“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
(St. Catherine of Sienna)
When the end of year approaches, I always feel a strong desire to reflect on what’s happened and think about what might lie ahead.
I usually start by reviewing my calendar, looking through the lunches, meetings, projects, and appointments, the places I’ve traveled to and people I visited, the timing of my Whole30, movies and concerts I attended, and all the yoga classes I took.
When I am going through my day-to-day routine, it often feels like I’m not doing enough. On any given day it’s almost impossible to know the cumulative impact of our actions. But when I look through a whole year, it becomes crystal clear: the choices I make and the things I prioritize are what paint the picture of my year.
Creating a Vision for Your Future Will Change Your Life
Creating a vision for your future helps guide your daily choices and ensures your actions align with your priorities. We all dream about who we want to be. It’s only when examining our priorities and creating a vision for the future that it becomes easy to make choices that align with our dreams.
In his article, How to Create a Vision for Your Life, Corbett Barr writes:
“Your life’s vision defines who you want to be, what you want to be known for and the set of experiences and accomplishments you aim for. Your vision helps define the goals by giving you a framework to evaluate those goals.”
He then outlines how to create a vision for your future:
- First, you need to identify what matters in life
- Next, make a list of the categories of things that matter to you
- Now, for each of your categories, write down what you want or need from each
- Finally, craft a statement that describes what your ideal life looks like
Without knowing it, we have written a lot about these different steps here on the Happy Living blog!
What Matters in Life?
Thinking about “what matters in life” is a big and important concept. Your answer lives within your core beliefs, what is important to you, and why you think we’re here. This will evolve as your life changes. Turning the question over in your mind will help to find your answer.
Of course, each of us will have a different definition of what matters. In his philosophy on why we’re here, Matt shared what matters in his life: using his unique gifts to give to others and lift them up.
Things That Matter to You
- Physical Fitness: exercise, nutrition, sleep, along with health maintenance like doctor’s visits and diagnostics
- Mental Fitness: caring for mental health, reflection and goal setting, lifelong learning and the pursuit of hobbies
- Spiritual Fitness: connecting with something greater… it can be faith-based, found through meditation, or observed through science
- Financial Fitness: living within your means and in alignment with your priorities, preparing for the future, and giving what you can
- Love: personal relationships, self-love, offering your best to those around you and to the work you do
- Adventure: exploring possibilities, trying something new or dangerous, embarking on unchartered territory
- Significance: doing something you love and creating value for others
Your categories and what you want or need from each may be different from ours, but feel free to use our list as inspiration. Your list is a representation of the things that matter to you, so make it personal. Think about how your definition for ‘what matters in life’ influences the things that matter and what you want.
What Does Your Ideal Life Look Like?
Barr suggests creating a personal vision statement that, “consist[s] of an overall description of your ideal life, combined with a list of areas that matter most, and high-level goals for each area.”
Think about the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, experiences, and people in your ideal life. If you like creating vision boards, this is a perfect time to flip through magazines and cut out elements that resonate. Remember: a vision board is not a wish list or “order to the universe.” It is a visual representation of your vision for the future.
Your vision statement and vision board are equal partners in the pursuit of your dreams. Both will speak to different parts of your mind and heart. Both will inspire you to make choices every day that are in alignment with your priorities.
How to Live Your Vision
Creating a vision for your future is not a one-time project. As soon as you craft your answers and create your vision board, you and your life will evolve. Revisit your vision with the changing seasons, on your birthday, every month, or some other regular schedule. Edit and adjust accordingly, using your experiences and inner wisdom as feedback. Use your vision to help guide your daily choices and big decisions – and you will begin to live the life of your dreams!
If you are local to the Austin area, join me at The Paper + Craft Pantry on Wednesday, December 16th for a free Vision Board Workshop! For details and to register, click here.
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