The year has ended and now is the season of resolutions, goals, planning, and fresh starts.
Every year I make plans or resolutions at the start of the year and never follow through with them. This year I am determined to change that. So I went on a great google search on tips and tricks on new year resolution, life goals, and planning in general and found this really great exercise/plan named Odessey Plan.
You might have been asked “Where you see yourself in the next 5 years?” question during a job interview. I always found this question very difficult to answer as I don’t know what am I going to eat for lunch and you are asking me what my plans are for the next 5 years.
However, the idea behind this question is really powerful as most people live their lives in real-time without any planning or long-term goals. If you know what you want to do in the next 5 or 10 years you are well ahead in the game compared to other people.
An Odessey Plan is similar to answering the “Where you see yourself in 5 years” question but slightly different.
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans teach a course at Stanford University’s design program. One tool they use with all their students is called the “Odyssey Plan.”
The goal is to map out multiple ways in which your life could unfold. It’s a brainstorm or ideation of how might my life work going forward in 5–10 years.
It’s not like a project plan with tasks and a timeline but it's a very broad view of different possibilities on how your life turns out in different scenarios.
According to the exercise:
You first start with listing three different 5-year plans.
- First is the life that you are currently living. How would your life look like if you continue on the path you are already on.
- Second is the life/path that you will need to live/take if the opportunity to live the first life is suddenly gone.
- The third is the life you can live if money, social status, or image didn’t matter.
Now Give each life a title and questions about each version of your life.
Lastly, rank each life on the spectrum of likeliness, passion, confidence & resources.
You can use this template PDF for the exercise.
I found the idea of this exercise really powerful and planning to create my own Odessey Plan.
Sample Odessey Plan By Mark Gilroy at Snap Leadership