Setting 10 Year Goals When You Can Barely Plan Next Week

At my grandma’s funeral, there were lots of tears and lots of laughs. We shared beautiful memories and shoulders to cry on. She was 91, she had as big of humor as she had heart, and she did life her way.  

While I looked around at the church where her service was held, three things really struck me:

1. 64 of the 66 of us from her family made it to the middle of Montana from all over the world with 4 days notice.  She had cultivated relationships with all of us, she had prioritized family, and therefore we prioritized her, even in her passing.

This closeness transcends into all of our relationships, even if we disagree and live completely different lives, we love each other deeply.  It’s taught me to always aim to understand rather than judge, because we are all indeed one big family.

2. Her faith was so strong, that I could almost feel her version of heaven in the room.  She was devoted to god.  In fact, one Sunday morning my sisters were hanging out with my grandma, who was getting ready for church, and my sister Hannah said, “come on grandma stay and hang out with us, what could be more important than time with your family?”  To which my grandma replied, “god.”

Whatever our spiritual beliefs are, having faith in the divine, or the universe, or ourselves, is a huge blessing in life.  But it also takes cultivation and space for that practice, so if we want to hear the voice of god, or be more in tune with our inner guidance, we have to prioritize it, like my grandma did.

3. We buried my grandma on my grandfather’s birthday.  He was the love of her life, and it felt like a huge cosmic gift to be giving her back to him.  He died over 30 years earlier and yet was ever present in her life.

That kind of love is so beautiful and everlasting.  And . . . it takes work, not just work in the relationship, but work on ourselves to evolve and grow when we are met with obstacles together.  

I’ve been so inspired by these parts of my grandma’s life and passing, and as I think about my own mortality I see there are ways in which I would love my ending days to look: healthy, vibrant, full of family and friends, feeling connected to the divine, feeling like I made a positive impact on the world, having my sweet husband by my side (either physically or metaphorically), and being able to look back and say I really enjoyed the heck out of life.

Recently I’ve had a few people from our Dreambook community ask me why we put such long-term goal setting in a year-long planning book.  They shared that it felt very difficult to have any real goals for that far away when life is so unpredictable, and some even said that they felt so stuck on this that they couldn’t move forward with the rest of the work in the book.  

I totally get it.  

Setting goals for any amount of time in the future, 3 months, 6 months or even a year takes practice.  We are able to get better and better at envisioning a future, the more we just do it. So if it’s something that seems unnatural to you, know that that is totally normal, and continually trying is the only way to really get “better” at it.

If 10-year goals or lifetime goals freeze you, then wait on them.  10 years and your lifetime will be there later and there is no reason to beat yourself up for not getting them down on paper. And if you want to dabble in them, you can just use it as practice and fantasize about whatever you might consider fun to have in that time.

However, we include setting these goals in a one year planner with the intention of considering life holistically.  For me, most of my 10 year and lifetime goals are less specific and more related to the closeness of my community and family and how I want to feel in my body.  They are goals that don’t happen overnight, and that what I do this year and every year greatly affect.

If we don’t consider that we are going to age, and things are going to change, then when we get to that moment in time, we may have regrets that we didn’t take better care of ourselves, or that we didn’t spend as much time with our families, or that we made no space in our life for magic.

So instead of getting 10 years in the future or to the end of life and wishing for the past to be different, we encourage people to imagine the ideal for that time and then put some things in place now to support that ideal future.

This same logic can be applied to 3 year and 1 year goals as well if you don’t feel like you have specific concrete goals in mind either because you just aren’t clear yet, or because your life is in such flux that it would be hard to imagine.  Instead, imagine how you want to feel in the different areas of your life, and then be open to circumstances falling in place to support your most ideal experience — whether that experience is one year, 10 years, or a lifetime away.

Wishing you the most exceptional life you can imagine.



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17 thoughts on “Setting 10 Year Goals When You Can Barely Plan Next Week

  1. I find a helpful thing to remember is this: a plan has the shelf life of cottage cheese. Even with a one-year plan, if you get to the end of the year and it hasn’t been edited, changed, scribbled on, you haven’t been paying attention to it. And I really like your advice on long-term goals — think big picture, general outcome. That’s not too difficult, and those goals can help shape more detailed, short-term plans.

    1. Thanks Papa! I love that idea of the plan being edited and scribbled on – feels so real.

  2. I loved this, Briana. What a perfect illustration to explain the flow of long term goals. Beautiful.

    1. Thank you Sally!

  3. My 86 year old father said, “If I knew I would live this long I would have taken better care of my body.”

    Briana, I am thankful to observe and be part of your teaching changing individuals, community, country and the world.

    Thanks for the tips on “feelings” when planning and dreaming.

    1. thank you Susan.
      I love that quote from your father!

  4. Reading this really brought to surface for me the question of what I want in life. I keep thinking 5 years in advance but my life’s is in such flux that it has been really hard the last 4 years to make concrete plans. I want to move back east for family but I have one family member here locally that I just can’t leave behind yet. Although when I think of meeting someone like a life partner, falling in love, then I feel like i would have no problem staying right where I am. So the thing missing is daily family life. How to write and plan for this in my goal setting is very difficult. I am beginning to realize now in my 40’s why people don’t want to be alone. I don’t “need” a romantic life partner, but either that or lots of family very close by. How to build that into my goal setting is the question I live in my current life everyday. Thank you for posting this.

    1. You’re welcome.

      I wonder if you could feel into the experience that either a partner or lots of family would create for you and set having that feeling regularly be a 5 or 10 year goal. That way you can follow the experiences that will bring you there while also being clear that that’s where you’re headed.


  5. I am so glad you took the time to write this and that I finally had a chance to read it. I never realized how I use to plan my life until I was done hitting the “milestones” and one day realized I wasn’t sure what I was living for now. It is harder to plan dreams when they aren’t hinged to expectations, but it also becomes more freeing. I’m really looking forward to my new planner and trying it out with the group. Thank you!

    1. Yay!! So glad you’re joining us.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful planner and the support you provide with it! I re commend it to all of my “clients” as I know it will prove beneficial to them in multiple ways! Know you are appreciated and are truly making a beautiful difference in the world! Blessings!💜

  7. I love this! Writing out my long term goals and planning my months and projects out in my planner is what ultimately gave me the push and dedication to purchase the business that I have now owned for 4 months. This dreambook and planner has been a true gift to myself and my future. Thank you for creating it!

    1. How wonderful!! Thank you for sharing.

  8. This is my first time to the site, having watched a FB ad and thinking “let’s just check this out.” I didn’t expect this – a site that was way more than a place to buy a planner. Lucky to have found this article because never before have I thought of long-term goals that way. This article stoked a fire in my belly, a dormant, forgotten fire.
    Thank you. (promise to check out the planners, too!!)

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your feedback – and I love that your fire is stoked!!!

    2. This is SO MUCH MORE than just a planner! It’s more like a way of life. There is a huge, supportive community on FB, we have a pen pal group, a book club and lots of other amazing stuff. They have toher amazing books like Rituals for Tansformation and The Well Life, too.

  9. I am finding the Dreambook Planner and Rituals for Transformation so helpful! It’s helping me to take control and be the person I want to be, that I’ve always been, that has been waiting for me to wake up. Many thanks and a lot of gratitude for this and what I do have in my life now.

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