I Don’t Know Where I’ll Be in 5 Years (and I’m Okay With It)
posted on January 25, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
I’m sure you’ve all gotten this question — in an interview, from your parents’ friends, etc.: “Where will you be in five years?” Honestly, I hate this question. There is so much pressure to know exactly where we are going in life and to have a specific plan to get there. The problem with this is that it creates very narrow expectations and only causes guilt and confusion if life doesn’t end up following that path.
When the Plan Gets Too Specific
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals for yourself and have some ambition. But when these goals get too specific, we often end up disappointed. For example, I know plenty of girls at age twenty-five who’ve said they want to be married or own a home by the time they’re thirty. Don’t get me wrong; these are great goals. But the problem is, we often don’t account for how much change & growth we experience in our twenties.
Things Change, You Change
The answer to the question of where you plan to be in five years is simply an educated guess. And if your guess is wrong, that does not mean you’ve failed. It means that you’ve experienced change and growth, which has led you to a place that makes more sense than what you may have guessed five years ago.
How I View My Future
Rather than creating a definite path for my future, I like the idea of setting goals based on my overall well-being. In five years, I’d like to (still) be truly happy in my relationship. I’d like to be able look back and see how far I’ve come and feel proud of my successes. I’d like to get genuine satisfaction out of my career every day. I plan to be a stronger person and know myself even better than I do now. I hope to improve the ability to listen to my instincts and go with my gut because I’ve learned just how far that can take me.
What’s your take on the “5 year plan”? Do you know where you’ll be in 5 years?
204 Park Says
I totally agree Amanda! It’s great to set goals but you need to be able to ‘go with the flow’ and not get so stuck on something you’ve wanted that you pass by other opportunities because they’re not in your ‘plan’
Amanda SaysPost author
That’s a great point! Totally agree. :)
Love this. I’m always trying to plan ahead, but sometimes you have to just live in the moment.
Coming from a 30-something, I really wish I would’ve thought this way in my 20’s. The question about the 5-year plan happens less and less the older you get, though. I think if I would’ve kept an open mind about how the next 5 years would look, it would’ve saved me a lot of heartache. I did, miraculously, get married 2 months before I turned 30. However, I’ve never owned my own home or even traveled like I thought I would have by now. Now, I’m okay with it. Now, they are dreams that I make strides towards, but don’t put a timeline on. If I make it there, great! If I don’t, I gave it a good shot.
Amanda SaysPost author
I love this! It’s so reassuring to hear coming from a thirty-something as well :). Thank you!
Anna Laura Says
L O V E this!! I am always trying to plan ahead and my momma has always told me to just live in the moment. This was exactly what I needed to hear this AM!!
I agree with you! I think it’s so great to set big goals for where you want to be in five years, but I also think it’s important to know that things change and we could be somewhere completely different in five years and still perfectly happy.
great advice…..’Live in the moment’
I LOVE this. I was just giving advice to a friend last week who was literally trying to plan 5+ years out and was very overwhelmed & stressed about it. You can’t plan that far out! Take things one step at a time and in the meantime make sure you’re happy. It’s that simple.
Thanks for sharing…
Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com
Having just graduated from college I struggled with what my future should look like. I’ve never had a big goal or plan so I put a lot of stress on myself to have it all figured out by a certain time, which never happened. I think it’s great to have an idea of where you would like to go or how you would like to get there, but I think it’s also important to balance that with kindness and forgiveness if we don’t make the so-called deadline. I agree that it should all be based on our overall well-being.
Kasie Chelanne Says
I completely agree with everything you said here. I had ideas of how I thought life was “supposed” to look at different points in my twenties and because of that ended up in situations that weren’t ultimately right for me. I think letting things come to you and listening to yourself is a much healthier approach and ultimately leads to deeper levels of satisfaction and happiness.
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans” – John Lennon
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This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thank you. Everyone is always asking what have you got planned etc. When you see others apparently hitting all the right milestones, it’s hard to think you’re on the right track yourself. Thank you!
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