write the vision 2

On Monday, December 14 See Jane Write hosted a workshop on how to write your vision for your personal and professional life. This free event was led by Lois Weinblatt of True North Business Development. Lois specializes in helping entrepreneurs and organizations craft visions to guide their futures. This workshop was the perfect way to end 2015 and get excited about 2016.

Do you have a vision?

You probably think you do, but there’s a great chance that you don’t.

I thought I had a vision too, until this summer when I met Lois.

During the workshop Lois explained the difference between a vision, a mission, and a strategic plan. After meeting Lois, I realized that all I had was a mission. A mission is aspirational. It’s why you do what you do, but it’s something that can never truly be achieved. For example, my mission is to empower women through blogging, writing, and entrepreneurship, but I’m never going to wake up one morning and declare that all women of the world have been sufficiently empowered. We need a mission. It’s what motivates us, but it’s not enough.

Meanwhile, your strategic plan is about the how. And you definitely need a plan to go along with your mission, but it’s difficult to ask for directions if you can’t describe your destination. And that’s where vision comes in. Vision is your what, when, and where. Vision is about describing, in great detail, what you want your life to look like 90 days, one year, or five years from now.

Lois shared with us the four characteristics of an effective vision:

A vision should be inspiring. It should be lofty. It should be the thing that gets you out of the bed in the morning. Those of you who follow me on Periscope know that I get up between 4 and 4:30 a.m. each morning. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I didn’t have lofty aspirations.

A vision should be strategically sound. While you do need to dream big, you do need to make sure your goals are actually attainable. Lois always tells her clients, “I’ll write you a vision, but I won’t write you a fantasy.”

A vision should be documented. Write the vision and make it plain, right? Lois has been my business coach this the start of the fall and while working with her we’ve crafted a vision for my personal and professional life. It’s 7 pages, single-spaced!

A vision should be shared. Share your vision with people in your tribe and with people who are a part of the empire you’re striving to build. (But only share it with people you trust.)

Now here’s how to write your vision, step by step:  

  1. How did you get here? Take some time to reflect on your past accomplishments and challenges.
  2. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not.
  3. List your values, then reflect on your reality. Are you living your values? Why or why not?
  4. Consider trends in your industry or community. Consider the economic climate.
  5. Where are you going? Describe what you want your life to look at the end of 2016. Write in the present tense. Describe, in great detail, all areas of life – personal growth, professional growth, financial growth, spiritual growth, and relational growth. Create specific scenarios that illustrate the life you want to live.
  6. Identify the support you have to get you to your vision and the things that may be obstacles in your path.
  7. Create a plan of action. I always recommend you take your one-year goals and break them down into 90-day goals and break those down into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.
  8. Implement your plan and celebrate each accomplishment.

If you need more guidance as you write your vision, don’t miss the next See Jane Write event — The #GoalDiggers Workshop. At this hands-on workshop I’ll help you set goals for 2016 and help you develop a system that will enable you to accomplish these goals. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

The #GoalDiggers Workshop is set for 6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, January 5 at Desert Island Supply Company. Purchase your tickets at goaldiggersworkshop.eventbrite.com