In order to create any type of meaningful change in life we need to know where we want to go, at least have a general direction in mind.
It’s a bit like taking your car for a drive – if you don’t have a destination in mind, you can find yourself miles away and left wondering how you got there. Life can feel like an endless cycle of never really feeling like you’re in the ‘right place’. Perhaps you can relate?
The first step is to get clear on your destination.
Where do you want to go? And this my friends is our Vision. A strong and inspiring vision can keep you committed even when the road gets a bit rough, and when detours spring up along the way (because let’s face it, this is life).
A vision not only helps to guide you forward, but also pumps up your motivation, and reminds you of your ‘Why’ e.g. the reason you started in the first place.
So here are my 5 steps to creating an empowering vision.
Step 1: Decide on a time frame
If the thought of planning 5 years into the future freaks you out, then choose a timescale that works for you. I recommend looking ahead to the next 12 months, and linking this process in with an annual event such as New Years Eve/Day, your birthday, or even the first day of spring!
Step 2: Get clear on your values
What are you driven by?
What do you want more of?
What do you value?
Your values are ultimately what drives you to do what you do.
When we’re living out of alignment with these, we can feel stuck, uneasy and unhappy. A couple of my values are connection, creativity and vitality. This means that I seek out ways to live creatively, and I get inspired by other people’s creative spirit. This value manifests in my writing, my design work and working with client’s. It also manifests in the blogs and books I read.
Additional examples of values include health, strength, courage, peace, friendship, belonging, nature, excitement, passion, community and spirituality. Try and narrow a shortlist down to 5 as your core guiding values.
Step 3: How do you want to feel?
Rather than focusing on the things you want, instead ask yourself ‘how do you want to feel?’
Ultimately we accumulate things in our lives e.g. new shoes, cars, houses, new gadgets, etc to feel a certain way. Unfortunately when we get these things, we don’t always feel like we thought we would, and/or the feeling wears off pretty quickly.
So get clear on how you want to feel in 12 months’ time. There may be overlap with your values (totally ok), but there may be additional feelings that come up. For example you may want to feel energised, refreshed, alive, independent, confident, strong, etc
Step 4: Get clear on your ‘Why’?
Why do you want it?
What will this vision enable you to have?
What does feeling connected mean?
What does feeling energised mean to you?
What will be different in your life?
Sit down and explore your why. Feeling more connected may mean spending more time with your family or making new friends and going dancing on a Saturday night. Feeling more connected could also mean shopping in your local community and heading down the weekend Farmers Markets. This is when we start to get ‘real’ – how your vision show up in your life.
Step 5: Get visual with your vision
Now it’s time to put it all together and create your vision in visual format. Bring together your time frame, your values, your desired feelings and your why’s. What does this look like for you? What will you be doing in 12 months’ time? Where will you be?
Some of my clients prefer creating their vision in written format and writing in a journal, or on an A4 sheet and framing it.
Personally I’m a big fan of a more visual approach, and I love chopping up old magazines and finding images which reflect my vision. Once I have these images I then glue or pin them up on a pin-board.
The aim is for your vision to feel motivating, inspiring and uplifting. Excited about your direction.
Another option if hands-on isn’t your thing is Pinterest, where you get to create a ‘board’ in the virtual world.
What comes next?
Once you have your vision for the next 12 months, it’s now time to get clear on the actions and behaviours you need to be doing to reach it.
What needs to change?
What do you need to stop doing, and start doing?
A useful time frame is to look to the next 3 months and focus on 5 goals.
For example, if you’re vision is to feel energised in 12 months, what can you change over the next 3 months? This could include looking at your sleep, assessing your technology use before bed, reducing excess sugar intake or looking at ways to reduce stress.
From here, you can get even more specific and start breaking down the next 3 months into weekly SMART goals. You could for example set yourself a goal to be in bed by 10.30pm on week nights.
Goals are like stepping stones leading you from where you are to where you want to go. And linking your goals to an empowering vision means you’ll be confident you’ll be heading in the right direction.