term vision is important, but equally so is planning for margin so you have the freedom to pivot.

This episode is a followup to the bigger goals episode (Related: e068 You Have One Life – Set Bigger Goals).

Show Notes
    • 06:02 “What does it look like to describe what your life looks like 5 years from now?”
    • 07:45 Set big goals, but don’t share them with everyone. Tell only the people who will support you and believe in you. Everyone else will make fun of your big goals, and call you impractical.
    • 08:08 I ended up breaking my own rule to tell you my big goal in hopes that it inspires you.
    • 11:05 Even at a very admirable rate, it would take 16 years to reach my goal.
    • 12:48 “So do you think you could accomplish your goal in 5 years?”
    • 13:53 Expectations vs. Projections.
    • 15:21 The M-word and the L-word.

If you don’t have big goals, you’re never going to make it to the places those big goals represent.

    • 18:05 Sometimes big goals have big words that are associated with them, like “million.” If you’re scared to say them, then you’re never going to get there.
    • 18:42 If you hold something smaller in front of yourself long enough, you can start to believe that about yourself. If you hold something bigger in front of yourself long enough, you can start to believe that about yourself.
    • 19:30 Are you still doing one of your 20 action steps you wrote every day to get you closer to your goal? (Related: e068 You Have One Life – Set Bigger Goals)
    • 20:52 5 years from now:
      • I want to have written at least 5 books.
      • I want to have at least 500 episodes of this podcast.
      • I want to launch my business courses.
      • I do see myself taking on more speaking opportunities.
      • Travel more.
    • 22:57 “Should you intentionally be vague with goals you have that are several years out or should we instead be specific and flexible?”
    • 23:06 Specificity is very important. The more specific your goal is, the clearer the steps to getting that goal are going to be. The clearer the steps are, the easier it is to take action. When your goal is vague, the steps will feel vague, and because of the vagueness of those steps, it will be more difficult to bring yourself to action.
    • 23:33 Tie something specific to an otherwise vague aspiration to create a more tangible goal.
    • 25:12 “How crazy should I be? How hard should I be working toward this, and how much effort should I put in to get to the point I want to be sooner?”
    • 25:56 There’s a season for investing, and there’s a season for reaping the rewards of investment.
    • 26:58 I prefer to put in the hard work up front.
    • 27:15 You probably have a friend that seem to always be traveling and constantly in a new city, state, or continent. It’s easy to be envious, but if they ever decide to settle down and start a career, they have to come back at square 1. I’d rather work hard now and be able to enjoy that kind of travel later on without having to worry.
    • 31:03 I don’t want to retire. The goal of retirement is to not have to go to a job you don’t like to support yourself to do the things you don’t want to do. But if you’re doing the things you love to do, you don’t need retirement.
    • 32:35 People naturally want the positive disassociation of being able to do what they love later on and not have to worry about making money. The problem is, they’re not willing to invest in creating the disassociation right now. You need to start by disassociating your passion from the income. If you compromise the passion to pay bills, you kill the passion.
    • 36:04 “What if I’m so specific that I box myself in?”
    • 36:18 The solution? Plan margin. It sounds simple, but people don’t do it. It’s just like scheduling—when you see an empty space on your calendar, you automatically try to put something there.

Specifically planning margin is what allows for spontaneity.

  • 36:44 Make an actual calendar for margin:
    • Ben: “Make a calendar for margin. And if it helps you, color it kind of an off-white, almost yellowish color so it’s just about the color of margarine…”
    • Sean: “Oh my gosh…”
    • Ben: “…but it represents margin. And then actually schedule that in—if it helps you. I’m saying if it helps you visually to actually see it there on your calendar, where that time is blocked out…”
    • Sean: “Schedule your margarine?”
    • Ben: “Exactly.”
  • 38:07 We often have this fear that if we have a 5-year plan, then we’re limiting ourself to whatever thing we picked. But it doesn’t have to be this way:
  • 38:22 Choose a direction and set a destination marker.
  • 41:55 Maybe where you’re going isn’t where you’re always going to be going, maybe that direction isn’t always where you’re going to be heading, but at least you’re moving and you can discover other things.
  • 42:09 Planning margin into your 5-year plan allows you to explore things and be spontaneous.
  • 43:44 Questions to think on:
    • What do you want to accomplish?
    • What do you want to change?
    • Where do you want to be?
    • What do you want to be doing?
    • What are you willing to do every day to get there?