- the ability to think or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
- a mental image of what the future will or could be like.
If the concept of ‘vision’ is new to you open up Google, search for ‘vision statement’ and pick from the 8,590,000 search results of generic information.
If you’re more interested in a quick revision of what vision statements are but more importantly some actionable information on creating your own motivating personal vision statement as part of your lifestyle design toolkit then read on.
A Quick Re(vision)!
Your personal vision is how you see yourself in the future. In a lifestyle design context, it is a detailed visualisation of how your desired life looks at a point in the future. By understanding what you want, you can propel yourself forward with useful actions, behaviours and thoughts to achieve your ideal life. As Stephen Covey would say, ‘Always begin with the end in mind!”
Mark Twain was a much better writer than I will ever be, so I will let him explain the importance of vision:
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want. Once you are crystal clear about the intended end result that you seek to produce, all the ways that it can become a done deal start to reveal themselves to you. There are many who have accomplished exactly what you want to achieve and could show you the way. You are not ready to ask them because you are not clear and you have not determined which questions need answers.
Your Personal Vision Statement
Your personal vision statement is a written description of your future desired life as visualised by your mind’s eye. Despite what some will tell you there is no ‘correct’ format or length although the more detailed and specific your vision is, the more connected to you it will be.
A stronger connection to your vision statement significantly increases its power as a tool for manifesting your future outcomes through your thoughts and actions.
Personally I like to type mine in a Word document and make it as detailed as possible. My personal vision statement is the very first thing that I read at the start of my weekly review and planning session each Sunday.
Your vision statement should also cover the important areas of your life. Here are some suggestions for what these areas may be:
- Values and Beliefs.
- Habits to develop.
- Self Development.
- Living location.
- Health and Wellbeing.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here is a list of some useful questions to ask yourself as you develop your personal vision statement:
- What are the things that I really enjoy?
- What brings me happinesss/joy?
- What were the two best moments of my past week?
- What are three things that I would do if I won the lottery?
- What are the issues and causes that I care deeply about?
- What are my most important values?
- What are the things that I do at the good-to-excellent level?
- What are the things that I’d like to stop doing or do as little as possible?
To help you answer “What are my most important values?” subscribe on the right hand side to Uncork Your Mind’s monthly newsletter and receive free access to this month’s ‘Understand Your Values’ coaching activity.
Mission Statement Vs Vision Statement
In my thirteen years as an Army officer I wrote a lot of mission statements for military tactical operations. In the Army the mission is a concise one sentence statement with the key ingredients of “who, what, when, where and why.” The same formula is relevant for writing a personal mission statement and will be further explored in a future post.
In essence, the mission statement ‘operationalises’ your vision. By this I mean that your mission statement provides a concise platform to align your thoughts and actions to your personal vision statement.
Where a mission statement is an easily remembered one sentence statement that intentionally omits the detail, a vision statement is a full description of your desired future as visualised by your mind’s eye.
Your Next Action!
Now that you have revised yourself in what a personal vision statement is, use the focus areas and prompting questions above and WRITE YOUR PERSONAL VISION STATEMENT. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant (thanks to Abdul Kalam, the 11th president of India for this great quote!)
P.S. It can also be useful to turn your personal vision statement into a vision board or vice versa. Read my post on creating a lifestyle design vision board to learn more about the power of visual cues for creating your desired lifestyle.
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