“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” This popular interview question can often be challenging to answer. Thinking about the future can be overwhelming. What goals do you want to achieve? Where do you see yourself living? Where do you see your career? There are so many questions to ponder. These life questions can be especially pressing when you are graduating from school, making a career shift, or starting a new venture.
To support you in planning for the future, we've put together a few reflective prompts, inspired by the 5 book. Each one is designed to help you identify what brings your life purpose and joy and to alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding the unknown. We all have our own definitions of success and happiness, and 5 can support you in finding yours.
Let’s get started! Jot down your answers and let yourself be surprised by what you discover.
Identify your lifetime values.
Values are personal choices you make about what’s important to you. Being guided by your highest values brings immense satisfaction and meaning to life. Examples of lifetime values include community, family, friendship, love, career, health, wealth, learning, adventure, faith, integrity, leisure, creativity, and sustainability.
Here are some guiding questions to ask yourself to help determine your lifetime values:
- Who are the two people I like and respect the most and why?
- Who is the happiest person I know?
- What are three things I like most and least about myself?
- How would I describe myself?
Now consider the common threads in your answers and write down your top 5 values. This is a great shortcut to determining your goals.
Write your own personal mission statement.
There’s no specific format for writing your personal mission statement—only you will know how to write it—but try to keep it clear, brief, and exciting. When considering what you want your mission statement to be, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my calling, my life’s aim?
- What inspires me the most?
- What activity or service are my core values urging me to pursue?
Ask yourself what you would attempt if failure was not a possibility.
Before you let self-doubt creep into your mind, let yourself dream your wildest, most unbridled dreams. Oftentimes, we’re our own biggest critic. We stop ourselves before we let a dream reach its full potential, saying that it’s not possible. When we do this, failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because our dreams can’t soar if we never let them get off the ground.
Think about what you’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s writing a book, starting a business, or even becoming a famous singer—it doesn’t matter how outlandish it feels. Consider the blank page as a safe place to let your imagination run wild, without fear of judgment.
Define what success means to YOU.
Success means something different to everyone. For some, success can be measured in terms of financial stability and professional accomplishments. For others, it is a home filled with love. Success can be achieving a personal goal you’ve worked hard for or overcoming a challenge in life. Write down what success means to you. As you establish your goals, this can be the benchmark you use to know whether you’ve met them.
When creating your 5-year plan, think about every facet of your life.
Think of your life as a wheel with many different spokes. To have a balanced life, each spoke needs your attention. In the 5 book, this is called the “Wheel of Life.” Below are some examples of “spokes” or different areas of your life you might want to consider for this exercise. Draw your own Wheel of Life. When working on your plan, feel free to expand on these “spokes” and add your own.
As you try these exercises and begin to record your goals, it’s important to remember that you might not achieve everything you write down within 5 years and that’s completely okay! Some of the goals you identify today may also change over time. Giving yourself grace when you don’t achieve something and allowing yourself to be flexible with your goals are just as important as actually setting them. This is your life and you set your own timeline.
Planning for your next season of life can be exciting and challenging, and we hope these prompts help you define goals that make your future something you’re looking forward to.
For more planning tips, discover our 5 book here.