Have you ever stopped and thought about what you really want out of life? What is it that you want to achieve or be? Do you have a clear picture of this in your mind?
Personally, there are so many things that I want to be and achieve in this life. At times it can feel overwhelming. In order to stay focused on what I want to achieve and on who I want to become, I have actively created a vision for my life.
So, who should create a vision? EVERYONE. It benefits people who know what they want out of life AND it benefits people who don’t know what they want.
WHAT IS A VISION?
It’s as simple as it sounds. A vision, in this context, is a picture that a person creates of his or her ideal life. A vision can include things like an individual’s occupation, financial state, emotional state, family life, desired life experiences, et cetera. A life vision is as unique as the person creating it!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
I would argue that this is the most important thing in your life. That’s a strong statement, I know. Whatever is most important to you, loving your family and friends, being the best mother, father, sister, brother, leader, shaker, banana bread baker, sales rep, or tax clerk may be at the top of your list and that’s great! I will argue though, that if you don’t know WHAT you want to create in that area (and in every area) of your life, you’re actually not aiming for anything.
You must start with a vision. For instance, let’s say that the most important thing in your life is being the best mother you can be to your children. What does that mean? Perhaps the best mother is someone who bakes cookies every day, or who lets her children play in the mud and flex their imaginations, or who reads to her children every day. No doubt if you were to ask others what it means to be “the best mother,” you will hear a number of different answers.
If you could paint the picture of the future with your children grown and living on their own, what would you want them to remember of their childhood? What gifts or knowledge do you want to impart on them?
If you have not taken the time to consciously shape and define what you want life to look like or what “success” looks like in each area of your life, you actually don’t know what you are aiming for. You may be going through the motions, or worse, living your life according to someone else’s definitions of “success.”
HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A VISION?
Creating a vision for your life is not easy work. I recommend defining your vision over a period of time. For instance, maybe you set aside 2-3 chunks of 30-60 minutes during the next 2-3 weeks to work towards defining your vision. The recommendation for this approach is twofold. First, it allows you to focus in small increments and make progress over a period of time. Second, it gives you time to digest your thoughts, let them marinate, see what sticks and revise what doesn’t work for you.
Find some quiet time and decide that you are going to spend it on self-reflection.
5 STEPS TO CREATE A VISION
- Start by defining the key categories of your life. The number of categories and the titles of the categories are up to each individual. Call these categories whatever makes the most sense for you.
- Focus on one category at a time.
- Ask yourself some “big picture” questions and capture the emotions that you experience when you answer these questions.
- After you have captured some emotions, ask ”why.” Have a curious mind and see where it leads you.
- Be as specific as possible. Determine what your why means and how to achieve it. Again, this is an individual response. The more specific your definitions are, the richer your vision becomes and the more achievable it becomes.
Let’s try an example below,
- Life Categories:
Love, Family & Relationships
Health & Wellness
Fun & Recreation
- Love, Family & Relationships Category
- Big picture question, “’If nothing got in my way or if there were no obstacles, what would life look like?’
Answer: Life would be joyful
Answer: Life would be joyful because I am fully present with my children.
- Specifically, how would it be joyful?
Answer: I have dedicated blocks of play time with them that is not interrupted by technology or others in any way.
Stay tuned for ways to integrate your life vision into your everyday lifestyle!
Seize the Carp!