It’s a new year. A chance for a fresh start. I don’t know what it is about starting a new year, but it just makes me excited to try out new things and put some new desires into action. But at times it feels overwhelming to know where to go or what to do. I shared some of what was on my mind about the new year in this post.
Today, I am sharing some of what I know and have learned from experience and others about casting a vision for yourself. So, why should you care about a vision? Well, a vision sets the stage for meeting your goals and desires in the new year. A vision answers the why of the actions that you do and the goals that you make. Making a vision is painting a picture of what you want your life and priorities to look like as you move forward.
I don’t want to be one of those people that makes a new year’s resolution and then abandons it after a week, so I am setting myself up for success in meeting my desires. I recently read the fantastic book, The 12 Week Year, and they share about the power of leading your goals with a vision for what you want. I will reflect on and use some of the insights from the book as I share how to make a vision for yourself.
“Nothing great is ever accomplished without first being preceded by a big vision.” David Moran and Michael Lennington (from The 12 Week Year)
Let’s talk about how to paint that picture. One of the most important things about painting that picture to move forward is spending the necessary time. If you have read my posts before, you know I am all about setting the stage. And that’s what you need to do. Take some time by yourself at a coffee shop or at home time with that pad of paper or your computer. Or you may even wish to do it alongside a friend for accountability sake. If you are a Christian and believe that God directs you vision and calling take some time to pray and commit your time to Him and ask for wisdom as you move forward. It takes time to develop a vision, but the picture you paint will set the stage for the future.
Determine where your values and priorities are: When it comes to understanding and clarifying your vision for the future, a number of coaches including, Chris McCluskey talk about the importance of looking at your values. (Check out the podcast, coaches Chris McCluskey and Kim Avery do on casting your vision.) List your top 5 values/priorities when it comes to living out your life in action. As you think about your values, answer the question: What are the 5 most important things in your life moving forward? As you work through this, it may be helpful for you to look at a list of values like here or you can write phrases, words, things, and people that are most important to you.
Next, look off into the future, think about 3 years and 1 year from now. Ask yourself the following questions for those time frames: what do you want life to look like? What do you love and dream about that you want to play out during that time? What people and things do you want to take up your time? What impact do you want to have? Spend some time thinking about it, but if you find yourself getting overwhelmed take a break or wrap it up with what you have. Summarize your vision in a few sentences.
Now, paint your picture for the next 12 weeks: What are your priorities going to be? What does your ideal day look like? If you could have anything you wanted in regard to _______________, what would it be? (marriage, relationships, family life, career, spiritual life) What is your calling for this time frame in your life? Feel free to mix and match questions to help get that bigger picture. As you look, at your vision it’s important to have ideas and dreams that stretch you and make you a little bit uncomfortable. Summarize this vision in a few sentences.
Now you are on your way to developing a vivid plan for what you want the next 12 weeks to look like. As I close, I want to leave you with some important actions outlined in The 12 Week Year, 1)Share your vision with others, whether a spouse, close friend, or family member 2) Stay present with it by reading through it once a week or even every day, 3)Keep track of your progress in it. You may also want to make that vision statement more visual by making it into a vision board. I talk about how to do that in this post.
Next week, I will delve into translating that painted picture into a mapped out plan for the next 12 weeks that will make your desires possible.