According to Bob Proctor, “Most people are not going after what they want. They’re going after what they think they can get”. Are you thinking big enough? Did you create a vision to inspire and goals to keep you on track?
Goals are important because they keep you focused and on track. But a list of goals will rarely create excitement that propels us into action. They are measures that feel like a ‘to do’ list and often lack emotion. So before you start setting personal and business goals, create a vision for your life.
Your Picture of the Future
Your vision is a picture of the future YOU create with your imagination. It’s the WHY behind everything you do. It brings together all the elements of your life – family, relationships, financial, business, spiritual, health, and community. It speaks to you. You can see it and feel it.
And, because your vision is sometime in the future, it allows you to THINK BIGGER. Your practical nature and inhibitions don’t act like a road block that produce little, safe goals.
So how far in the future should your vision be? There is no right or wrong answer here. Some people prefer to look at their lifetime, while others choose a shorter period of time. I use and recommend a 5 year period. It’s far enough in the future to encourage big thinking, but close enough to keep you motivated and driven.
So ask yourself this question, “What would I like my life to look like in 5 years?”
Okay, not an easy question. Many small business owners struggle with this. It’s often difficult to think big and beyond the next week or month when you are so engaged in the day-to-day running of your business.
Exercises to Help Create a Vision
Below are some simple, but not necessarily easy, exercises that can help you create a clear internal image for your future direction. Pick one or do both of them.
Can’t Stand / Want Instead Approach. Sometimes it helps if you start with the easy part. What you don’t like about your life right now. On the left side, make a list of all the things that you’re unhappy with at work, at home, in your community, or in your relationships. On the right side, flip these around, and record how these circumstances would look IF they were working for you. Here’s an example. Can’t Stand: Not spending enough time with my family. Want Instead: A business (or job) that allows me to spend most evenings and weekends with my spouse and children.
Everything I’ve Ever Wanted Approach (101 Things I Want to Be-Do-Have Before I Die). This approach is very popular and was reinforced in the movie, The Bucket List. Make your own bucket list. Write down every dream or wish that ever entered your mind. Do not worry about how you will get there. Don’t let time, money, family responsibilities or current situations become a road block. Simply let your imagination run wild and create a list of things that you would like to BE, DO, HAVE or ACCOMPLISH during your lifetime.
Now Craft Your Vision
- Pick a specific date 5 years from today
- Write down YOUR accomplishments for this period as if already accomplished (present tense). Remember to address accomplishments in all areas of your life: financial, business, relationships, family, health, spiritual, community and personal.
- Be specific so you can measure progress, but give it a lot of stretch. It’s 5 years away. If it does not make you a little nervous, you may be thinking too small!
- Build in some emotion. Write down how you FEEL about what you accomplished and why they are important to you. What you are grateful for with your new life.
Now for the litmus test. Does your vision excite and inspire you? Keep it accessible and view it often. Want to make it more powerful? Add a vision board … a collection of pictures and words that represent your future life – your dreams, goals, and accomplishments.
You are now ready to set your goals for the coming year. Make them SMART and align them with your vision.
Need some help and ideas with setting goals and developing your action plan? Then check out my Ultimate Goals and Action Plan Guide. It’s a step-by-step system for planning your success this year.
Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?
Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com