Where Can You Expect to Be in 5 Years?

What you do today is the blueprint for what you'll be doing tomorrow, next week, and five years from now. If you're not working on something that will support your dreams in the future, now's the time to make a change.

birds flying 

(Photo Credit: Carlos Rull/Flickr)

Marc Chernoff of Marc and Angel Hack Life recently wrote a blog post called "7 Questions You Are Too Scared to Ask." Significantly, question No. 1 is "Based on my daily routines and actions, where can I expect to be in five years?"

"This is your life story and you are the only author," Chernoff writes. "If you're feeling like you've been stuck in the same setting for too long, it's time to start writing a new chapter of your life. The plot structure is simple: Doing nothing gets you nothing. Doing the wrong things gets you the wrong things. Doing the same things gets you the same things. Your story only changes when you make changes."

Do You Have a Direction?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you actually know what you want to do. If you do, then your task is relatively easy: do something that contributes to your goal every single day. (Seinfeld's "Don't Break the Chain" system is a great way to conquer procrastination.)

If you haven't quite figured out where you want to end up, don't worry. Your daily life still holds clues as to what you should be aiming for. Career coaches like Marty Nemko often include day-to-day habits in their career goal assessments. For example, Nemko's tool, "What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up: 14 Questions to Help You Figure it Out" includes questions like:

- What items do you save?

- On what productive task, do you spend a lot of time, while enjoying the process?

- If I looked around your home or office (including through your drawers,) what clue(s) might I derive about you?

The Bottom Line

If you're feeling vaguely dissatisfied with your life and career, you don't need to concentrate on the distant future and the yawning gap between now and then. All you have to do is figure out where you'd like to wind up, and then think about whether what you're doing today will get you there.

Tell Us What You Think

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