Tag: future

Wondering About the Future

Wondering About the Future

The other day, I started thinking about the future. Not the “where will I be in 5 years” future but the future that comes in 50, 100, 350 years. It’s kind of a fun thought experiment, especially when the entire world is currently crumbling around all of us.

Originally, I started thinking in terms of my written journal – will they be in an archive? Or maybe they’ll be found strung across the continent on dusty tabletops because Russia got a little too frisky and I had to go on an epic cross-country adventure post-apocalypse. Will they be rotting on Earth while I immigrate to a moon colony? Could my niece have them on her shelf and her children read about Great Aunt Sarah’s career woes? Will I digitize them at some point? Ooo, will I print out this blog one day and bind it alongside my journal?

Then I started thinking about other future things. Again, not the practicalities of who’s going to go through my stuff when I die since I have no kids, but what things will be like then. Daily life has been changed so wildly since I graduated college, and that wasn’t a terribly long time ago, so how crazy could it be by the time I get around to kicking the bucket? Beyond?

I doubt I could even come close to guessing right – I bet my great-great-great grandparents could have conceived of any idea that comes close to the fact that I have the world’s most expensive light switch/weather forecast (I’m talking about Alexa), or that have the sum of the world’s knowledge in my hand but use it to watch cat videos. They wouldn’t have even known about cat videos!

I hope they take cats when they colonize other worlds. And dogs. If someone is a lone worker on a far away planet, I think a dog or a cat would be key to mental health.

I just have so many questions about the far, and far-ish, future. Do we ever colonize beyond the moon? Do we ever figure out that Earth would really rather we not poison it? Or do we all die in a horrific nuclear firefight? According to my Googling, Africa & Australia don’t have nuclear weapons, so I hope they survive and that the nuclear clouds avoid them enough that they thrive.

On a happier note, I bet we eventually figure out how to beat cancer at some point. Of all types. I don’t think it’ll be soon, but eventually knowledge will build on itself to the point someone finally puts it all together and wipes cancer off the map. The same goes for most other diseases – there’s no reason to think that we can’t eventually figure out how to correct aberrant biological processes. As long as we keep plagues from completely wiping humans off the map, anyway.

So that’s what I think about when I have time on my hands – the absolute inability to predict the far future, or even the middle future. I’m excited to find out what the world will be like in 20-30 years.

This blog post is a mess – I swear it made so much more sense in my head. Let’s all just accept that my brain has been fried from too many horror movies, okay?

-S

Creating a 5 Year Plan

Last week I thought I’d make a 5 year plan. I don’t really go in for “if you write/envision it, it will automatically happen”, but I do think that there’s something powerful in writing down the long-term vision of your life. After I did a ton of Googling and reading and thinking, I decided to write this post instead of creating one so I haven’t actually made my 5 year plan yet. I promise to post mine soon, though, and link it from here.

The Goal Setting

Make concrete, measurable goals for 5 years from now and then work backwards from there to make ‘stepping stone’ goals from when you start your plan to when it’s finished. A linear path to the finish line – like a race. Start your goals with a version of this sentence: “I want to (do/have/be/get)…”

Goal Setting

  1. Create a list of categories you would like to have goals in.
    • Ex: Love, Hobbies, Career, $$$, Travel, etc. You can have as few or as many as you’d like.
  2. Make a list of your goals & group them by your categories.
  3. Take your goals by categories and start breaking those goals down into smaller goals.
  4. Continue breaking those goals down into manageable chunks of actionable items.
    • Goal: I want to buy a house
      • Save $25,000 by the end of 5 years.
      • Save $5,000 each year
      • Only eat out once a month
      • Stop buying coffee
  5. Repeat for each goal.
  6. Make a game plan for how to do those actionable things.

Example Goals

  • I want to move to Big City and own my own apartment/house.
  • I want to get a new job.
  • I want to have enough money in the bank to jump on a plane to wherever I want to go.
  • I want to be the boss of my department.
  • I want to run the NYC Marathon.

The problem I have with this (for me, you do you) is that my life never looks the same from year to year or even month to month. What I want as a goal now may not be a goal I care about anymore in 5 years, or even in 6 months. I realize you can modify your goals as you go, but I would still prefer to start with a slightly different premise.

Loosening It Up

Instead of, or in addition to, creating goals to meet at the end of five years, you can also add more general statements about the future and the person you want to be to your plan. They can be anything, really. Maybe “I want to be someone who is active in my community” to “I want to be active in a martial art” or “I want to be a person who is trusted by my coworkers.” Whatever floats your boat.

Not-Goal Setting (Exactly Like Goal Setting)

  1. Create a list of categories you would like to make changes in.
    • You can definitely use the one you made earlier, and modify it if you want to.
  2. Think about those categories in a different way from above – think about how you want to be instead of what you want to achieve.
    • I want to be a person who regularly has people over and throws parties.
  3. Start to think about what steps might be helpful for this, and then think about things you can do today to help make that a reality.
    • Statement: I want to be a person who regularly has people over and throws parties.
      • Extend an invitation to at least one person every X weeks.
      • Plan parties for various holidays – Christmas, etc.
      • Create a regular game night or supper club.
      • Become involved in local activities.
  4. Repeat that process for each statement.

Example Statements

  • I want to help others reach their goals and support them in their ambitions.
  • I want to be the kind of person that others know they can rely on.
  • I want to enjoy my personal life while also excelling in my career.
  • I want to be comfortable, content, and confident in the life I lead.
  • I want to live a fulfilled life.

Combining It All Together

If you do both of these exercises, you will end up with a fairly comprehensive idea of how you want your life to look in the next five years. There’s a concrete path, as well, since both parts of your plan have baby steps to take to get there. So at the end of the process, you put your goals, statements, and baby steps together in one list/document/plan. Trim if needed – you don’t want to overbook yourself for the next 5 years. Next, decide where to start and move forward from there.

The planning is really that easy – the execution is much harder since 5 years is a long time to work towards things, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

I can’t believe I just wrote almost 800 words on 5 year plans. 🙂 Enjoy your planning!

Sarah