5 Ways of Refining and Narrowing Your Personal Vision
The first thing you should do is have a better sense of where you envision yourself in the coming months and years.
This gives you the opportunity to lay down some expectations for the longer term (five to ten years) as well as the shorter term.
The most effective strategy is to begin with the big picture and then work your way backwards.
1. Setting The Long-Term Vision
Ask yourself the question:
Where do I see myself in five [or ten] years’ time?
Consider each aspect of your life:
personal, professional, hobbies, other interests, formal studies, etc.
For each one, make an effort to describe what it is that you will be doing and what it is that you hope to have accomplished at the end of it.
Be as specific as possible when describing what you want to do, including the quality levels you want to achieve.
Because this is only for you and no one else will ever see it, you should aim as high as you possibly can.
You should aim to have between three and five bullet points for each area of your life, but you shouldn’t be concerned if you have fewer or more than that.
This gives you an idea of what “success” will look like once the allotted amount of time has passed.
At this point, it is also beneficial for you to give some thought to the relative significance of each of these characteristics to you.
Which one would it be, and why, if you could only be successful in one area of your life?
Choosing Your Time Horizon
It makes little difference if you choose to commit to a term of five or ten years. It truly depends on how at ease you are thinking about things over a longer period of time.
The number five is preferred by many people because it provides them with a more distinct vision of the goals they wish to accomplish.
However, it is always a good idea to take a step back and consider the next ten years at regular intervals.
This forces you to think about the balance between your personal and professional life, as well as the goals you really want to reach in your whole life.
2. Determining Interim Success
Next, ask yourself the following questions while using your vision for the next five or ten years as a guide:
What will I need to have accomplished during the next year [and the following five years] if I want to be there within the next five [or ten] years?
This provides you with one or two “staging posts” along the route to achieving your long-term objective.
In other words, it illustrates what your “success” will look like throughout the interim period.
At this point, it is OK to use the words “probably” and “possibly” quite frequently; nonetheless, it is important to keep the language positive.
This question can be answered in terms of either the accomplishments that will need to be made or the activities that will be required of you, and it is likely that the answer will be a combination of the two.
Check that each of your bullet points is accompanied by at least one accomplishment or action, and double-check that you have included everything that you need to accomplish or accomplish on your list.
3. Breaking it Down Still Further
Finally, you should go even more granular with your timing. Consider the following:
What will I need to have accomplished after three months, one month, and six months in order to make progress toward my one-year and five-year goals?
Again, you should consider both acts and accomplishments, and you should make an effort to be as explicit as possible with all of the steps in between.
4. Reviewing the Outline
You should come up with a list of bullet points at the end of this procedure. These points should be time-bound.
If you want to reach your five- or ten-year vision, these will tell you where you need to be and what you need to have accomplished by that point in time.
The very last thing you need to do is read over what you’ve written.
- Does it have a realistic appearance?
- Do you believe that it will take you one month, three months, six months, or a year to accomplish what it is that you need to accomplish?
If not, look at each bullet point again and, if necessary, make changes to your overall vision.
Perhaps more importantly, do you feel comfortable with what you have identified as the things that you need to accomplish in order to achieve your goals?
When you get closer to achieving your goal, do you think you’ll feel happy and fulfilled? Are you looking forward to getting started with everything?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you should reconsider your vision because it sounds like you might need to make some adjustments.
Consider the following:
Am I being completely forthright about the goals I wish to accomplish?
Have I expressed this because I actually want to accomplish it or because I believe that it is something that I ought to do?
You should be conscious of the fact that obligation is a powerful motivator, and while it may have positive outcomes, this does not mean that you should ignore it.
5. Making Your Vision a Reality
Using this method, you will have a crystal clear picture of where you want to be at various points in time.
The subsequent action is to translate that vision into a set of tangible goals.
The Value of Taking Advantage of Opportunities
What you do in life is directed by a set of guiding principles that are derived from your vision.
If realizing your vision is vital to you, then you should evaluate every opportunity and action in light of whether or not they will bring you closer to realizing your vision.
This process might be happening in your subconscious, but you can be certain that it will be taking place if the importance of your vision cannot be denied.
On the other hand, throughout your life, it is possible that you will be presented with possibilities that may sound like they would be enjoyable, intriguing, or simply something that you would like to accomplish.
If that is the case, now could be the time to revise your goals.
After all, if you have never considered the possibility of seizing this opportunity, there is no way that you can include it in your vision.
You should give yourself the opportunity to pursue it if you find that it fascinates you, since it may lead you down new pathways that are extremely well suited to you.
Your vision should be at least a little bit changeable, as well as flexible and open to change as new opportunities come up.
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
You should not be too hard on yourself if you are unable to accomplish the goals that you set forth in your strategy or even your overall objective.
It is your vision, but it does not have any legal weight. After all, you set an ambitious goal for yourself, and there is a good probability that you set it much higher than you should have.
Celebrate your successes and change your goals and plans so they are more in line with what you can actually do.