They say that life is what you make of it. And, ultimately, it’s tough to make much of life if you don’t know what you want that life to be.
That is why it is so important to set a clear vision for what you want to achieve in your life. Without a vision of what you want your life to be, you run the risk of living on somebody else’s terms, and then looking back one day and realizing that the life that you have lived isn’t the one that you truly wanted.
To that end, this article is going to walk through what it means to set a clear vision, how to do it, and answer other questions around setting a clear vision for your life.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Clear Vision About What You Want to Achieve?
Having a clear vision about what you want to achieve means that you have a picture in your head about what you want to accomplish in your life and the resulting way that makes your life feel.
When I think about having a clear vision, it means that I can clearly picture my life in a future state, and how I’m experiencing that life after accomplishing what I wanted to achieve.
For example, this website is currently a fun passion project and side hustle. Let’s say that I have a vision for wanting to go full time on this website one day.
Well, if I achieve that goal, then the vision that I have for my life is spending a lot of time writing and helping people each day. Maybe I’m writing daily, doing some consulting with people to help their careers, and maybe leading a small team of folks that are helping to contribute to the site and/or helping to provide career services.
In that vision, I’m in full control of my time. I don’t have to work a traditional job dealing with all of the people problems that come with it, and I can workout when I want, be at all of my kid’s activities, volunteer at their school whenever I want, and stay home and take care of them whenever they are sick.
I can fully picture that life in my head and, to me, that picture is what it means to have a clear vision.
What is The Difference Between Vision and Goals?
When it comes to the difference between vision and goals, a vision is the picture of what the future state looks like and how it feels. Goals are specific and measurable milestones that you achieve along the way to that vision.
For example, a vision might be what I described in the last section about what my life would look like if I went full time on this website.
Whereas a goal might be to generate $10,000 a month in ad revenue from the website, which would be a level of income that might enable me to go full time on the site and live out that vision.
How Do You Set a Clear Vision and Goals?
When it comes to how to set a clear vision for your life, we have a full article that unpacks how to do that.
As far a quick summary for what looks like, there are a few high level things that I would recommend to helping you create that vision:
1. Ordering Your Values
A life well lived is one that is lived according to a strong set of values. So, as a foundational starting point to creating a clear vision for your life, you need to know what it is that you value and want to live according to.
To that end, we have a full article that walks through a few exercise to help you understand and order your values.
Something that helped me to really understand what I want out of life is to write and reflect. Specifically, I used journaling as my tool to do that.
Basically, at the end of each day, Jim gives the day a score. Correspondingly, he journals about what he did on that day. After a period of time, he then reviews his scores and reads about what he was doing on each of those days.
That process helps him to understand what he was doing on days that felt good to him vs. days that felt bad. From there, he works to optimize his life to do as much of the good stuff as he possibly can.
When it comes to building a vision for your life, so much of it is predicated in good self understanding. That means that you understand the things that are most important to you (your values) and the day to day activities that you can enjoy the most.
A good vision for life is one that is optimized around those things to the greatest possible extent.
3. Write a Future Biography
After doing those two things, the final tool that I would recommend for creating a clear vision for what you want to achieve is completing a future biography. Basically, writing a future biography is the actual act of sitting down and trying to articulate the vision of what you want your life to look like in writing.
A good future biography will have prompts along the way as you go through the exercise to help guide you in writing the biography.
We walk through the process for what that looks like in this article, and recommend specific tools to help you write a good future biography.
What Is a Vision for a Life You Want Examples
To help make having a vision as clear as possible, here are a few examples of what a written out vision statement might look like:
If your vision is to work for yourself full time:
I would like to become a solopreneur and work for myself full time. I imagine spending the majority of my time doing creative work. Writing two articles per day on topics that people are interested in and culminating that in writing a book that I publish on my own.
I would have complete control of my time and no boss telling me what to do. I would workout when I feel like it. Be at all of my kids school meetings during the day and be home for them when they’re sick.
Also, I would go on frequent walks, be outdoors, and frequently volunteer in my community.
If your vision is to become an executive at a company:
I would like to become a chief marketing officer and lead a team of high performers to put out great work. As a result of our work, the company would grow like a rocket ship, surpassing massive stretch goals each year.
My days are spent recruiting top talent, bringing on A-players, and inspiring them to put forth great work that enables our company to grow.
Myself and the whole team have an equity stake in the company, and are rewarded for our work with a strong payout at IPO.
If your vision is to be a wonderful parent:
I would like to fully devote myself to my kids and be the best parent to them that I can be. My days are spent with them, making memories, laughing, having fun, and teaching them to live well.
I will feed them healthy foods, help them to learn the skills that they need, and put them into great schools that give them the chance to succeeed.
I will continually advocate for them and do everything that I can to provide them with a great life.
Having a clear vision is the key to building the life that you want for yourself.
Hopefully, this article has helped you in working through what that looks like.