Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

5 Elements of a Good 10 Year Plan

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There are a few guarantees in life. The typical examples are death and taxes. I have one more for you.

The next 10 years will pass quickly.

Ten years seems like a really long time. It is hard to even imagine what life will be like then. What will you be doing? Where will you live? What relationships will you have?

But the time will come and go. And it will pass too quickly.

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photo by Jason Mrachina (creative commons license)

Life is Defined by Choices

During those 10 years you will make choices. Some you will only make once. Some are so big you will worry and fret over them. You will like awake in bed, anxious over what to do.

There will be several, though, that you make over and over and over again. These decisions are so small, you will hardly think about them. At the time, they will seem insignificant.

All of these smaller choices will add up. And at the end of the 10 years, your life will represent an accumulation of those choices. These little decisions may play a larger role in who you become than anything else you do.

This is why every story needs a 10 year plan.

Elements of a Good 10 Year Plan

The 10 year plan helps you to make the kinds of decisions today that will get you to where you want to be later. It will help you to focus on the little things you should be doing or not be doing right now, so that 10 years from now, you won’t have a mess.

Your 10 year plan does not have to be perfect. You do not need to know exactly what you want to do or where you want to be. The 10 year plan is more about how to optimize who you are. How to help put yourself in the kind of positions you want to be in.

The goal of today is to make the kinds of decisions you will not regret tomorrow. (Share on Facebook)

Your 10 year plan should focus on these concepts.

1. Finances

Debt is one of the biggest obstacles to living a better story. Financial responsibility will keep you from living the kind of life you want to live more than anything. It can be hard to save and to invest. It can be easy to spend and then borrow and spend. A good 10 year plan will develop a strategy to help you stay debt free or get out of debt. It will help you to remember that owning stuff does not make you happy. A good plan will help you figure out how to give money away.

2. Health

For those who are young, this doesn’t seem to be too big a deal. But health problems can accumulate quickly as well. Regular routine doctor visits are fine, but more important is a plan to manage your weight and to exercise. Most do not become overweight overnight. It takes time. And so does staying fit. Simply eating less and exercising a little bit more each day can completely change your health 10 years from now.

3. Relationships

Your friends and family are the ones that will see you through both the good times and the hard times in life. Find friends who are honest. Find friends who are good and encourage you. It is fine to have people you like or friends that you play golf with. It is better to have friends that you can open your hear too. Find friends that love you. Invest in them. And then love those people in return.

4. Giving

You are blessed and you live in abundance. Some have an abundance of money. Others have an abidance of gifts or talents. Anyone can choose to have an abundance of love to give away. One of the most fulfilling habits in life is finding a way to give to others. To give free gifts. To give time and energy. To give talents and skills. Whatever you have in abundance, give it away on a regular basis.

5. Becoming

You need to invest in experiences that help you to see the world differently. It is easy to default into a scripted life. Advertisers want us to live a certain way. People who live a better story tend to live differently. They see something different in the world than what advertisers and peers tell them. Travel. Do mission work, either in your city or abroad. Read a variety of different books, Learn a new language. Experience life. Whatever, just don’t stay the same.

The next 10 years will pass before you know it. A good plan can help you spend the time well.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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