Create Your Ten Year Plan

Create Your Ten Year Plan

Create Your Ten Year Plan

What Does YOUR Future Hold?

“People overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten.”

— Bill Gates

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Create Your Ten Year Plan

Have you ever thought to yourself, “What’s my TEN year plan?” It can be difficult to think about your life and your goals on such a long timeline, but it’s important to consider where you want to go, so that you can take positive action to make it happen. It’s incredibly powerful too: You can do SO MUCH in the next ten years.

Truthfully, creating incredible (like, jaw-droppingly amazing) kinds of BIG changes are practically inevitable when you are running a long-game life plan. Things will certainly be different for you ten years from now. But only YOU have the power to guide the arc of change in the direction you want it to go. 

You Have The Power To Create Your Future

Life paths tend to go in one of two directions: Towards growth, which requires cultivation and intention. Or, in the absence of that, the path of least resistance leads to carry us downward, over time. If you’re not paying attention, as many extremely wise people before me have observed, things tend towards “entropy,” (aka, disorder and chaos) unless we’re deliberately putting energy into them. (Stop doing your laundry for a few weeks if you’d like to test my theory for yourself!)

That’s a short term example though. Think about what happens to a home that’s not maintained, or a relationship that’s chronically neglected, or the personal finances of someone who never saves money… over very long periods of time. It’s not good.

It’s very easy to unintentionally create those types of outcomes, through doing what is easiest to do, which is:

  1. Not thinking about what we really want, long term.
  2. Not having awareness about the negative impact of some of our daily decisions on our long term goals.
  3. Not having clarity about what, specifically, we need to invest our time and energy in to get there.

That’s the effortless path. The path towards growth, advancement and success can also be surprisingly easy to do, but only if you know the critical keys to success.

The Keys To Success: Clarity + Action

The key to achieving real and lasting success in life, in love, and in work is to understand that small things, over time, lead to big things. Understanding that basic principle and working with it, will allow you to achieve amazing things with much less effort than you might think.

This type of practice is even more powerful when it is done in alignment with your core values and your full awareness of what is really and truly most important to you. That may sound obvious but take it from an experienced life coach and therapist: A lot of people are spending a lot of time and energy attempting to achieve goals that — upon deeper exploration — are not genuinely meaningful and important to them. (Please see “Design Your Life Around What Matters Most” for more on this subject.)

Knowing who you are, what is most important to you, and what you really want is only the first step though. Then, you have to pay close attention to what you do. 

Your life — ALL of our lives — are absolutely filled with those teeny-tiny moments that will either carry us towards our ideal future, or away from it. If you’re clear about where you want to go and you have clarity about what you need to do (and NOT do) to create that, you’re empowered to actively create your future reality.

My Ten Year Plan Tool: Free, Easy, and YOURS

To assist you in getting the clarity you need about where you want to go, what types of activities will take you there (as well as clarity about what will pull you off your happy path) I have created something special for you: a free planning tool called “My Ten Year Plan.” Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Listen to the “How to Create Your Ten Year Plan” episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast (player is below) to cultivate a long-game, growth-oriented mindset and learn how to use the ten year planning tool.

Step 2: Sign up (above or below)  to allow me to send you:

  • Our free, online Ten Year Plan tool that you can use on your phone, tablet or computer.
  • Or, if you’re a paper-person, access to our free, downloadable pdf worksheet that you can print out and use to create your plan.

Step 3: Walk through the “My Ten Year Plan” activity!

You’ll be prompted to answer thought provoking questions to help you:

  • Uncover your most important values
  • Develop appreciation for how powerful you are
  • Understand your most significant strengths and growth opportunities
  • Get clarity about what you want for your future
  • Create an action plan to create your ideal reality… ten years from now.

I sincerely hope that this Ten Year Plan activity empowers you make your life — ten years from now — exactly what you want it to be.

Your partner in growth,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

How to Create Your Ten Year Plan

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Citay, “On The Wings”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Invest In Yourself

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You Deserve Compassionate Support

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As a therapist, life coach, and marriage counselor, I admire each and every person who gathers the courage to schedule an appointment with me and seek support for themselves, their relationships, or their families. I know that they’re investing in themselves because they believe they are worthy of investing in. Such self-awareness, wisdom and healthy self-love is always inspiring.

Do You Prioritize Everything Except Yourself?

Too many people put themselves on the bottom of the heap, investing in every other aspect of their lives — their education, their career, their children, their friendships, their homes — but rarely their own personal wellness, or their hearts desire. Is this you?

If so, you probably put off investing in yourself, getting professional help, and taking positive action to improve your life… though you’re there for everyone else. You may think about it sometimes but quickly talk yourself out of it, minimize your feelings, or prioritize someone else’s needs

If this sounds familiar, my guess is that you would describe yourself as a naturally strong person, but the downside of “being strong” is that sometimes it comes with a price: Not taking care of you, the way you take care of others.

But it’s easy not to take care of you, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to things like getting involved in therapy, couples counseling or life coaching. There are so many persistent myths in our culture about all the reasons NOT to get support, and it’s time to bash them! 

What’s Keeping YOU From Investing In Yourself?

Let’s talk through some of the most common reasons I hear for why people avoid getting help and investing in themselves, and why they’re not true!

Myth #1: “Therapy should be reserved for times when you really need it, and I don’t have it ‘that bad.'” 

This is one I hear frequently, even when people have resolved to book a therapy or coaching appointment with me. 

Believe it or not, even people in a lot of pain sometimes feel guilty for doing something to help themselves. They tell me about challenges they face, or hard things they’re grappling with but then quickly say, “But so many others around the world have it so much worse. I’m really so lucky.” 

While being grateful and keeping things in perspective is a wonderful strength to have, it’s also a liability if it makes you feel like you don’t have a right to your feelings, or can’t feel sad, angry or hurt about something true for you. 

As a feminist-oriented therapist, I am always happy to have a conversation about power and privilege, and I firmly believe that we are all worthy of healing and belonging. 

If there is something in your life that feels painful or difficult to overcome, my hope for you is to feel like you deserve to be supported just as much as anyone else. 

If you feel guilty when you think about making your feelings a priority, think about it this way: investing in yourself as a way to make yourself even stronger, and more able to give empathy and compassion to other people. 

Truth: Your experience and your emotions matter. YOU matter. 

Myth #2: Therapy is for couples who are on the brink of ending their relationship or divorcing. We aren’t there yet, we can fix this on our own. 

Too many couples buy into this. 

Perhaps conflict in your relationship occurs fairly infrequently currently, yet when it does occur you notice that you and your partner tend to sweep things under the rug and avoid addressing the conflict. You might write this off to a one-time thing, or feel that because it’s infrequent, it won’t matter in the long run. 

However, each time we sweep conflict under the rug or avoid it all together, we are slowly solidifying the pattern of our relationship. This pattern makes it not only more likely that conflict will become more frequent, but potentially also increasingly eruptive and ultimately, more damaging to your bond over time. 

If you happen to notice early in your relationship that you and your partner are conflict avoidant, talk about reaching out to a therapist or a relationship coach so that you can identify effective ways to face conflict together and strengthen your bond and understanding of each other.

Myth #3: If we go to couples counseling we are admitting that our relationship is unhealthy. 

We know from marriage and family researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman that conflict is inevitable in every relationship. What separates “healthy” couples from “unhealthy” couples is what they DO with it. 

The healthiest, happiest, strongest couples are the ones who openly address their differences and find ways of proactively, constructively working through things together. Couples who do this important growth work strengthen their relationships. Couples who seek support for their relationship, and who are open to learning how to communicate and compromise will have more positive outcomes. Investing in their relationships sets them up for success long-term.

Couples who avoid this work, or who allow unresolved conflict to simmer, fester, and become increasingly toxic are inadvertently damaging their relationship. By sweeping things under the rug and not getting help for their relationship, they are increasing the likelihood that their relationship will fail. 

Furthermore, research into couples and family therapy shows that the couples who choose to work together on their relationship sooner rather than later have better outcomes. Any marriage counselor will tell you that it’s much easier to work with a couple who still like, love, and trust each other. 

Couples who wait, ignore problems, and let anger and resentment build up often enter couples counseling on the brink of divorce. There is so much regrettable history between them, so much hurt, and so much damage done that — even with the best marriage counseling — sometimes their relationship is simply too far gone to repair. 

Investing in your marriage sooner rather than later is like taking care of your health: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Myth #4: I’m too busy, whatever I’m dealing with can wait, it will be too expensive, and / or there just isn’t any time. 

When I was in graduate school a common phrase we heard was “What we resist, persists,” and the more I sit with couples and individuals in my office, the more I find this to be true. 

I frequently meet with those that have been “avoiding” therapy by placing it lower and lower on their list of priorities and by the time they’re in my office, they are overwhelmed and exhausted from carrying their distress for so long. 

Often times, these are the individuals who spend a great deal of time taking care of others and rarely make time for themselves or their own needs. Or they are couples with children and stressful careers and aging parents who truly can’t fathom stepping away for an hour for fear of everything falling apart.

Or sometimes people put this off because they’re worried about how much therapy, life coaching or marriage counseling will cost…. Without considering the value investing in themselves will bring to their lives. They’ll spend money on furniture, vacations, or home improvement projects without much thought. But when it comes to investing in their own health and happiness, their success, or in their most cherished relationships… they stop themselves. 

One way to shift this self-limiting perspective is to think about this from the other side. Asking yourself questions like: 

  • “What is the cost of me NOT investing in myself?”
  • “What is the real price of me continuing to feel unhappy, or dissatisfied with my life?”
  •  “What am I losing, long term, by NOT investing in myself, or in my career, or in my marriage?”
  • “How is neglecting myself, my happiness and my relationship impacting my children?”
  • “How is the way I’m currently living impacting my health?”
  •  How much will it cost me — in dollars and cents — if we get divorced, or I never achieve my full earning potential in my career?”

When you put the short-term investment in yourself in context of the costs or benefits to aspects of your life that are genuinely priceless… it changes your perspective.

You Deserve Love, Happiness and Success

I want you to know that I see you, and that your well-being and happiness matters just as much as anyone else’s. You deserve space to cultivate growth and healing; you deserve time to rest and reset. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you don’t have to carry this alone.   

 If you see yourself or your relationship in any of the myths above, my hope for you would be to spend some time reflecting on what is keeping you from this work. 

Remember though, whenever you are working with a coach or a therapist, you aren’t in this work alone. Are there other myths or beliefs you have that keep you from reaching out for support? Comment below and let’s continue this conversation!

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Brittany Stewart, M.A., LMFT-C is a couples counselor, individual therapist, premarital counselor, and a life and relationship coach. She works with her clients to build connected relationships, restore emotional bonds, and grow in their capacity to love others as well as themselves.

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