3 min

What's Your 5-Year Plan?

The 5-year plan needs a makeover. 

My plan in 2016 was to write and sell a screenplay. Five years later I never sold a screenplay and no longer considered myself a screenwriter.

Still, I love a 5-year plan. I love to grab pen and paper and list the possibilities. I love to put my intentions out to the universe and see them come to life. I love to dream big. But in order for the 5-year plan to be realistic it needs to account for unforeseen events and encounters. 

So rather than list goals and dream metrics, the 5-year plan should focus on relationships.

Things change in five years. There were people I didn’t know I’d meet. Some relationships ended and some began. When I reflect on the past five years and connect the dots on my successes, all those dots are people. My relationships led to learnings and realizations and opportunities. 

5-year plans often involve big, tangible goals. If you achieve them, the goalposts move and you chase a new metric. If you deviate from the goals you feel like a failure, incapable of staying focused and following through on what you set out to do. Either way, those big, tangible goals leave you feeling unsatisfied. 

So my 5-year plan is not to write a memoir and gain 10,000 newsletter subscribers. It’s to focus on intangible goals and relationships. As long as writing continues to help me grow into a more confident and less anxious person, I will publish weekly essays. I will engage with people who inspire me and cultivate those relationships. 

Where will I be in five years? I have no idea. I imagine I’ll be writing. I’ll most definitely be creating. I’ll be more self-aware and more comfortable in my skin. And I look forward to the serendipitous surprises along the way.