Ten-year plan?


year-old me with my dad and three cousins. photo by w.barnes
one-year-old me with my dad and three cousins. ten-year plans included dressing myself and not getting food all-over my face.  photo by w.barnes

**This post is intended to hold my own feet to the fire, and keep certain promises to myself.**

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?” is a question I’ve been asking myself a fair bit lately. It’s not a foreign question to me– I’m the type of person who likes to think before I speak and plan before I do. I often like to ruminate on where I am, where I’d like to be, and how to connect those two points. There is a certain amount of comfort in planning a head and finding out the plan works.

On the other hand, when the plan doesn’t work, it’s time for the post-mortem: why didn’t the plan work; what went wrong; how could I have avoided it; what next, etc. For me, knowing where I am and how I got there informs how I should proceed.

Nine years ago when I finished high school, I had a pretty straightforward plan: go to university, live on my own, travel a bit and work. Pretty vague, but I did meet all those goals. Maybe I would have liked more long-term work and less contracts, more travel and less hanging around home, but I did okay meeting goals I set as a teenager. I didn’t decide where I wanted to travel to, what field I wanted to work in or where I’d live, but I gave each goal a shot.

Now here I am, almost ten years later, realizing I need to figure out goals for the next ten years– some personal and some professional. I’ve got a year to finalize the details, but here are some preliminary goals:

a) Steady work and less contracts–  I’d love to continue working on my skills and building work experience, particularly in communications, marketing, project management, business, but I won’t say no to any good opportunities that come my way;

b) Pay off student loans– it might take a while, but it is super important to me;

c) Work out at least three times a week consistently— I’d like to get stronger and more fit, which means having a more structured attendence;

d) Learn to speak another language fluently– I’ve been working on German through Duolingo; and

e) Travel more– Top spots include New Orleans, Cuba, and the UK.

It’s a small start, but I hope this will help me solidify my trajectory think about where I want to be in the next ten years.