5 Year Plan? Pah! Create a 70 Year Plan with Simon Jarvis

Posted by | February 8, 2018 | Find your mission, How I got my dream job, How to change jobs, Work tips

We’ve all heard of 5 Year Plans, but how many people actually have one? If you’re looking for inspiration to set long-term goals, we have just the thing. Create a 70 Year Plan with Simon Jarvis and work towards sustainable fulfilment. 

5 Year Plan? Pah!  Experience has shown I’m more likely to book a trip to India on a whim or change my entire career trajectory after seeing an awesome job on Do Good Jobs.

To be honest, 5 Year Plans have always sounded like the dementors of personal development. I love achieving goals, but committing to 5 years worth of them? Sounds boring and potentially soul-destroying. 

However, my perspective recently changed after I asked Simon Jarvis about his 5 Year Plan. He said, “Oh, I don’t have one. But I do have a 70 Year Plan.” 

Simon Jarvis always gets sh*t done. He’s a designer, developer, data scientist and digital marketer who’s contributed to Conscious Consumers, OS//OS, and Lifehack. He’s passionate about data, internet and data privacy and data security.  Outside of work, you’ll likely find Simon cycling, running or on some outdoorsy adventure. (full disclaimer: he’s also my significant other.)

I needed to know more about this 70 Year Plan, and after asking Simon lots of questions, I got inspired to make my own. Perhaps you will too.

Looking to revolutionise your goals? Forget Dementors, follow your Patronus Charm with Simon’s advice on how to create a 70 Year Plan.

Simon Jarvis.

















#1 What inspired you to create a 70 Year Plan?

I was 20. I realised that people seem to plan in chunks: 3-4 years, then another 3-4 years. So instead of thinking about singular steps, I started thinking about what I want my impact on the world to be and what I can be proud of.

If you see your life as a novel, what does that story arc look like? You’ll be rewriting it constantly, but the beauty is in seeing the details that will make you feel accomplished.

At the end of my life I want to feel that I’ve done something meaningful. I worked out how to plan for this when I’m constantly redefining what ‘meaning’ means.


#2 What IS a 70 Year Plan?

Making a 70 Year Plan is about thinking about where you want to be at the end of your life and then looking at how you can get there, on a macro level.

It’s about taking stock of where you’ve come from, then planning for the future. This sounds like most planning, but it’s a bit different…  


#3 How do you make one?

Making my plan took lots of drawing. Thinking about the concept of happiness, fulfilment, success, how I want to feel or see myself at the end of my life.

Sit down with a big piece of paper, and draw everything that comes to mind when you think about your life. Draw family, draw friends, draw work, draw spirituality, draw your life. This is supposed to be somewhat of an overwhelming exercise, if not to help you plan for the future holistically, then to help you see how full and complex life is.


#4 How do you implement a 70 Year Plan?

After you’ve created an initial plan you need to write your plan down and check in with it regularly.

I check in with my plan every 2-3 months or so and make weekly goals. It’s important to have a grasp on smaller goals and how smaller steps can push you in the right direction. Make sure all your goals are SMART.

I use a few different tools and methods to track my goals, including:

  • A free spreadsheet called Dreamline,
  • A personal Google Drive spreadsheet I created.
  • Love a paper diary!
  • A good to-do app. Todoist does it for me.


#5 How does using it influence your life?

It’s hard for people to think long-term. That’s why making a 70 Year Plan can be such a valuable exercise: by doing it regularly, you’ll eventually start thinking about the long-term in your daily life.

If you check in with your goals regularly, you can see what changes and what stays the same. For example, the destination you want to go to may change, but you always want to travel somewhere.


#6 What’s on your 70 Year Plan?

My goals are:

  • Published author
  • Extensive travel
  • My own family
  • Freedom to innovate
  • Further study, to the level of a PhD
  • Mortgage-free home
  • Contribute meaningfully to society
  • Retirement savings to live comfortably

Note, that your goals will change quite a lot over the years and that they’ll be dotted along the 70 years, not just at the end.


#7 What advice would you give to someone making their own 70 Year Plan?

Figure out what you really want. It’s important to put your most intimate desires out there. Don’t hold things back. Otherwise, your 70 Year Plan becomes representative of who you think you should be, not who you truly want to be.


There we have it: Simon’s advice for creating a plan for what’s REALLY important. Have you made a 5 Year Plan or a 70 Year Plan? Share your experience or tips below.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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