Have I already ruffled some feathers yet? Good, now listen up.
Side note to basically anyone who is not a millennial: If you’re already settled into a beautiful, paid off home, working a comfortable salary paid career you love, with retirement on the way, and a cushy savings account- “Congratulations to you, and please don’t read this, you’ll think I’m an idiot”.
For my millennial friends: This is why the ‘Five Year Plan’ is (probably) not going to work for you.
1. You’re probably dreaming it up wrong
If you have any form of social media, you’ve surely seen pictures like these going viral:
Millennials (myself included) love the hashtags #RelationshipGoals #HouseGoals #LifeGoals. But do you see the problem? We’re people who make just above minimum wage, dreaming of multimillion dollar homes, expensive clothing, hobbies, and lifestyles. We shouldn’t focus on the materialistic, but we do. Chances are, your 5 Year Plan involves materialistic items that you’ll probably never be able to afford.
Look in your bedroom right now. $1 says you have more than 150 individual items in there. And you need absolutely none of it. Our hyper materialistic mindsets are killing us. Minimalism is the way to go. Seriously, I live in a 70 square foot home, trust me on this one. Your mindset needs to shift.
2. Millennials change jobs, a lot
No, it’s not because we’re lazy or incapable.
First, our economy is different than our parents’. Your parents worked 40 years within the same 4 walls, and we probably won’t have that option. I’m not saying we’re better or worse because of it, we’re just a different group of people. Layoffs are a relatively common thing now. It’s easier today to find two 20 hour workweek jobs, than it is to find one 40.
Not to mention, we try to cram so many lives into one, because we’re indecisive. Up to 70% of American University attending students will change their majors at least one before graduating. The majority will change up to three times. Your Five Year Plan will be absolutely wrecked in no time. What’s worse than wrecking your FYP? Sticking with it when you shouldn’t. Which brings me to my third point.
3. You’ve given your FYP the ability to depress you
We all know life is unpredictable. Jobs change, relationships change, babies come, loved ones go. Pretending your life is just a series of checks on your To-Do List, is going to set you up for a rude awakening. Even if your life does go exactly as planned, and you’re still happy with your plan- now what? The goal is achieved, and you probably won’t know what to do with yourself afterwards.
4. You don’t need 5 years to do the things you want
If you really want to go swim with dolphins, make some cuts in your life and save for it now. Almost any trip you want can be funded and prepped for within 18 months. You don’t need data on your phone. You don’t need a vehicle made in 2016. You don’t need a lot of the comforts you’ve surrounded yourself with. Cut the crap and do what you love, and do it sooner than you planned. This ties in nicely with my final reason.
5. Find Joy in the Now
Not always, but most generally, FYPs insinuate that your life in five years will be better than it currently is now. It probably won’t be. Your life progressively changes, it doesn’t get keep getting better and better.
I’ve never seen an elderly person claim that their life is best now because they are financially stable. They miss the fun, dumb, careless days of their youth. They miss being broke and newly married. They miss having tiny children to throw up on them. They miss the times when their kids still lived with them. They miss the empty nest days with their loved one. No part of their life is better than the other. It’s all good stuff, and it’s all stuff you should appreciate when you have it.
Please don’t buy into the lie “your life is crap now, but it’ll get better”. Find Joy in being the person you are now, because in five years, you’ll probably miss a little bit of where your life is at today.
I’m not at all suggesting that you shouldn’t have goals. I think they are very beneficial, and a necessity for success. Just don’t put so much emphasis on it, deal?
That’s it for me! Why or why not are FYPs a good idea? Sound off in the comments. As always, thank you for your continued attention, and support.