5 Year Personal Plan
February 14, 2014 8:43 PM   Subscribe

What is your five year personal plan?

I am asking this question because I want to gather ideas on how to construct my own five year personal plan that involves the seven dimensions of wellness (social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical wellness) and some examples would be helpful to me.
posted by 517 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Well, mine is to get out of debt but I'm not sure where that fits in your seven dimensions of wellness.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:55 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah I don't know about the 7 dimensions thing, but the current one I'm in the middle of is:

Stabilize my job (I'd bounced around a lot and finally have some stability on my resume)
Pay off the car (done)
Pay off the credit cards (one is paid off)
Pay off the rest of our debt (done)
Finish college (In progress)
Lose weight (about half done)

Then come out the other side with substantial savings, a degree, and a much better resume. It's suffered some delays since I didn't count on things like both of us having to have surgery, but still plugging along on it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:52 PM on February 14, 2014

To finish mourning all that I've recently lost. To visit a substantially new part of the earth each year. To either have a new professional project I'm absorbed in, or have commended a change in career. To maintain and improve my daily health habits. To either continue reading independently at my current rate, or else return to school. To have taken meditation retreat. To have made a few new friends who live in my neighborhood.
posted by ead at 12:15 AM on February 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is a different plan for different stages of life. All the plans need to focus on achieving balance. A balanced life on those dimensions tends to be a happy and productive life.

For so many years of adult life the demands of one's job are almost an impediment to wellness and we suffer the imbalance because it is necessary to work for a better future and to meet current obligations. That imbalance nevertheless takes a toll and we must weigh carefully the sacrifices we choose to make in other areas when occupational or family(social) demands are especially heavy.

I found a good way to start was to learn the best ways to maintain at least a minimum level of each of the dimensions, especially the ones I was most likely to neglect as I pursued making a living or meeting the demands of family. Having a commitment to live according to a 12-step program has given me helpful checks on my spiritual, emotional, social and physical dimensions of wellness, as well as an instantly available community. From the very simple checklist "HALT" which reminds me to stop and correct course whenever I find myself stressed because I am hungry, angry, lonely, or tired to the work I have done to learn what activities and things meet my needs for each dimension of wellness.

An example, I know that nature, specifically gardening, was a basic need for me and now that I cannot garden, I've grieved about losing that connection with nature. I am finally embarking on a small project of growing micro greens which I hit upon when I started trying to eat more vegetables and to eat locally to a greater extent. So micro greens for my physical health, my emotional health and also expanding my environmental consciousness. Having something growing in the house is uplifting to me. Environmental health also means providing myself with a comfortable and attractive living space; it need not be elaborate but the right color, for example, does matter to me. Other aids for me to maintain physical health are regular checkups, keeping up with my medications, and doing my various exercises for the minutes I wait for the microwave to finish, for the washer to fill, etc. It's not a workout but it's movement and it adds up. For my social needs, I send one email or message to one or another of my old friends every day or so, just reaching out and keeping in touch with a network of friends and maybe mentioning a memory or something I appreciate about them, some encouragement for my younger friends or word of congratulation when that is in order. I invite people to lunch or tea--but only the ones I really like to spend time with and only one or two at a time because my socializing is better for me and for them that way.

I do a daily checkup, going over my day to see where I fell out of balance and what I need to do to put myself right. I turn my thoughts outward to others as much as I can and I try not to worry. If I have a week of unproductive slogging, I try to be gentle with myself and realize it will pass, it always does.

The thing I am most grateful for is the curiosity and joy I have in the pursuit of knowledge, beauty and understanding. It is a wonderful gift that my mind seems not to be failing awfully, though my body is certainly becoming frailer.

I long ago gave up setting goals, except for the most mundane kind of practical planning, realizing even then that today's work might be the making of plans and tomorrow's work might be letting go of them all and doing something entirely unforeseen. It, meaning one's unruly life, does not necessarily get better for willing it so but we ourselves can get better, healthier, more balanced and serene if we work on it. I think you have a good beginning with this model but I believe the real goal is to be able to meet circumstances, whatever they are, rather than thinking we can control circumstances.
posted by Anitanola at 3:08 AM on February 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

2013: buy sailboat (done), practice racing boat, enter several regattas.

2014: sell house, buy one in a different neighborhood, keep racing boat. Italian or Caribbean vacation (undecided so far).

2015: get engaged? (relationship status pending). Hit 401k savings milestone. Keep racing boat.

2016: daughter starts school. Get married, with fun honeymoon (maybe sailing?). Turn 35.

2017: boat paid off.

Some of these aren't fully fleshed out our are slightly speculative, but you never know what might happen in five years. This is pretty much my actual plan, though.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:38 AM on February 15, 2014

I wrote this in 2012, so my five year mark is in May of 2017.

- be head of QA for a small, interesting software company
- married
- no debt (except house debt?)
- 40k IRA
- 40k saved for house down payment
- has run a marathon

I created some smaller, more detailed goals to help me along the path to those (so my goal for 2015 is to have less than 5k in student debt.) Setting mini-goals along the way has been key to me making progress.
posted by punchtothehead at 6:34 AM on February 16, 2014

We will pay off a car this year, and the other car next year.

I'm finally finishing my BAS degree this December.

We will continue to save and increase our contributions to retirement.

In 18 months, our lease is up, and we will need to decide where to move, if we want to buy, etc.

I will continue to work on my anxiety and codependence.

I will continue to exercise more and get in shape, and continue the diet I've been on for a year.
(We are 36 and 40, if that matters)
posted by getawaysticks at 1:53 PM on February 16, 2014

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