Alright, I’ve written about creating a vision for yourself in several posts, yet, to date, have not walked through the process of doing so. What’s interesting is that people usually associate creating a vision with business, which makes sense, yet it makes as much sense, as we will discuss, to create a vision for yourself – for your life. Ready? Let’s go.
First, you want to get out all of your ideas about what your future self will look like, think like, and feel like. Here are some questions to get your thinking started.
- What are your goals?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
- Where do you see yourself in 1 year?
That’s enough to get us started. Let’s take them one at a time, and use practical examples. Here we go.
Identify your 5-year goals
Make a list of all of your goals. Yep, all of them. Why? Because at this stage, you are concentrating on getting out all of the goals that you want to accomplish. Make a list. Here are some of mine.
- Publish a book
- Travel to Spain
- Learn Spanish
- Travel to Japan
- Knee recovery so I can run again
- Expand our remote community education classes
- Take a trip out of the country with my best friend
Alright, there are some we can work with. Once you have your goals identified, pick one to start working on. Where you start in the future will depend on the goal. I suggest going out as far as you can. Why?
Because you will find that once you start thinking about 5 years from now, let’s say, more goals will come to mind.
Now that you have your 5-year goals identified, time to start working those goals backward. Meaning that you need to create 3-year goals that connect to the 5-year goals.
Let’s use my 5-year goal to publish a book and work that backward. In order to actually publish a book 5 years from now, I would like to have 75% of it written by year 3? Why? That will give me plenty of time to edit, market, and engage people about the book.
Now, publishing a book is not something I’ve ever done, and that is okay. The realisticness of your goals in year 3 matter less, than that you have an idea or picture of what that future state will look like.
Having that picture in mind is important to the next step, which is creating the next year inside of the 3-year goal.
The next year
When you start working on your goal for the next year, you are now in the realm of actually putting your theoretical goal into practice. I’m sure you’ve heard people say theory should feed practice, well, it is as true that practice should feed theory. They are inextricably linked. Always.
Now you can choose how to create your next year inside of the goal you are working on. There are many ways to put yourself to work inside of your goal. First you need to decide what your goal will look like at the end of the next year. Let’s keep using my goal of publishing a book.
What will the book look like at the end of the next year?
I would like to have 150 double-spaced pages written. Alright.
Now, to complete 150 pages by the end of next year, I will have to schedule time to get those pages written. How? First, create quarterly goals. With this particular example, I will break 150 pages into 4 parts.
My quarterly goal then is 38 pages. Now take that to monthly, which is 13 pages. Yep, now to the week. 3 pages a week. Alright, I now have a weekly goal.
And, it is a weekly goal that is connected to a quarterly goal, which is connected to a yearly goal. And, that yearly goal is connected to a 3 year goal, which is connected to the 5 year goal. Phew. Pretty cool.
Here is the system. And, you can put any goal into it, and work it backward the same way.
- Identify all of your goals.
- Pick one to work on.
- Set that goal out into the future and visualize what it will look like.
- Work backward to year 3.
- Set that 3 year goal.
- Work backward to the next year.
- Set that yearly goal.
- Work backward to each quarter.
- Set that quarterly goal.
- Work backward to each month.
- Set that monthly goal.
- Work that backward to weekly.
- Set that weekly goal.
You can even take it to daily goal-setting, however, in this example it is not necessary. Now, if my goal was to get that book finished in the next year, taking the goal-setting to daily would actually be very helpful.
As you create these goals and work on them, know that you are actively creating the vision of your future self. Yep. And, as you put them into practice in your life, you are actively working on and creating your future self every day. Pretty cool, and fun.
How to organize them to ensure you move them forward?
Here are some tools you can use.
- Post-it boards
- Day planners.
How you organize yourself matters less than creating the actions and actually holding yourself accountable to doing them every day. Use whatever organization system that works for you.
And, if what you are using now doesn’t work, change it. There are tons and tons of tools for organization. So many.
Okay, that’s creating a vision of your future self in 5 minutes. Another thing I like to do with my goals is to create a mind map. As I’ve mentioned in many other posts, I am very visual, so I love to see my goals inside of a mind map.
In case you’ve not created a mind map, here is a quick video I created that describes the process.
Alright, you now have a system to create your future self. And, when you get into it, I think you’ll find that it is quite fun. And, guess what?