Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Five Year Plan

Borrowed from Google Images
Mount Laguna, California

About sixteen years ago my husband and I went on a mountain drive through Mount Laguna in Southern California. We stopped at a little spot with trails and picnic tables for lunch. We were all alone and we proceeded to write down our five year plan.
Looking back on our plan, I vaguely remember all that we wrote and all that we hoped to achieve. However, the big things I do remember and I am happy to say those things actually did happen.

Borrowed from Google Images

Years after that I read a book called Write it Down Make it Happen and it touched on this subject and was very helpful with visualization techniques and other tools for achieving what it is you want in your life. But what if you aren't sure what it is that you want?

Often times determining what it is that you actually want is harder than actually getting the thing you want. Taking time to be alone in your thoughts, journaling and meditation are all helpful tools for figuring out exactly what would make you happy with the life you have.

One thing that hinders that happiness is trying to fit your life into a mold or ideal, i.e. Hollywood’s ideal life or the life of someone else. Trying to match or pair your life alongside another person only leads to let down and disaster. Don't be a second rate copy of someone else, take the time to figure out what it is you want and make the mold fit your ideal. If you don't have the foggiest clue what it is you want and feel a little unsatisfied with your life, I'd start there.

Why am I unsatisfied? Make a list with pen and paper. What will it take to fix the first thing on the list? That exercise alone will help. It is super important to write it down. Don't skip that part. You need to see it in black and white. It needs to become real.

Here is a real example of how this worked for me in my life. When I ended an eight year relationship with someone I felt as though I had been through a divorce. In a sense, I had been. I was emotionally spent and I was starting to date again. The one thing that I knew without any doubt was that I did not want to start an endless cycle of bad relationships. I sat down and wrote out exactly what I wanted in a partner and then I did not settle.

I dated three different men.  They were all nice men and viable mates but two of them just weren't right for me. I was only able to fully understand this because I had my criteria listed and things that mattered to me seemed a little shaky with those other two men. The things at the top of my list had nothing to do with what a man would give me. That is not what I am talking about here. What I am talking about is what kind of person that man already is with or without me in the picture. Here are a few of the things that were on my list strong ethics, leadership, a strong sense of self, work ethic, someone who would take their vows serious. When only one of those men fit that list I knew he was the one I would date and should those qualities continue I would eventually marry.

Borrowed from Google Images

I stopped dating other people and decided that Steve fit the qualities that I was looking for. I married him and I am happy to say that through thick and thin, we are still married and happy to be married to each other. It hasn't always been easy but one thing that has never waivered was that he still possess those qualities. His foundation is strong and he takes each of life's challenges head on. These are the qualities that I wanted, they are the qualities that I listed, the qualities that I saw in him and had I not written those things down I might not have been able to identify that he possessed those qualities.

Write it down!!

1 comment:

Reflections said...

Very powerful words... lending some great words of wisdom.