The ABC’s of a Life Vision: from Dreaming to Achieving
“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” ~ Jonathan Swift
Have you ever been encouraged to put your dreams “out there” and let the Universe bring them to you? That’s a common coaching practice today. While I agree there are benefits from positive thinking, achieving your life vision is not as simple as waiting for someone or something else to deliver your dreams to you on a platter.
We can’t expect things to just happen without us having to do any hard emotional or physical work to get it. Where is the self-satisfaction and self-esteem in that? We grow as we see ourselves doing what we didn’t think was possible. (Examples of a little victory and a huge victory.)
Over time, I’ve noticed that I consistently use the same specific steps to turn my life vision into reality. I call them my Life Vision ABC’s. Be sure to give yourself plenty of creative time and space to work on this project. You won’t be able to do it justice in one day.
Life Vision ABC’s
Assess. Reflect on how far you’ve come in your life; in the past decade; in the past year. This will give you strength and reassurance that YOU CAN SO THIS! Write out all of your victories, no matter how small, and celebrate them!
Brainstorm. Put yourself in a relaxed, creative space and capture all of your dreams, thoughts, and possibilities on paper. Be intentionally vague at this point so you get them down quickly and none of them escape. Now evaluate the likelihood of accomplishing each item this year, long-term, or never.
Categorize. There are many aspects to our lives, and if one is out of balance it makes it impossible to follow through on your life vision. I recommend you classify each item on your list according to the following suggestions. This will help you identify what you can add or remove to make a well-rounded life vision. (My Wellness Assessment can really help at this stage.)
- Spirituality – what gives meaning to your life.
- Relationships – intimate or casual interaction with others.
- Environment – external elements that affect your well-being.
- Health & Fitness – nutrition, exercise, sleep.
- Restorative Rest – relaxing with a purpose.
- Emotional Awareness – how emotions create body sensations.
- Personal Growth & Development – learn about how you fit in the world.
- Career & Professional Development – develop greater leadership skills.
But wait, there’s more to this so don’t miss out on D, E and F below.
Develop. Turn your list into intentions that keep you inspired. Make sure each one encompasses all of your desired outcomes within each specific category. Do this as if you look and feel like it has already been realized. For example, under Health and Fitness, you might create this intention:
“I mindfully look for ways to nurture my health and fitness, so I’m filled with abundant energy, purpose and zest for life all day long. I love the way I look and feel!”
Once each category has a vision intention, combine them into one all-encompassing sentence for the year.
Now stop for a few days to firmly set the intention(s) in your mind. Notice how you subconsciously become more aware of opportunities and resources you might use to achieve your dreams.
Extend. This is where you get very detailed about what you will extend, bringing your best self forward. Give each intention its own sheet of paper and create an Action Plan by listing all of your specific goals, baby steps, and strategies needed to achieve the intention. Add “finish by dates” to as many as you possibly can. The previous example of an intention could consist of many strategies. One Action Plan goal with strategy may include:
To add more exercise, I like walking. My goal is to walk 10,000 steps every day.
To achieve this, I will use these strategies…
- take the stairs instead of elevators;
- park in the farthest corner of any parking lot;
- set my alarm to wake up 30 minutes early;
- layout my walking outfit and shoes every night;
- mindfully refresh my intention before I go to sleep;
- record my progress in my journal;
- challenge myself to increase the distance I cover during the allotted time;
- check in with an accountability partner (Perhaps me?)
Notice I break the intention into small, manageable goals. The key is to establish systems, micro-habits and rituals that support your intention. Please avoid taking huge, dramatic actions. Be cautious of overestimating what you can do short-term and underestimating what you can do long-term.
Follow Through. To keep long-term momentum, revisit your Action Plan often. This is where your accountability partner can help you stay on track.
If you need a huge boost, consider joining our 3rd annual Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat. Yes, it’s almost a year away, which gives you time to dream your big dreams and create a rough draft of what you really want to accomplish with your life. We’ll help you refine it, get past the rough patches, and finally achieve it!
Habits and Routines, Personal Growth - Professional Growth, vision