How many times have you made resolutions at the start of the year, only to end up feeling discouraged and disappointed in yourself when you didn’t achieve those goals. The start of the year often brings about a fire and excitement to change, to be better, to work on ourselves, and sure enough, by February, that passion has most times fizzled.
Well, not this year.
What if you could design your life? I’m not saying you have control over everything that happens. I’m not saying challenges and unexpected obstacles won’t arise. I’m just talking about taking advantage of the time and talents God has given you, and maximizing them- doing everything you can to be your absolute best.
Over the course of this week, we are going to create a plan to make 2015 a year that matters- a year we’ll never forget. We are going to talk about casting a vision for our lives, creating a plan to move towards that vision, and how to deal with obstacles and challenges that will inevitably come up- ESPECIALLY once we have a plan- it always seems to work that way, ugh!
Today we will be focusing on CASTING A VISION.
Casting a vision for our life can seem a bit overwhelming- it’s very big picture, and sometimes hard to grasp. Because of this, my husband and I have found it much easier to utilize a list of categories.
Here are the categories we use: Faith, Marriage, Family, Career, Personal Growth, Finances, Health, Relationships, Travel/Recreation.
When we think about casting a vision for our future, it seems daunting; but when we break it down into these categories, it’s a lot easier for us.
How to Cast a Vision for Your Future
1. Set Aside a Time to Dream
Before the year starts, my husband and I set aside a good chunk of time- like 3 or 4 hours- no kids, no technology, no distractions. Then we pull out a piece of paper, and write down those categories. For each category, we talk about what we want our lives to look like in the next 3-5 years. We talk about our aspirations, our dreams, who we want to be- it’s actually really fun and exciting!
2. Create a 3-5 Year Vision
After we’ve talked about our overall idea of what we want our life to look like in those areas, we choose a year 3-5 years in the future.
Once we’ve chosen our year, we think about our overall vision in each category, and come up with a few goals for that year. For example, one of our financial goals is to be completely debt free. Well, that’s definitely not happening by 2018, BUT we could have all of our debt paid off except our house, so that becomes our 3 year goal.
3. WRITE Everything Down
I use Microsoft Word. I list out each category, bold and underline it, and then underneath, I have 3 or 4 statements that describe what we want our life to look like in 2018. I have another document that looks exactly the same, but on that one I type out our overall vision statements for our life.
That’s it! Pretty simple, but definitely time consuming and challenging!
And, just in case you’re reading this thinking, “Are you kidding me? Who has time for that?” or you may be thinking I’m giving myself a pat on the back or tooting my own horn about how great me and my husband are at creating a vision for our lives, and setting and achieving goals, let me give you one example of our visions for personal growth…
In 2012 AND 2013, we did this for the upcoming year. We sat down, created this amazing, beautiful vision for our lives, created a roadmap for how we were going to get there, set goals, set action items, created extravagant, detailed word documents and excel spreadsheets…and I can honestly say I don’t think we achieved ONE goal. Pathetic. The fact that it happened two years in a row. Absolutely pathetic.
Why? Well, it comes down to two reasons: accountability and giving up when unexpected challenges caught us off guard.
So, one of our visions for personal growth is to be a couple that not only casts a vision for their life, not only sets goals and creates roadmaps, but actually ACCOMPLISHES those goals. In Part 2, I’ll talk about how we plan on doing that in 2015.
When you think about your life, what do value? What you value generally becomes your list of categories. Once you have your list of categories, set aside some time to think and pray about those areas of your life- dream big and don’t hold back.
Write down a few statements to describe what you want your life to look like in each of those categories in the next 3-5 years, and keep that list handy- you’ll need it for Part 2