After returning home to the United States, one of the first things I did was clean out my room and closet. I got rid of so many things that I didn’t want and didn’t need. I still have a little more to go, but I already feel so much lighter. While cleaning out an old drawer, I stumbled across a paper.
These were the goals that I made for myself five years ago. And after being in Korea for a full year, I had completely forgotten about them. I made them when I was looking to get into graduate school, Winter of 2014. I created them in the notes app on my phone and I would often forget about them. But randomly, every few months I would scroll through my notes to read old ideas (I often write down story ideas or song lyrics in the notes app on my phone) and find this goal list. Then I would check off the ones I accomplished and move on and forget about it again.
When I left for Korea, I left my old phone to bring an unlocked one with me so that I could get phone service in Korea without paying for a brand new phone. And that was the last time I ever looked at that goal sheet again or even thought about it. So finding it upon my return back to the US and seeing that I have indeed checked everything off my list, I was excited! I even danced a little jig in my room.
I completed my five-year plan!
It’s time for more goals, that’s what.
I have heard people say and even read in a book that setting goals and writing them down are pointless and that one should just do it instead of talk about it and write it down.
I couldn’t disagree more. While writing down goals might not work for everybody, it definitely works for someone like me who is, first and foremost, a writer. Writing things down gives things new life to me. It makes it tangible. It helps me remember. I’m able to pick up this sheet of paper and reflect on my wants, wishes, and desires. I can see these goals and hash out a plan to put in action. And when I’m feeling like a failure, I look back and see just how much I have accomplished.
One of my most hated interview questions (besides ‘why should we hire you?’) is ‘where do you see youself in five years?’ Because who freakin knows where they’ll be in five years! But now that I have completed a five-year plan, I can finally see how important this question is. While it’s great to live in the here and now, it’s also important to plan and have goals for the future. The here and now won’t always be here. And life has priorities.
Five years ago if someone had asked me where do I see myself in five years, I would have answered, ‘living in my own place while working at a newly aquired job’. And that is exactly what I did. And while I did not stay in that position for more than a year, I do not feel like I failed. I was exactly where I wanted to be whether I enjoyed the ride or not.
So now it’s time to go back to the drawing board. I have plenty of goals and ideas of what I want to be doing within the next few years. It’s time to write it all down, hash out some plans, take some risks, and keep moving forward.
Traveling is not finished for me; I know that for sure. But where exactly do I see myself in five years?
We soon shall see 🙂