5 Steps to Writing Your Personal Vision Statement
I was working with a client recently and thinking how easy it is to stray off topic. I think of them as squirrel moments. We think about a small detail of an issue and get wrapped up into it. We can get so engrossed about a detail, we forget the big picture.
It can lead us to treating symptoms instead of looking for solutions to solve actual problems. It’s kind of like going to the doctor for heartburn and indigestion and the doc prescribing you an antacid. Sure, your symptoms may dissipate for a while, but the real problem is still there… the cause of the indigestion and heartburn. If you identify the cause of the problem (maybe it’s intolerance to food, an abnormality in the digestion system, or something else specific) you can find a solution that treats the problem (maybe surgery, eliminating food, or some other medical miracle), not just the symptoms.
For us, as individuals growing successful businesses, it’s helpful to look at the big picture. That big picture might be your vision for your business or life. From there, we look at creating pathways to get there. Today, I’m encouraging you to get clear on your vision with a short exercise.
Step 1: Infinite and Bountiful Universe
The first step to creating your vision is understanding there are no limits to how big you can dream. Your vision isn’t about what you’re able to do right now or where you are in your business or life at this very moment. Rather, your vision is about what you want to accomplish with your life and business. It’s okay to dream big and have fantastic goals. You don’t even need to know how to reach your goals when creating a vision. Mapping out a plan comes later. For now, simply open your mind to the idea that anything you want to accomplish is possible.
Step 2: The Big Question
Your vision is about the end goal. What I mean by end goal, I mean the place you want to end up when you’ve accomplished all you’ve dreamed you could accomplish. Don’t shy away from taking your vision to the very end and committing to it. Your commitment makes your vision all the more powerful. At the same time, keep in mind that your vision is organic. Life changes. You change and grow as you progress through life. As a result, your vision today may not be your vision 3 years down the road or even tomorrow. You may even find that you outgrow your vision.
For now, look out into the distant future. Then answer this question:
What do you want your life and business to look like?
You don’t have to put a time frame around it. You can realize your dream at any time in your life. For now, try to form a picture around it. You might even want to close your eyes and envision what you’re doing, seeing, feeling.
Step 3: There are no obstacles
How big is your vision? Is it big enough to give you anxiety or challenge you to excel. If not, consider thinking bigger. Remember… the universe is infinite and bountiful. Shoot for the moon or some distant star. Trust me… the universe is big enough to hold your vision. It’s up to you to give life to it. This time dig deeper. Don’t let “if only” or circumstances hold you back. Ask yourself:
If there were no obstacles, what would you achieve?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to know how your vision will come to be. The how will come later as your vision speaks to you and you start to seek it. For now, tune into your vision and let opportunities greet you and the paths clear themselves for you.
Step 4: Make it Real
It’s easy to say “it sure would be nice if…” you fill the blank and never work toward whatever it would be nice to achieve. I call those fleeting thoughts with little merit. To turn those thoughts into a vision that’s just on the horizon, give it some substance. Make it matter to you in a way that not achieving it would be a catastrophe. Turn your vision into something missing from your life that you have to achieve to fulfill your life purpose. Ask yourself:
What would it mean to you to realize your vision?
I hope when you dig deep and arrive at your answer that it touches mentally, emotional, and spiritually. Hold on to that feeling and let it guide you toward making your vision happen.
Step 5: Become a Nurturer
Ever have a goal that puttered out? You were going strong and then maybe you skipped a day working on it or forgot and the goal just died? The same can happen to this wonderful vision you just created if you don’t take steps to keep it in the forefront. People have different techniques for keeping a goal or vision in mind. Some create vision boards, so they have visual reminders of what they want to achieve. Some people journal about where they’re heading and how they’re getting there. Others join support groups, so others can help then on the journey, while encouraging others to do the same. Find a method that works for you.
How will you keep your dream in the forefront?
How you go about nurturing your vision is up to you. However, I highly encourage you to find a method that is consistent and provides the support you need to stay on task.
When you have a clear vision, you’re able to identify when your actions are leading you away or toward your vision. As you start, run, and work on growing your business, look at the day-to-day activities you’re doing and ask yourself… How are these activities helping me reach my goals? When you do a true assessments, you may find that many of your activities are nothing more than busy work, keeping you from your goals of creating a successful, health business. Identify those busy-work tasks and look for ways to eliminate them or even consider outsourcing them, so you can concentrate on the aspects of your business that truly make a difference.
Feel free to share your vision in the comments.