I’ve been talking about how important habits and routines are to accomplishing your goals and creating an extraordinary life. But if you aren’t clear on where you are going or what you want to be doing, then you probably aren’t sure what those routines and habits need to be. That’s why it’s so important to clarify your life vision. I think this is the most important of the 6 high performance habits, even if (like me,) you aren’t aiming to be one of the most successful people in the world.
How do you know that you’re lacking clarity? A big clue is feeling overwhelmed in life. There are so many things to do, and there never seems to be enough time or energy to do them all. When you are clear on where you are going, however, it becomes much easier to prioritize your time, tasks, and even your thoughts. Here are the basics of finding clarity and creating a vision for your life.
Before you begin to start to clarify your life vision, you need to first ask yourself, “Who am I now?” For some people, this is easy to answer. But if you’re feeling stuck in your life or caring for others instead of yourself, it can be much more difficult to answer. And unless you have some awareness of what you value and what your strengths and weaknesses are, it’s hard to move forward decisively.
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
Once you know who you are now, you can then ask yourself a follow-up question: “Who do I want to be in the future?” Using the prompts above, create a vision of the best version of yourself - who you want to be.
In my coaching membership program, my clients spend time with me and on their own to get crystal clear on both of these versions of themselves. It’s then that we can start figuring out how to bridge the gap between the two. The first step? Stepping into that better version of yourself that you want to become each and every day.
What can you do today to embody the better version of yourself?
Now that you know who you want to be in the future, you can envision the life that you want to live; and I want you to clarify your life vision as big and bold as you can! One that encompasses your passion in life and the gifts you have to share. No matter what the focus of your life has been so far, you have a lot to offer. You’re unique, and only you can contribute your strengths in your special way.
Whether it’s staying home to raise a family, working outside the home or in your own business, or a combination of two or more, you only have one life! In order for you to be happy and fulfilled, you need to have a vision; otherwise, you’re drifting without a plan. Once you have a vision of what you really want, then you can take inspired action to make it a reality.
When you start to clarify your life vision, it helps to have a specific point in time to focus on. I like to look ten years ahead, because it’s enough time to accomplish most big dreams, even if obstacles (like a pandemic!) get in the way. In both my coaching programs and my DIY programs, we begin by brainstorming on paper:
Once you feel like you’ve got everything out, you will have a mess in front of you that includes what’s important to you, what you want, what you’re passionate about, and what makes you feel fulfilled. The next step is to turn this jumble of thoughts into a detailed picture of what you want your life to be like. Keep working on this until you can envision every part of your dream perfectly.
This is the hard part, but also the most fun! Don’t just say you want lots of money, a nice home, and no stress. Write down how much money, where it comes from, what your dream home looks and feels like, and what “no stress” looks like to you. Be sure to write in the present-tense, as if you already have these things, to make it feel even more real.
I want you to realize that YOU get to decide where your energy goes. If you spend your time thinking about the things you don’t want, you’ll just keep getting more of the same. But by concentrating on the things that you do want - which you’ve done by clarifying your life vision - you’ll start creating those better things.
Once you have your big dreams, you can work backward to create the short-term goals required to get you there. And, as you take action toward those goals, you’ll gain even more clarity on where you want to go. Since my daughter just went away to college, I’ll use her as an example of how this works.
A few years ago, she decided she wanted to finish high school early, get into a specific university, and get a degree in interior design. Her high school advisor helped her plan a course of action that required taking extra classes in the summer and during the school year. She pulled it off, graduated, and got into the university she wanted to.
Clarity + Life Vision + Plan + Action = Achievement
Now that she’s got into university, she’s added the long-term goal of starting her career after she finishes her degree. Her current vision is to graduate with a degree in interior design with a minor in furniture design. Of course, she can’t be 100% certain of her path, because she’s only in her first year. She has to do all the fundamental courses, and she will be exposed to people with different expertise, and even do internships.
As she has these experiences, and exposes herself to new ideas and people (all while taking action towards her goal of graduating), she will become more clear on where she wants to go. This is how she will learn what she’s truly passionate about, and develop the skills to flourish in whatever her chosen specialty may be.
Clarity + Life Vision + Plan + Action = More Clarity + Achievement
The tricky part here is that this is where many people get stuck! We should always be examining who that better version of ourselves is, what we’re passionate about, and designing a “curriculum” or plan to achieve our dreams, while of course celebrating our successes along the way.
This is what I love about Certified High-Performance Coaching. More than just coaching, it’s a personal development curriculum. By working through the curriculum with me, my clients get to know themselves better with the support, encouragement, guidance, and accountability of a coach plus my coaching community. This creates more momentum than can be achieved working through it all on your own.
In all of my programs, you get an in-depth process to clarify your life vision and start creating your Extraordinary Life. You can do it yourself in my Design Your Decade online workshop, have support from me in the 4-week Success Habits Reboot, or join my Extraordinary Life Tribe group coaching program.
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