The best way to avoid abiding by an executed non-compete agreement is to have your attorney look at the agreement, map out its requirements, and look for irregularities.
Many times these types of agreements are written by those who want to impress the reader with their knowledge of legalese, complex sentence structures, and numerous penalties. Courts have found that non-compete agreements that never end are not enforceable. Agreements that prohibit someone from working in any of the fifty states have also been found to be not enforceable.
If the agreement is otherwise without errors, though, you may have to follow it for the limited amount of time that it requires.