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Goals are the attractions we visit on this road trip called life. When you have a well-thought-out plan, especially when it is written into a planning document that helps keep everything together, you have a much clearer picture of where you are going and how you are going to get there.
Your goals can be short-term, such as starting school in the fall, or they can be long-term… such as saving for your young child’s college education. Today, we want to discuss the goals that fall between these two.
What Are 5-Year Goals?
Five-year goals are goals you set that take a bit of time to achieve, in this case, five years. These goals are ones that can’t be accomplished in a short period of time. Yet, they are important for moving forward in life. Many of the longer-term goals include several five-year goals to be completed in order to achieve them.
Five-year goals don’t always have to be stepping stones to greater goals. They can be complete in themselves. The goals can be made in any area of your life. Most often, they fall into personal growth, career, or financial categories. Read on for some examples of the types of goals that fall into this category.
Why Are 5-Year Goals Important?
Five-year goals are important because they give you enough time to properly lay the foundation for their achievement. This makes it more likely that you will reach your final destination. Yet, these goals don’t take such a long time that you lose your enthusiasm for completing them.
They can and should be broken down into smaller goals that serve as celebratory touchstones. Let’s take a look at some 5 year goals examples.
5 Year Goals Examples
1. Purchase a Home of My Own
Buying your own home is one of the first major purchases a young adult makes in their life. Often, the first home isn’t the last one they will buy, but it is the one that remains important throughout their life. It is also an endeavor that can’t be accomplished overnight. Purchasing a first home requires careful planning and multiple shorter goals.
Most people already have a job when they first consider a home purchase. If you don’t, getting a job is the first step. Next, you have to save up for a down payment. Keeping an eye on the real estate market can make things easier. Once you have the down payment, or even while gathering it, you need to determine what you want in the perfect home. This will help narrow your search.
The process also involves several steps once you get it rolling. These include financing, finding a home, and going through the red tape. You might also consider taking a home maintenance course so that you have the skills to fix minor problems yourself.
2. Learn a New Trade
Learning a new trade can take some time, especially if it is vastly different than what you are currently doing. Giving yourself five years allows you the time to carefully consider what trade you want to pursue, get the necessary training, and find a position that works for you.
You also need to do this with the rest of your life going on, so it helps to not only plan for the reaching of this goal but also hone your time-management skills.
3. Improve Your Credit Score
Credit scores take a wide variety of time to improve once they take a hit. While one missed payment can be recovered in six months, if you have fallen on hard times at some point, it can take 5-7 years to recover.
This is especially true if you have filed for bankruptcy at some point. In that case, it may take up to ten years to fully recover. If purchasing a home or vehicle is something you want, you will need to have a good credit score. Make increasing your credit score a goal.
4. Paying Off Student Loans
It is rare to graduate from a higher education institution without having some type of student loan debt. Most people find that they are paying off their loans for many years. This adds a great deal of interest to the loans.
Try establishing some type of financial goal that will help you pay off your student loans within five years. This will definitely require hard work, budgeting finesse, and maybe even a second job, but in the end you will save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
5. Start a Business of My Own
If you are thinking of starting your own business, you most likely have an idea of what kind of business you want to open. This goal is definitely one that requires more than a few months to accomplish. Five years gives you enough time to make sure the business is one that will thrive in your area.
It allows you to find the perfect location, and acquire the money necessary for supplies, permits, and licensing. You have time to assess your need for employees and to gain the necessary skills to become a successful business owner.
6. Get My Doctorate
Some people who are just beginning a doctorate program can complete it within two years. For most people, especially if you are just starting your Master’s program or have other obligations like a job and family, will need to take more time.
You need to get accepted into a program, which is time-consuming on its own. Then you need to determine what your thesis will be about and do hours of research. Some programs even require that you publish a paper in a related journal. You will definitely need five years to make all this happen, but it is worth it.
7. Create an Animal Sanctuary
This is a goal that you will be so enthusiastic about you may not realize what is involved in getting it up and running. You will need money for the land, making the land safe, providing adequate shelter and food, and maintaining a staff that includes medical treatment for all the animals. You will also need to research the laws that govern animal sanctuaries.
Plans for the smooth operation of the sanctuary will need to be in place, as will an idea of details for taking in and adopting out animals. This may be a goal that is definitely part of a longer-range one. Creating the sanctuary will take five years, while getting it open and running may take a bit longer.
8. Visit All Fifty States
This is a pretty ambitious goal but it is definitely achievable with the proper mindset, time management, and an idea of how to finance it. It is something that can play itself out in many ways. Maybe you want to keep working a current job and schedule vacations.
Another option would be to make it into a road trip, where you stopped and did odd jobs along the way. In any case, you will need to plan such things as where you will stay and the route you plan on taking. If you are doing this on vacation, you will need to plan for someone to keep an eye on your home, plan for time off work, and all the other details that come with a road trip.
9. Rise to a Leadership Position at Current Job
Hard work isn’t always what it takes to rise within the ranks of your company. It is also something that takes time to accomplish. By making this a five-year goal, you have the opportunity to find out what skills you still need to develop and get that taken care of.
You have time to hone your present skills, network within the company, and prove you have the characteristics it takes to be a leader. This is a goal that definitely requires careful planning and incorporating many short-term goals as stepping stones along the way.
10. Write and Publish a Book
Writing and publishing a book takes a lot more work than simply tossing some words together and putting the file up on Amazon Kindle. Once you decide what kind of book you want to write, you then need to determine how much is coming from within you, as in fiction and current knowledge, and how much research you need to do. As any writer can tell you, inspiration doesn’t come on demand. You then have to revise, rewrite, and polish your manuscript.
If you want to go through the traditional channels, that requires sending out many letters and trying to find a place that is willing to publish it. Then you usually need to wait at least a year. If you self-publish, this last part can be done in much less time.
11. Pay Off My Car
This goal is one that gets more difficult the more money you owe, but it is definitely achievable. You need to learn such skills as how to save effectively. This includes learning how to create and follow a budget. You may need to downsize in other areas of your life and forego things like vacations.
For some people, it may even mean getting another job. This will make time-management skills a priority. Buying a new car can be almost as expensive as buying a house, so don’t rush the process or you may miss some important details.
12. Learn a Foreign Language to the Point of Holding a Conversation
Learning a new language can take quite a bit of time. This is especially true if you want to become so proficient at it that you can sit down and hold a real conversation with a native speaker of the language.
You need to find a learning program that works for you. With the more advanced skills, you may even want to take classes at a local college. You will need to set aside regular time each day to practice.
13. Create a Best-Selling Product to Make Life Easier
While designing and creating a new product may be possible within a five-year period, you may want to consider the selling part as a secondary goal to be added after the product is designed. If, however, you have already made a start, you may reach the best-selling part within five years if you work diligently at promotion.
When planning, you need to take into account the cost of production and shipping as well as the cost of promotion.
14. Save $25,000 Towards Retirement
Budgeting and setting priorities once again come into play with this goal. You have built-in checkpoints that can help you stay on track and let you know if you are making the amount of progress you need. It is important for a goal like this to also hire a skilled planner to help you decide what method of saving is best.
15. Volunteer at Least 1,000 Hours
Time management skills are the most important ones to achieve this goal. You will also have to consider what is going to keep you motivated. Using some type of planning form will allow you to get a better picture of how to go about this goal. If you choose a cause that you are deeply passionate about, that will help. You will also want to build in places to reward yourself for reaching.
Final Thoughts on 5-Year Goals
In order to achieve your five-year goals, it helps to plan the process using something like a pre-designed template that is created just for that purpose. This allows you to stay on track, make sure you don’t forget any steps and have a visual representation of your progress.
These templates can be starting points that help make the process less overwhelming. They can also be great tools to combine with manifestation practices and vision boards. Here’s to your success!
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.