Building a life for ourselves that we love sounds so easy. In theory, it should be pretty simple right? Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. However, in reality things are a little bit more complicated than that. It requires making sacrifices, a lot of planning and discipline, determination and patience, but it is 100% possible. That’s why today I want to share my 10 year plan, hoping that it will help you think about how you want your life to look like and figure out how to get there.
How I used to think when I was younger
I’m well aware that we can’t control the future. The truth is that mostly everything that happens is out of our control, so what’s the point of planning right?
That’s how I used to think. Just go with the flow. And to a certain extent, I do believe that to be true in certain areas, but now that I’m in my 30’s I’ve realized there’s a lot I could have done differently 10 years ago and I don’t want to make the same mistake. Most importantly, I don’t want you to make my mistakes. That’s why I decided to share how to create a 10 year plan for your own life.
I decided to create this 10 year plan because I didn’t want to look back at my life in 10 years from now and think there’s a lot I could have done in order to have my dream life. In 10 years, I will be 42 years old. It’s definitely not too late to live my life exactly the way I want it.
I think it’s important to have a vision of the life we want to live and do our best to make it happen. We make hundreds of decisions every single day and if you have a clear vision of where you want to be and how you want your life to look like in the future, those little decisions can be made with intention and they will add up over time.
My backstory – Why I decided to make a 10 year plan
I never really made concrete plans for my future until a couple of years ago… less alone a very specific 10 year plan.
When I was 18, I thought my life would be over by 30. I would be married, have kids, a lot of money, a great career and I would have nothing left to do until my kids went to college LOL. How narrow minded and naive. Then, in my 20s I got married to the wrong person and got divorced and then I got married again with the love of my life. I learned so many things about who I was, my career took a turn that somehow ended up with me having a blog, which led me to my biggest dream yet; to travel the world full time with my husband and hopefully make a living out of it.
Now that I’m 32 and with the right person for me by my side, I know we don’t want to have children. We know we would love to travel the world full time and try to make a living out of it. I’m perfectly clear about what I want and don’t want and I feel in a way better position to make concrete plans in order to be where I want to be in 10 years from now.
There’s nothing traditional about us. We don’t want a house and a 9 to 5 job. Our dream family consists of just the 2 of us and a lot of animals and we would love to see the world and build a business together.
Where the idea of a 10 year plan came from…
This whole 10 year plan thing just happened. The only planning we’ve done since we got together was to save money for a trip around the world and it started because we needed to have a strict savings plan. That’s pretty much all the planning we’ve been doing for the past two and a half years, but then my niece sent this info about this 10-10-1 plan and after reading it, I told G that we needed to it for ourselves.
Here’s what it is about… This is exactly what the email said:
How many goals do you have in your head right now? It’s tempting to set multiple goals because then, if one doesn’t work out, you’ve got other irons in the fire, right? But this also means that you have less chance of reaching any one of them.
As author Rachel Hollis says, “When everything is important, nothing is important.”
Ten years, ten dreams, one goal
A far more effective approach is to focus on one goal at a time. To do that, enlist the 10-10-1 plan.
First, visualize your ideal life in ten year’s time. Write down everything about it – from your environment to the clothes you’re wearing.
Now, think of ten dreams that will help you realize this vision. If your future self is retired at 50, one dream could be to have saved a certain amount of money in order to be able to do that.
From your ten dreams, pick one goal you can start working on right now to inch closer to your ten-year vision. Make it specific and measurable, and keep it in the present tense. “I go to the gym three times a week” works great, as it pinpoints what you need to hit your goal.
Finally, make a practice of writing down your ten dreams every day. That way, you’ll stay focused on what you want.
How to create your own version of this 10 year plan?
I thought it was appropriate to share this post because I guess it can be similar to a new year’s resolutions list. Resolutions are not for everyone and there are a lot of resolution haters out there, but I’ve found them to be very useful in my life, specially if I’m able to break them down into little daily goals that end up adding up over time. I always keep my goals visible to stay accountable and keep track of how I’m doing.
So, one weekend, me and Gordon sat down separately to write down what our ideal life would look like in 10 years. We discussed topics ranging from what our house would look like, our family, our jobs, our finances… everything! It took a few hours to think about everything, but it was definitely fun… and scary! What if in 10 years our life looks nothing like it? That’s a scary thought, but we did it anyways.
We broke down our dream life into different categories: Work, health, finances, our home, our relationship, spirituality, family, friends and our lifestyle.
After putting together all of our dreams (thank God we had a lot of things in common!) we set up a goal for each category. Yes, I understand this is against what the 10-10-1 principle is all about, but for us one goal doesn’t affect the other. I’ll give you a couple of examples:
Example #1 – Our 10 year plan
On health we both wrote to be strong and healthy in 10 years. We both want to look younger than our age and feel younger as well. In order to do that, we need to continue to eat healthy, take our vitamins and work out regularly. So our goals on health look like:
Go to the gym 5x times a week.
Have only one cheat meal a week.
Invest in the vitamins our bodies need and take them daily.
Then we broke this down into daily goals. Eat healthy TODAY. We take our vitamins TODAY. Work out TODAY. That’s it. If we fail one day, there’s always the next day (of course we try not to fail too many days in a row). To us, the trick is to live one day at a time. In my opinion, it’s way easier to measure and to keep yourself accountable.
Results will be visible in the long term if you are consistent. Never forget that.
Not all goals can be measured daily, but make sure you implement some kind of follow up system that keeps you accountable.
We have a goal to save X amount of money each month, but for that you have to be smart with the decisions you make every single day. Having that goal to conquer at the end of each month makes you think twice about your every day spending. Do we really need to order food/eat out or can we cook at home? Do I really need a new pair of shoes?
We’ve seen this work for us for over 2 years now. We went from having zero money saved to having a decent amount of money that will serve us to travel the world for 2 years and start our own business.
We wrote down our goals for each category and we have them in our bedroom and our kitchen and we check them weekly. Sometimes we celebrate for doing a great job and other times we have to reflect on our decisions and re-focus. It’s easy to make good choices when you know where you want to be. If we feel lazy to wake-up in the morning for our workout or feel tempted to eat junk food the entire weekend or feel cheap and don’t want to spend money on vitamins and supplements, then we have our list of goals to keep us on track and help us make the right decision.
You guys have no idea how many times we wanted to book a nice vacation. We’ve only taken one week of vacation with just the 2 of us, which was our anniversary trip to Charleston last year. The other trips we’ve taken have been family trips. We might take another week off just the 2 of us this year, but we’ll see… Sometimes it’s hard and frustrating, and that’s why it’s important to know what your goals are and what baby steps will help you get there.
Do you want short-term satisfaction or do you want to reach your long term goals?
Ask yourself this question frequently. It will help you make the right decision.
I hope this make sense to you. Please feel free to email me any questions you have or leave a comment below. (My email is firstname.lastname@example.org)
A piece of advice
Basically what you need to do, is to sit down and think about all the things you do with your life and your day to day. Are they bringing you closer to who you want to be and where you want to be in 10 years? This is a deep, scary thought, so don’t take it lightly. You may realize that there are people and habits you’ll have to cut off your life and that’s ok. That’s the best way to start.
You’ll start seeing changes in your level of confidence when you start accomplishing your daily goals. I feel very powerful when I’m craving junk food and I end up having a healthy dinner (mind you I crave junk almost every day LOL). I’m also learning how to have grace with myself when I screw up, but I tell to myself it was just today, and tomorrow is a new day, and that’s it.
I find it very powerful to have a clear purpose and witness how all the sacrifices and things we do every day like saving money, taking our vitamins, eating healthy, meditating, going to church, etc. are tangible things to measure where we’ll be in 10 years. And again, I’m aware that there are a myriad of things I can’t control, but I can do my part and hope for the best. I know it will pay off if we do what we need to do.
Let me know your thoughts!
I think doing something like this for yourself or together as a couple can be pretty amazing because it gives you an idea of how you want your life to look like. Remember that what you do every single day has an impact in your tomorrow. Time passes by anyways… might as well do something good with it!!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy 2020. This should be a pretty big year for us, which is super scary, but we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
Love you guys and good luck! Seriously, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you be your best self :)