A vision is very different from a goal yet, they are completely dependant on each other. Without vision, your goals can be counterproductive and lead you down the wrong life path. Without goals, you may not be able to reach the destination you are seeking i.e. your vision, and it could go unrealised.
Imagine setting out on a long voyage. Without a clear final destination in your mind, you have no idea what direction to take. You could set off in the hope of getting lucky and ending up at your desired destination, but the chances are, you will end up somewhere random.
Somewhere you didn’t intend to end up. Somewhere you don’t particularly like or want to be.
Is this sounding familiar?
NOW is the time to interrupt this unconscious cycle. It is time to WAKE UP. It is time to gain clarity on the life you truly desire, take stock of all the wonderful things you have already created and to come up with an actionable plan that will help you create positive change.
Here I will be sharing 5 top tips to help you do exactly this. Grab a journal, find a quiet space, make sure no one is going to interrupt you and enjoy.....
Step 1: Reflect
Reflect on all the areas of your life in the last twelve months: career, relationships, health, finances, your environment and creativity.
- What went well and was memorable?
- What were the highlights?
- What were you proud of?
- What were your successes?
- What made you feel good?
- What did you make progress towards?
- What made you feel great in 2019?
- What does success actually mean to you? How are you measuring success?
- Where did you feel any tension?
- What are the areas you wish to develop?
- What change do you want to create?
Once you have journaled on the above, I want you to reflect. Really look at all your answers. Take on board all that you’ve done... Feel into it. Celebrate and acknowledge the successes you have created! Be kind to yourself when thinking about the areas you want to develop.
Step 2: Visualise
In comparison to setting goals, a vision is fluid, creative and emotional. Keep this in mind as you continue on with this exercise.
Take a big inhale. Exhale slowly. Breathe deeply for at least 2 minutes. Ideally 5 minutes. Even better, for 10 minutes. Shut your eyes and breathe.
Once you have calmed your mind and feel relaxed, take yourself forward in time, all the way to twelve months from now.
You find yourself somewhere peaceful, quietly reflecting on the last year. Consider the following questions without limitation, nothing is holding you back.
- How do you feel?
- What emotions are you experiencing?
- Where are you?
- Who are you with?
- What are you proud of?
- What is exciting for you?
- What change have you experienced over the last year?
- How do you feel about your life?
- What is it you are doing?
- What trips or adventures have you had in the last year?
- What desires have come true?
- What milestones have you reached and surpassed?
Focus on the WHAT, not the HOW.
Take your time with this part of the exercise. Chances are, you may find this a little tricky. Allow yourself some creativity and space. Go for a walk. Get into nature. Do some drawing/ painting. Anything that allows your mind to wander. We want you to tap into the emotional side of your brain, not your logical one.
It can be difficult to associate emotions with language so if you do see any visions, any pictures of images in your mind or in your dreams, make a note of them.
Step 3: Create Your Vision
Now in whatever shape or form feels right for you, note down the different things you have heard, seen and felt in the previous step. This can be in a poster, a list, a collage - whatever feels right for you. Have fun with this.
Top tip: images are connected deeply to our emotions and are often a much more accurate representation of our deepest desires than words are. Spend some time collecting images from magazines and create a vision board to represent the future you wish to create. Put it somewhere where you can look at it numerous times a day.
Step 4: Define Your Goals
Goals are the steps you need to take in order to get to your vision. Goals are SMART: Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Relevant- Timebound.
Look at what you have created from step 3. Now I want you to work backwards from that vision.
- What will you need to have done to get you to your vision?
- What action have you taken?
- What milestones have helped you reach your vision?
- What goals will you have achieved?
If your 12-month goal is to be a full-time freelancer supporting yourself independently, what will you need to have done to get you there? Work backwards and break it down.
Step 5: Commit
Whilst you may have found the exercise of defining your vision and goals challenging, what will be even more challenging is executing on them. Your daily habits and state of mind every day ultimately decide if you will reach your vision.
Rome was not built in a day. If you think of each stone that was laid to create the colosseum, you can start to visualise the importance of your daily habits.
It is the consistent laying of every stone, sticking to the plan, making sure you have breaks, working hard, taking action, being kind to yourself, resting and ensuring you don’t’ have injury that helps you reach each milestone.
Check-in with yourself regularly, track where you are against your goals but most importantly BE KIND to yourself. Enjoy the ride. Be present. Be joyful.
Creating this positive state of mind will help you to stay committed to your goals and realise your vision.
When you have a clear vision, suddenly you have a reason and purpose behind all the actions that you are taking. Harness the power of this and use it as motivation.
Practice intention. Believe in yourself. Your dreams are valid.
Sophie Clyde-Smith, The Modern Career Coach, helps professionals to build fulfilling and financially rewarding careers. Whether you want to progress or change your career, build your side-hustle or up-level your business Sophie will help you do so authentically and joyfully.
Sophie also runs the successful event series Modern Career Women and is co-founder of Seasonal Socials, a community and events business for female solopreneurs.
The tips in this article are a condensed version of a 10-step comprehensive vision and goals guide that Sophie has created. If this post resonated with you and you’re keen to take your vision and goals practice to the next level, access Sophie’s full guide here.
With an RRP of £99, our blog readers have access to this guide for FREE for a limited time only (until January 31st 2020).
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