I have undertaken a near impossible task: cleaning my computer of unnecessary files. In this process I have looked through and rediscovered many things that I have written or done over the last decade. Yes. I have files saved from 2001. Judge if you would like.

One of the things I came across was a 5 year goal plan I wrote when I was 27. So, I gladly flipped it open to see how I had done with everything I had written down. I have achieved everything (there were only five goals.) You would think I would be happy knowing that I had achieved what I set out to do. Um…no. I became painfully aware that I set my sites way too low.

Goals are powerful. There is power in taking time to figure out what you want to do with the time that you have been given and then writing it out and putting a plan of action to it. There have been countless studies that say that people who write their goals down far outperform those who don’ t. I believe it.

The problem we run into is we are so involved in the now that we don’t have the time or energy to put into thinking about what we want then. Does that make sense? Are you busy? Do you feel like you have too much on your plate? Do you plan a day at a time? Week at a time? Month by month? Or year by year? People who live and think day to day never feel like they have the time to have goals. Life is too busy happening to them.

By planning out goals 1, 5, and even 10 or more years into the future you start to look at the big picture. You have the ability to see what you need to be doing to get where you want to go. You have a chance to connect the dots. There is a good chance you will get far with this method. Success doesn’t happen by accident. You have to plan for it.

So, five years later I am happy that I have achieved the goals I set out on. I am frustrated at my lack of vision and creativity, but I am glad to know that I am engaged in the process. Here are a few things I have learned from the exercise:

1. Set bigger goals. Five years is a long time. A lot of good stuff can be done in that time frame.

2. Review them often. I am amazed that I have reached the goals on my list because I didn’t follow this step. I knew what I wanted, but wasn’t keeping it in front of me as I should to keep the fire lit inside.

3. Be excited about the victories, but know that the war is far from over. Once one goal is achieved it makes way to start pursuing others.

Bottom line, I have another 5 year plan to make. I am shooting a lot bigger this time.

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