Growth Habits Learning Mindset Purpose

Five Years! Really?

How will you spend your valuable time in the next five years? How will you have grown?

A friend of mine asked me recently whether I was happy with my progress over the past five years. 

For some weird reason, my mind went to Lenin and his New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921.

I don’t remember many things from my primary education, but I remember the NEP from Lenin.

If I recall correctly, the principles were based on five-year planning focusing on free market and capitalism, but still under state control. 

Five years of planning.

In my case, five years of progress. 

Am I happy with my progress over the past five years? 


Are there things I would have done differently?


Did I grow both personally and professionally?


As a lifelong learner, there are lessons almost every day, which adds up to a lot of learning in five years.

But the main point remains the same as the last question above. 

Have I grown as a person, both personally and professionally? 

And, very importantly, am I a kinder person now for myself and those around me than I was five years ago?

For myself, yes. For those around me. I think so, but I’ll ask them. 

Life is all about growth and being kind. Right? 

Enough about the past; let’s shift to the future and focus on the next five years.

For once, let’s look a little further than one year, which most will do at this time of the year.

It doesn’t mean a year doesn’t matter. I’ll come back to that later.

While it’s impossible to predict what will happen in five years, you may consider a few things to set as ‘dots on the horizon.’

Here are a few questions to help you.
  • What really matters to you?
  • What will you professionally be doing five years from now?
  • Why will you be doing that? What purpose does it serve? 
  • What will your employment situation be? Payroll, Employer, Self-employed, Entrepreneur?
  • Where will you live?
  • Who will be there with you in your life?
  • Who else will matter around you five years from now?
  • How will you have helped make our world a better place? 
  • What three once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’re dreaming of will you have created?
  • When you close your eyes and dream, what will be new in your life? 
  • How will you look? Same weight? The same state of fitness?
  • How will you have dealt with setbacks, loss, and other unexpected events? 
  • Will you be a kinder person in five years?
  • Are you doing more that makes you happy daily?
  • How will you have grown?
Summarizing, how are you going to spend your valuable time?

If you’re up to it, you can just pause reading and complete these questions.

5. 4. 3. 2. 1. 

Just do it!


Now, let’s move to 2023.

What three actions (not more than three) will you commit to completing in 2023 to move you closer to your five-year ambition?

For context, we’re breaking up your five-year ambition into smaller pieces that are easier to grasp and complete. 

Here are my three actions / initiatives / ways I will grow in 2023:

  1. ..
  2. ..
  3. ..

Finally, here’s the ONE thing I will do on January 2nd to move me in the right direction.

  1. ..

Just one tiny little step that makes you move toward your ambition. 

Every journey starts with a first step. 

And every first step may be a step towards a new habit.

Therefore, you have to repeat these tiny little steps daily to build a strong habit that helps accomplish your ambition. 

Because your life is not about the goals you have or the plans you make. It’s about the habits you create to accomplish your dreams.

Some people are successful without goals and plans. They rely solely on the habits they have built and execute daily.

So whatever you decide to do, make sure you make the best of every day in the next five years. 

That’s only 1826 days. 

Your turn: 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Go!

You can use this link to send yourself an email five years from now reflecting on the questions I asked above.

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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