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Recently I sat down and focused on what the next five years of my professional life will be like and set some goals for that time period. It was a great exercise because I got to think deeply about what I want to be doing in five years and also what each year leading up to that point will look like.

Many people just roll through life letting it “happen” to them. They are probably the ones who show up each day and plot along doing the same thing, wondering why they aren’t moving up in their professional careers. They get bored, often complain when passed over for opportunities and can be a bad influence on an organization’s morale. “How come SHE gets to do that?” Because SHE bothered to let her supervisor know where she wants to go with her career and started taking on tasks and projects to propel her in that direction.

The 5-year plan also works wonderfully on a personal level. Before I met my husband, Rick, I created my plan and within 3 years, I had achieved almost everything on the list. I still have that list and find it remarkable that all the dreams I wrote down then pretty much came true. I wanted a soul mate who worked in the business. I wanted to live on a farm and have horses. I wanted more children in my life.

Knowing where you’re headed in life is liberating. I highly recommend making the time to think through how you are going to get there. You have to make it happen!

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