The Next Decade.

A decade is a long time for all of us. Currently, on average, we’ll have just eight of them in our whole lives. I imagine, that for most of you reading this, at least three have gone, for many of us make that four or five and for some six or more.

Either way, there aren’t many left. I mention this as in just eight weeks we’ll be starting a new decade and I don’t know about you but the last one has flown by. Actually, make that the last two, millennium eve seems quite a recent memory.

Regular readers will know that I advocate being spontaneous within a plan, having the best of both worlds. What I haven’t talked about before though, is the different approach to long term planning that I hope might be useful and of interest.

The wonderful thing about a longer term plan is it allows you to dream a bit more. Plans for the next year, even the next three years are bound to be hijacked by immediacy, the practical, the necessities, whereas a ten year, decade long plan, offers more scope to be expansive and ambitious.

One of the processes Stephen Covey taught me was to imagine the speeches to be made at your funeral. That felt too dark for me, so instead I prefer the idea of a significant birthday, one ten years hence. Pick three people – one family member, one friend, someone from work – what would you love for them to say at your 50th, 60th, 70th in ten or so years time?

Select three aspects for their speech to include: your personal successes, your specific contributions and your impact on others. I strongly recommend that you write these speeches out in longhand – they resonate much more this way. You don’t need to show them to anyone but they should set out the framework for a compelling future and one worth investing the remaining 20-60% of your life on.

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