Coming out of the pandemic it seems that everyone is planning some type of career change. This global health crisis caused many of us to reconsider our lives and work and start to wonder if there is something “more” out there.
Is this you?
You daydream about saving the world and doing something more meaningful, but you are feeling stuck, trapped, or can’t figure out what to do next. You have a thousand ideas about what it is you really want (and don’t want) but get distracted by the number of ideas, get caught up in the how and then just give up. Or, maybe your job was eliminated and you are now in transition, feeling a little lost, starting the job search process, and feeling depleted.
You intuitively know that you need some sort of plan but feel unmotivated or unsure how to create one.
Question. Until you know where you want to go, how can you possibly make a plan on how to get there?
This is where a personal vision comes in.
What is a Personal Vision?
A personal vision is your own written version of your ideal life seven years from now. Who are you? Where are you? How are you showing up and what are you doing in that ideal life? What does a perfect day look like in this future life?
Once you know the answers to these questions, creating the plan for your next career move becomes so much easier. You will have something inspirational and also solid to help you start to plan and take needed action.
So, how do you create your personal vision?
- Create Some Space & Time
This is very important work you are doing. What could possibly be more important than creating your ideal future, right?
Find two hours, a quiet space, a clock or watch, a notebook, and a pen or laptop. That is all you need. It is best if you leave your phone in another room! You deserve two hours without interruption.
An ideal time to do this work is in the morning. Do it before you check your email or watch the news! You want to feel energized, hopeful, and rested. Unfortunately, the news and email usually do not make us feel that way. A quiet Saturday or Sunday morning before the rest of the family wakes up is a perfect time.
. Find a space where you feel relaxed and won’t be disturbed.
- Prime Your Brain with Positive Energy Using Gratitude
To get the most out of this process, you want to use the power of your brain. By priming our brains with positive energy, it makes us feel hopeful which opens our minds to possibilities and motivates us to think bigger.
You can use a simple gratitude practice to do this. Look at your clock.
For the next ten minutes, write down everything you are grateful for. Write down the big things and the little things. Things that make you smile and fond memories. Every…little…thing. Don’t stop. Keep writing until the ten minutes are up.
Now take a deep breath and read your list out loud to yourself. Take another deep breath and feel the gratitude in your heart. Smile for all that you are and all that you have.
- Imagine and Write
Now the only thing left to do is just write freely without judgment.
Here is your writing prompt.
“Imagine your ideal, perfect life seven years from now. Who are you? Where are you? Imagine a perfect day in that life. What would it look like? How are you feeling as this person? Describe it in detail.”
A couple of things to caution you with before you start writing. Be sure to focus on what you truly want and who you truly want to be vs. what you think you should want. What would just be a dream for you?
Make the statements big enough and broad enough that multiple scenarios could fill that space in your vision and not so literal that it pigeonholes you into a vision that may limit you.
Focus on your emotions when you are writing down your vision. What feeling do you want to replicate from the past or what feelings would you love to have that you know would help you in your life?
For now, focus on the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY. The how will come later. Who do you truly want to be? Who is your ideal self? What do you want your life to be like? Why do you want these things?
Details rule in visioning! Describe your space including what you see, what you feel, what you smell, etc. Just write. This is the first draft. You can clean it up later. For now, just let your imagination go and write. Write what you think first, even if it surprises you or seems unattainable.
This process will look a little different for everyone who does it. It will take some 45 minutes and others can go on for two hours or more. The ending product is usually two to three pages.
Once you have your first draft, you are ready to begin using your vision daily.
- Use Your Vision to Guide Your Career & Life Decisions
So, now what? How do you use this vision? Science shows your vision can be used as a magnet to activate the positive emotional centers in your brain to help you stay on the path to your ideal, futuristic life.
Start by reading the vision daily to yourself in the morning. It will take five minutes or less and will inspire you. You may start to notice some things in the vision that don’t feel right or want to change. You also may want to add even more. That is totally fine and normal! Adjust it for the first few weeks until it feels like something you can use for the next six months or so.
You are at a time in your life and career where you are starting to wonder what you should do. Now, when you are considering what to do next, you can ask yourself a simple question.
Would this role or change or decision get me closer to my personal vision?
If so, then you know you are on the right track. If not, then you should reconsider that option.
It seems so simple, but people do it all of the time! A role comes up that is just different. It gets them out of what they are doing now, so they just take it. It definitely feels like something is better than nothing. However, that is not actually the case. The short-term step should only be taken if it gets you closer to where you actually want to go.
Something else amazing will happen when you are reading your vision daily. You will feel more hopeful and motivated. You will start to see new opportunities pop up that you never would have imagined, and you will find that you are more ready to make a plan and start taking actionable steps. It just works.
Good luck in your journey to creating your ideal future life. You are on your way!