To quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, lose weight and do exercises daily, or go to bed earlier. Does any of these sound familiar? Have you tried keeping them for more than a week? Making New Year’s resolutions can be fun or just a drag, some of us take it seriously and some don’t. And even if we try our hardest to keep our promises somehow or other soon enough we can manage to find some excuses for not seeing them through.
A New Year and with it a new beginning is coming, it might be the best time to answer some questions like “how can I make 2020 better than this one was?” “How do I want to live in the next decade?”
Speaking the truth these kind of resolutions never worked for me, but I’m sure there are many of you who strive when it comes of accomplishing individual goals. For those who were struggling with these like me, I share the little secret I found out. Setting individual goals are not enough and not strong enough to keep someone from reverting back to old habits. We need to see the big picture to put all those smaller goals in place until that those goals are just hanging in the air without support, and that support can be a vision. Imagine this like peaces of a puzzle. If you don’t see the whole picture it is much harder to put them together.
Why do we need a vision?
At first I thought having one’s vision is for those with big dreams and goals who simply want to earn a lot of money and make the world a better place. But I was wrong. Everybody needs a vision, but of course that vision can change over time as we improve ourselves and see our true nature much clearly we can adjust that vision to our newfound self awareness.
What is a vision? According to the Oxford dictionary it is “the ability to see; the area that you can see from a particular position”, which is true since we want to see clearly all those areas that we want to improve and then “the ability to think about or plan the future with great imagination and intelligence”. A vision can inspire you to become your better self, it can give you the motivation to see things through and while in the process you can basically enjoy the ride without the hassle of not knowing what to do next.
Here is an example, let’s take Average Joe, he is a nice guy, but has issues finding a partner and landing the job he wants, plus the scales are showing some over the average numbers. With all those goals in mind, he decides to change for the better in all the areas of his life, so that he can live the life he always wanted. The set deadline is in three years from now. Now that time-frame is not too long and not too short, perfect for long-term goals and gives enough space to create the perfect lifestyle he wants. What do you think, he will be able to change his life? Of course, he can actually redesign his daily habits, learn new skills, get out of his comfort zone and learn new thought patterns. And this can eventually lead him to live a better life.
Changing our lives can be scary as well as exciting, the secret is not to rush. Take one tiny step at a time. We don’t need to squeeze ourselves for the sake of our goals especially if there is no supporting idea behind them, then what for? But first let’s find that vision.
How about we do a little exercise?
It is nothing serious just imagine yourself in three years. Don’t think about it, because then your thoughts get the better out of this dream and they will limit you, because the dream you want to fulfill is mainly out of the reach of your current thinking, you will need to upgrade that, too. Just use your imagination and see:
- Where are you?
- What clothes do you wear?
- What season is it?
- What do you do?
- What are you doing at the moment?
- How do you feel?
- Does this vision feel right to you? Is it how you would like to live in the future?
Usually what comes first in your mind is the right thing. If you read my previous post, then I’m sure you are already familiar with the little voice in your head. Listen to that voice, your wisdom, because it will tell you If this is something that is truly good for you or not.
There are many books, different exercises and training to help you find your way, for example:
- Life Visioning by Michael Beckwith
- Lifebook by Jon & Missy Butcher
I deliberately didn’t write about finding our purpose, because I think it can be that we have one big goal in our life what we can pursue; or we can have several smaller goals that will add up to something greater; or we simply didn’t have a set type of career/goals that we want to follow thorough our lives, but that doesn’t mean those who doesn’t have a purpose, can not have a vision for their lives.
I can already see the distaste on some of the faces reading this post when it comes to planning and deadlines and almost hear the objection, but “what will happen to spontaneity then?” Not much. Planning is just going to reduce the chances of us making bad business decisions or choosing the wrong person for the wrong reasons. But if you have your map written down, then it’s more likely to reach your goal.
- Plan you next three years: 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year
- Then, as you can see now the big picture, plan the first year in more detail: you can break it into monthly goals – I wouldn’t create weekly plans, because if you slip out of a single deadline then it is unlikely you will be able to get to the next deadline either. And if you slip out of deadlines repeatedly then you might loose motivation.
- So, let’s keep this plan close to you, so you can check it out from time to time and grab the opportunities you really want.
- The 2nd year, can be planned quarterly or dividing into two.