I’m sure everybody’s thought about what their future will look like at some point, but how much have you really, really thought about it? I mean in serious detail, like up to what kind of sheets you’ll have on your bed.
Most of us also tend to fantasize about our futures without a specific date in mind. We just kind of imagine our future as happening…in the future. But how would your answer change if you had to imagine this future on a specific date, like exactly 10 years from now? First off, just doing the math as to how old you’ll be in 10 years already kicks your ass a little bit. But a specific date sets your future at a measurable place in time, making it that much more real.
I found out about this little writing activity on the Tim Ferris podcast, from his guest for that episode, Debbie Millman (check it out here). An exercise that originated with Milton Glaser and is said to have a magical quality due to the way it tends to come into existence in the writer’s life, as a planner thumper I thought it sounded like fun so I transcribed the instructions as Debbie explained them. Basically, it’s a prompt that asks you to write out your future as it will be 10 years from now with no fear of failure in mind and with a level of detail I guarantee you’ve never attempted before.
The usefulness of this activity is in how vividly it forces you to imagine your life 10 years from now. Creating a picture of what your goal looks like and setting it on a timeline is a pretty standard tool in goal achievement, but this writing exercise really takes it to the next level by having you imagine the most detailed goal post you possibly can. It’s going to shock you when you see how much of your future you haven’t actually given much thought to.
Besides the usefulness of this exercise for goal planning, it’s actually really fun to sit and think so deeply about what you want your future to look like. Just give it a try, you can literally just open Notes on your phone and start writing away at this; I think you’ll find it extremely illuminating and enjoyable. Good luck!
Note: Depending on your age, you can adjust the time length of the plan from 10 to 5 years. Generally, if you’re over 40, you can set the plan for 5 years.
10 Year Plan For a Remarkable Life
Dream big. Don’t edit. Be careful what you wish for. Full paragraphs. Read it once a year. The more care you put into this, the more likely it is to be affirmed.
Lets say it is winter 2028. What does your life look like? What are you doing? Where do you live? What does your home look like? An apartment, a house, in the city or the country? What does your furniture look like? What does your bedroom look like? What kind of sheets do you have? Who do you live with? Tell me about your significant other. Do you have pets? Tell me about your pets. Do you have children? Do you have a car? Do you have a boat? Tell me about your career. What do you want? What are you making? What are you reading? What excites you? What is your health like? What kind of clothes do you wear? What does your hair look like?
Write this one day, from start to finish, 10 years from now. One day, in the winter of 2028; what does your whole day look like? Start from when you open your eyes, to brushing your teeth to when you tuck yourself into bed at night. What does that day look like for you? Put your whole heart into it and write like your life depends on it, because it does.
Let me know if you enjoyed writing your 10 Year Plan and whether you had any realizations from it in the comments! I found it so enjoyable and it really showed me that I wasn’t planning for the future as much as I felt I was.