What is a life worth living or a book worth reading? This is very personal. Everyone has a different set of tools, values, and passions. In this excellent blog post, Alice Berg uses her experience as a career advisor to focus the reader on asking the right questions. This is not a regular SMART goal post, but something that will motivate you for creative soul searching.
Do you have goals? Have you created a vision to guide you in everyday life?
Let’s start with the latter. Not many people think about the vision of their lives. Often, it is because on the surface, developing a vision of life can seem to be a silly waste of precious time. On the contrary, creating a strong vision will go a long way in ensuring that you lead the life you have always imagined. More to the point, a life vision is like a compass that guides you to take the best possible actions when in different scenarios. Apart from that, it helps you make the right choices, thus propelling you in a direction that leads to a good life.
Why do you need to create a vision? Case studies and experts conclude that creating a vision helps both leaders and team players succeed. Below is an expert’s opinion on the importance of having a vision as a leader.
Karen Dee, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Accendo Leadership Advisory Group, shares her thoughts:
“Developing a personal vision statement is critical for leaders because it provides a framework for decision making and creates a road map to move forward with intention and purpose. It also motivates and inspires those they lead.”
Not in a leadership position yet? You still need to have a vision for the future. By creating a vision for your life, you get to effectively map the path to achieving your professional and personal dreams. If you do not develop one for yourself, you will allow circumstances and other people to determine the course your life takes. As such, personal happiness and life satisfaction will be hard for you to realize.
Learn How to Create a Vision for Your Life
The first thing to do is to determine what matters the most in your life. You will have to dig deep into yourself to figure out these things. However, no matter your response, it is up to you to identify the resources that will help you attain your vision. That said, life essentials can fall into the following categories:
- Health/ well-being- diet, mindfulness, exercise
- Capability- knowledge, skills
- Relationships- personal, professional, spiritual
- Time- figure out how to use it wisely
- Accomplishments- what you have achieved and how to safeguard your successes
- Contentment- being happy with yourself
Now, your list can be different from this one. After all, it should contain things that matter to you. When it is ready, proceed to write down what you want from each category. You can ponder on the things you want to experience/ accomplish and then work backwards to comprehend how the other categories can support your vision. Lastly, write a statement that captures your ideal life. Make your vision so clear and ensure that it has a description of your perfect life, the things that matter the most, and high-level personal goals as well as professional goals.
Here is a more elaborate procedure for creating a compelling vision from scratch:
Get a Notebook or Open a Page on Word
You need to have a place where you can jot down different things that come to mind. Organize your writing space well to ensure that you can separate your thoughts effectively and perform any necessary editing. Notebooks are recommended for this endeavor because they offer a more “intimate” experience.
Pen the Ten Values You Hold Strongly
Note the core convictions you hold as far as your view of what matters in the world goes. Focus on the aspects you value in others as well as yourself.
Write Ten Things You Enjoy Doing
Think about the activities that if not allowed to do, can leave you feeling unfulfilled. Be honest when writing down these things to get a better understanding of yourself.
Detail Your Desires for the Future
Write down the desires you wish to realize in the future. However, do not plan for things beyond five years because that turns into “wishful thinking.” And remember, do not be in a rush to do this. Most importantly, make your desires as specific as possible.
Compare Your Desires with Your Core Values and Favorite Things
Find the connections your desires share with your favorite things and core values. This way, you will determine the best strategies to follow to ensure that you achieve as many goals as possible within one go.
Collaborate with Important People in Your Life
You are not an island. It is essential to bring in people such as your mentor, your close friend, your spouse, and so forth to get their contributions regarding your vision. Apart from that, sharing your vision with these people allows you to access the clarifications they might have regarding your statements.
Note Down What You are Left with
Take note of all the things you are left with from this process. After that, create memorable and succinct vision statements that factor in all of these things. Eventually, try writing one statement that encompasses the input from those close to you, your core convictions, the activities you enjoy doing, and your desires for the foreseeable future.
How to Set Goals for Your Life
“Statistics show that a staggering 83% of people do not have goals. What they might not know is that those with goals are ten times more likely to succeed than those who do not have plans. And things are better for those with written goals because they are three times more likely to succeed than those without written goals,” said James Carter, a Career Coach at Skillroads.
In addition to having a vision, you need to have both short term goals and long term goals. Doing so ensures that you have a clear picture of your destination and the means you can get there. Don’t know how to set goals and achieve them? Do not worry, there is more on these issues below.
To start setting goals, follow this simple procedure:
- Determine the “bigger picture” of what you want to do with your life. After that, identify the large-scale goals you wish to realize.
- Break down your large-scale goals into shorter targets.
- Find a plan and follow it through to achieve these goals.
Setting Large-Scale/ Lifetime Goals
The first thing to do when goal setting is to determine what you wish to achieve in your lifetime or at least, a distant date in the future. By setting lifetime goals, you get an overall perspective that helps your decision making. Some of the categories you can set lifetime goals for are:
- Your career: Decide the level you want to reach in your particular profession.
- Your finances: Determine the amount you wish to earn and by when?
- Education? Do you need to further your education to achieve your other goals?
- Family: Are you interested in starting a family? Do you have one? How will your family fit ingot your overall plan?
- Attitude: Identify if you need to improve your mindset or behavior to overcome specific problems.
Note, you can create other categories for your goals.
Setting Smaller Goals
After determining your lifetime goals, set smaller plans that help you reach your large-scale goals. Then stay on course by reviewing and updating your list regularly. You can consider making more powerful goals by using the SMART mnemonic which stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Some other useful to keep in mind while setting your goals are:
- Always set precise objectives.
- Express your goals as positive statements.
- Pen your goals to give them more force.
- Keep your smaller goals achievable
- Always be realistic.
What to Do After Achieving Goals for Your Life
After setting a goal and achieving it, celebrate it no matter how small it is. Take time to be proud of your achievement. If the goal is a major one, reward yourself accordingly. Look back at the progress you have made towards reaching goals set. Celebrating your wins builds self-confidence. Don’t worry if you failed to meet your goals as long as you learn from that experience.
Do You Know How to Achieve Goals? Review Other Objectives in Your Plan:
- If the goal was too easy, challenge yourself by making the other goals harder.
- If it took too long to get to the first goal, ensure your next goal is a little easier.
- If you’ve learned something could impact other goals, take it into account moving forward.
- Lastly, if you’ve noticed a skill that you lack despite your accomplishment, set goals to fix it.
Examples of Personal Goals You Can Set
If you are confused or not sure about what goals to set, here are some examples to inspire you to set and reach your goals:
Finding What You Love to Do
Are you working in a job that you don’t like? Most people spend the better part of their lives in a job they hate only to regret it when it is too late. If you have found your passion, invest in nurturing, and mastering it. You can even make it a business and leave a job that you dislike. If you don’t know your passion, you can first set a goal to find it.
Helping Others Out
You can also set goals about contributing to others. One proven way to increase your happiness is to make others happy. Giving is not just about monetary donations. It is also being kind to everyone you come across, donating things you are not using, and encouraging or supporting others.
Dedication More to Self-Care
Taking care of physical, spiritual, and mental health is crucial. However, many people neglect them; especially the last two. You can make personal goals such as: dedicating more time to yourself, taking it easy on work, to stop blaming or judging yourself, to not set unrealistic expectations on yourself, and so forth.
Venturing Out of Your Comfort Zone
You can set goals that help you leave your comfort zone. Exploring beyond your self-imposed limits could mean travelling more, resigning from your current job, changing careers, or even ending/ starting a relationship. Take risks to become more adaptive.
Start Enjoying Life More
By defining what happiness to you means, you can set goals that will help you start enjoying your life. If it is family, for example, you can make more effort to being better a parent to your children and partner to your spouse. If your goals are career-oriented, you can challenge yourself to take up more work responsibilities, build new skills, or aim for the next promotion.
To conclude, always anticipate obstacles along the way. While the importance of goal setting cannot be underestimated, achieving them is not always easy. Make a list of potential challenges and prepare mentally to tackle any obstacles that may come along.
About the author:
Alice Berg is a blogger and career advisor, who helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter and Medium.