Times are changing fast and our lives and careers/businesses are becoming more complex. Sometimes we feel that we are not where we need to be , we are not doing what we are meant to do , we are stagnating in career or business and maybe we need to start over in life. A personal vision statement can help when we don’t have a sense of how things are connected. It can help clarify your whys and can give you a sense of meaning and direction.
What exactly is a personal vision statement?
A personal vision statement is a statement that describes your values, your strengths, and your goals. It can be focused on life or professional goals, and it is intended to orient you toward your long-term dreams. It is a tool to help guide your actions when important decisions have to be made or in particular transition moments.
Successful people frequently review their personal vision statement to get a sense of direction, fulfilment, and to live their days more joyfully.
Why is it important to have a Personal Vision Statement?
Research has shown that a personal vision statement can you pass from a cycle of stress to one of more balance.
When you are in a state of stress, you have no sense of control of what is happening in your life/career and reaction-based behavior. In contrast, when you move into a more balanced state, you have a sense of inner control about what is happening in your life. In a state of balance, you start living a life and a career that is a consequence of decisions that you have made over time. There is logic to it. This still doesn’t mean you have control over the results. There are always external circumstances that still have an impact on you but you will be the the owner of your responses.
Here are 5 specific benefits that come from having a personal vision statement:
1. It becomes easier to make decisions.
If you find yourself in a particular moment of your life or career in which important and complex decisions need to be made, having a personal vision statement can be a compass for you. It will remind you of your inner qualities, values, and purposes that will help you identify the best path for you.
2. It will provide you with a sense of direction.
We, as humans, need to feel that what we are doing (in our lives and work) has meaning. To find motivation for actions, we need to know that what we are doing is worthy and that will drive us somewhere. A personal statement connected to your vision offers to you a sense of where you are going and of what you want to achieve.
3. It helps you determine your long-term and short-term goals.
This sense of direction can be broken down into long-term and short-term goals. After creating your personal statement, you will have a clear long-term goal that will help you set short-term goals and actionable steps to achieve it. The long-term goal will mostly remain stable throughout the years and will inform short-term goals that will change as time passes.
4. It will provide you with motivation during tough times.
When times become hard, it is difficult to maintain motivation and keep doing your job or investing in your personal life with passion. Having a written statement can help you remind yourself of your whys and bring you back on track.
5. It will help you live a balanced life.
A well-written statement contains different aspects of your life both personal and professional, spiritual and day-by-day oriented. Reminding yourself of your statement will help you live a more balanced life.
Essential Components of a personal vision statement?
A personal vision statement should contain:
1. Your interests
What are you passionate about? A vision statement should contain your interests and passions, what you enjoy doing in your free time, and what you would do all day long if you didn’t have to work.
2. Your skills
A well-formed statement should include what you are good at. It can include professional and personal skills based on your personal observations and on feedback received through years from family members, friends, and co-workers.
3. Your values
What are you driven by? A powerful statement informs you about your driving values. They are usually expressed in a general form (such as love, creativity, justice) and are those values without which life (for you) doesn’t make any sense.
4. What the world needs
What does the world need, in your opinion? The answer to this question should definitely be part of your personal statement because it tells something about what is important for you and what can make a difference for everyone.
5. Your goal
If you know who you are, what drives you, and what the world needs, you are ready to identify your life/career goal. This is what Japanese philosophy addresses as ikigai, which is a long-term goal aligned to all the areas above. Your ikigai can provide you with a sense of purpose and direction. Some people call it life’s purpose.
Some questions to ask yourself before drafting your personal vision statement
Creating a personal vision statement can be quite an introspective work.
Reserving 10 minutes of reflection before drafting it can help clarify your ideas and dive faster into the 4-step process you’ll find explained in the next paragraph. Here, you’ll find some important questions to guide your reflection and preparation for the creation of the statement..
What have you done since you were a child that still gives you a lot of satisfaction?
In which activities do you feel fully energized?
What are you good at?
Without which 3-6 values does life make no sense?
What does the world need?
How would you like to be remembered at the end of your days?
According to your previous answers, what could be a life/career goal which makes total sense to you?
Four steps to write your Personal Vision Statement
This is an evidence-based process based on well-known psychologists and researchers (above all: logical levels by Robert Dilts, appreciative inquiry by Positive Psychology, and Bob Proctor’s visioning process).The entire process takes about 40 minutes of reflection. Ideally, all the steps are done together, but breaking reflection into phases won’t inhibit the process.
Step 1: Letter from the future (approximately 15 minutes)
This is a phase in which you can completely let your imagination go and your creativity flow.
Imagine yourself being 80 years old, and having lived a dream life with a dream job or dream business. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and write a letter to the you of today from the you of the future. Describe everything you have accomplished in your personal life and work, how these accomplishments make you feel, and what you are most proud of.
Step 2: List of successes (10 minutes)
What do you define as success? Take time to think of 4 successes in your life. They can be something personal (get married, have a child) or professional (get promoted, find a new job). Ideally, you’ll want to include both. Describe your successes, what you have done to make them become real and why they are relevant to you.
Step 3: Collecting data (8 minutes)
In this step, you need to collect both elements from the letter from the future and the list of successes. Read both again and circle keywords that have to do with the following fields: environment, skills, emotions, beliefs, values, and purpose.
Environment: it refers to everything that has to do with the environment you envisioned (warmth, supportive…).
Skills: they refer to competencies such as problem solving, decision making, creativity, and so on.
Emotions: they relate to the emotional context. You can likely find some emotions described in your letter (joy, satisfaction, etc….).
Beliefs: these are your thoughts expressed in a general way, for example, “when I work hard, I achieve what I want” or “when I ask people they support me.”
Values: they are universal driving values such as love, kindness, justice, and so on.
Purpose: it relates to your mission. You may find it expressed as an answer to the question: how do you want to make a difference in the world?
Step 4: Writing down your vision statement (6 minutes) Now you have all the keywords to write down your personal vision statement. If you are a visual person, you can even create a drawing with these keywords, but it is recommended to have it in a written form too. In order for the vision statement to be effective, it should be as detailed as you can make it. If this is the first time attempting this exercise, it can be challenging to imagine how a statement should be formed. Here you can find some examples from other people's personal vision statements. Please note that these are just samples to offer to you a frame, but your statement should be something connected to your uniqueness. “I want to help children grow in a comfortable and learning environment. This connects me to my empathy and sense of caring. I feel this is something important because children of today are adults of tomorrow, and a happy child becomes a happy adult.” “I want to do research in the legal field. I am driven by a love for knowledge and innate curiosity. What motivates me is knowing that thanks to my research, people will live a more justice-driven life as citizens.” “I want to help sensitive people overcome the fear of speaking through coaching. This is important to me because it makes me feel useful to other people and it connects me to my sensitivity.” Conclusion This article's purpose has been to help orient you to your personal vision statement. After reading this, 3 things are important to keep in mind: 1. Your personal vision statement can change through the years. Be sure to check it from time to time. 2. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Begin with a statement that makes sense to you and you can always make changes if needed. 3. Keep it in a close place and read it from time to time. It will help you stay on track with your goals. If this reading was helpful, take time for yourself and begin the work of self-discovery and future visioning. Engaging in this work will help you live life with clarity and purpose!
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📃 About Vandana Nanda
📖 My Story : The Journey Thus Far
Vandana Nanda, is the Founder and CEO of Winbrand Academy, an Online Personal Branding and Digital Marketing School.
After working in the corporate world with IT and Education companies for over two and a half decades, Vandana decided to venture online in 2020 on a full time basis.
Working online with Time Freedom and Financial freedom has been a long cherished goal for her. Vandana has travelled the world and experienced both extremes of life , going from being a successful corporate executive and a homemaker to being a single parent and bringing up two young children while also focusing on a full time corporate job.
She has been able to bounce back, learn new skills and continue on her path to achieving Financial and Time Freedom. She has made it her mission to achieve financial freedom herself and also help thousands of people across the globe to find financial freedom by doing what they love. Through Winbrand Academy ,she is helping Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Brokers, Authors, Actors, Musicians, Lawyers, Teachers, Industry-Specific Professionals, and of course, people with a specific Passion from around the globe brand themselves.
Vandana’s purpose is to help people brand themselves as Leaders and Authorities in either their specific niche or in whatever their passion is while creating an income doing what they love.