I believe all writers should have a five-year plan. So, it might surprise you that I don’t have one.

Let me explain.

I’ve had a five-year plan for most of my adult life. I had a five-year plan when I was a teenager, too. In fact, I’m pretty sure I even had one when I was in elementary school!

In 2019, I quit my job as an English teacher to be a full-time writerpreneur. Once I resigned, I realized I was standing before a sea of infinite possibilities. and I was overwhelmed. For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a five-year plan – not because I didn’t have any goals but because I had so many goals I didn’t know where to start.

By the end of that year, I had finally put together a plan.  Then cancer happened. And COVID.

The year 2020 burned all my plans to ash.

Now here are I am trying to rise like a phoenix, but it’s a struggle.

Last month the leader of my women’s Bible study group asked us to write ourselves a letter from the woman we want to be 20 years from now. I couldn’t do it. I still can’t. The fear of cancer recurrence blurs any vision of my life and myself 20 years from now.

Ironically, though, this failed exercise urged me to revive and revisit my five-year plan and even made it feel safe to do so. In the face of the daunting task of imagining myself 20 years from now, the five-year plan became a baby step to get me there and suddenly felt much less intimidating.

And as with everything, I’ve turned to writing for help. I’m journaling my way to a vision for my future and a five-year plan to get me there.

Here are five journaling prompts to help inspire your five-year plan:

  • Write about the future life you desire as if it already exists. Begin with It is 2026 and I am so proud of the life I have created. Describe every area of life: work, creative life, health, relationships, spirituality, community service, financial, environment (home, car, other possessions), fun & hobbies.
  • Describe your ideal day. What’s your morning routine? How do you spend your day? What’s your nighttime routine? How do you feel throughout the day?
  • Name your biggest dream — the one you’re afraid to share with others.
  • What measurable goals could you accomplish that would signal you are living your biggest dream?
  • What can you do in the next year to move you closer to your biggest dream? Who can help you? What resources will you need?
  • BONUS: Write a letter to yourself from the woman you want to be in five years.


Have you registered for the 2022 #GoalDigger Workshop? In this workshop, I’ll use journaling prompts and practical tips to help you write a vision for the upcoming year and draft a plan for how to make that vision your reality. The 2022 #GoalDigger Workshop will be held Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m. CT and it’s FREE. Sign up here.