Building a Personal Vision Statement

A personal vision/mission statement is the framework for creating a powerful life.

Your personal vision statement provides the direction necessary to guide the course of your days and the choices you make about your life.

The idea is to craft a broad-based idea about your life and what will really make it exciting and fulfilling, that’s your life vision.

From the vision, you craft a more focused and action orientated “mission” statement based on “purpose”. And finally, you get to a list of goals, wishes, desires, and needs.

Think of the process as building a “life strategy” that has tasks and actions underneath it.

The vision is the center of the target, what your “ideal” life will look like…it’s a guiding set of principles and objectives. Unlike a goal, a vision or mission rarely changes. It is a reason for our existence. It guides us in the decisions we make and the directions we take.

To help you answer this think about what your passion is in life? What were you put on this earth to do?

Your ultimate “success” in life will be determined by your ability to clearly define this and in turn, this will drive your decision about being an entrepreneur.

In his book ‘The Success Principles’, Jack Canfield tells us that in order to create a balanced and successful life; your vision needs to include the following seven areas:

  1. work and career
  2. finances
  3. recreation and free time
  4. health and fitness
  5. relationships
  6. personal goals
  7. contribution to the larger community

It does not include the distinctive ways that you intend to accomplish your purpose.

Why Write a Personal Vision Statement?

To express:

– your purpose
– your life’s dream
– your core values & beliefs
– what you want for yourself
– what you want to contribute to others
– what you want to be

Characteristics of a Vision Statement:

– Engages your heart & spirit
– Taps into embedded concerns & needs
– Asserts what you want to create
– Is something worth going for
– Provides meaning to the work you do
– Is a little cloudy and grand
– Is simple
– Is a living document
– Provides a starting place from which to get more specificity
– Is based on quality and dedication

Key Elements of a Vision Statement:

– Written down and referred to daily
– Written in the present tense, as if it has already been completed
– Includes a variety of activities and time frames
– Filled with descriptive details that anchor it to reality

What Visions Are Not:

– A mission statement: “Why do we exist now?”
– A strategic plan: “How do we plan to get there?”
– A set of objectives: “We will accomplish X by Y time to Z % target audience.”

Use these questions to guide your thoughts:

  • What are the ten things you most enjoy doing? Be honest. These are the ten things without which your weeks, months, and years would feel incomplete.
  • What three things must you do every single day to feel fulfilled in your work?
  • What are your five-six most important values?
  • Your life has a number of important facets or dimensions, all of which deserve some attention in your personal vision statement.
  • Write one important goal for each of them: physical, spiritual, work or career, family, social relationships, financial security, mental improvement and attention, and fun.
  • If you never had to work another day in your life, how would you spend your time instead of working?
  • When your life is ending, what will you regret not doing, seeing, or achieving?
  • What strengths have other people commented on about you and your accomplishments? What strengths do you see in yourself?

Now write a simple and compelling statement and see how it feels, keep re-writing it until you feel it summarizes the above objectives. Feel free to change, update and then live it…

NEXT: Building a Personal Mission Statement

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One response to “Building a Personal Vision Statement”

  1. Ingrid Heller Avatar

    Very excellent place to start! I attended one of Jon’s workshops at Stanford, and I noticed that many people did not know what kind of business they wanted to start. My problem is the opposite–too many ideas:) But anyway, I thought, how intriguing that the “ideal” of wanting to be an entrepreneur could be divorced from a specific goal. This alone inspired me–because it meant that the values of innovation and independence were enough to drive individuals down better roads. I just want to encourage those people to keep searching–as I did many years ago until I discovered I was 1. a writer of nonfiction 2. a screenwriter and 3. an innovator of new “green franchise” models…keep going, and thanks Jon. Your work is invaluable!!!


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