A Goal Without a Vision is Pointless

It seems like with each New Year that rolls around we are all motivated to set new and exciting goals!  Goals centered around the mentality of “I should’s” hoping to create a successful year.

I should be thinner,
I should be healthier,
I should be more successful,
I should save money,
I should find a partner and settle down.

Most people operate using this kind of goal setting . . . waking up on January 2nd ready to declare a goal they “should” achieve in the year ahead.  

I, however, wake up every January 2nd to wonderful birthday wishes!  This is the start of my new year in more ways than one!  Per tradition and the fact that no one really feels like celebrating the day after New Years, my wonderful husband Jim started an annual tradition to celebrate it with a birthday trip – usually a surprise; anything from a ski trip in Lake Tahoe to flying to Paris for a week.  To top it all off, there is one more special thing we do every year on our trip . . . we find a quiet restaurant where it is acceptable to linger for hours and talk about our dreams.  

Where do we want to be in 5 years and what do we want our life to look like?

We always identify one big goal for that year to move us towards our 5 year goal. I remember in 1987 my dream was to leave my 9-5 corporate job and start a business being a “professional” coach.  Our vision was that we would be able to live anywhere, maintain a sense of independence, and have an unstructured approach to our work.

Each year we would look to see how we were progressing – and then look out another 5 years.  This process has served us well for more than 20 years.  It is as if by magic we achieve what we had envisioned.

As a coach, I have worked with many individuals in various professional arenas to assist them in creating professional goals.  I often share the same method that Jim and I use to create and achieve successful goals that contribute to our vision.

So, in order for you to realize your dreams, here is the secret to our success:

Find the place and time to dream.  You can take a trip, go to a park or even sitting in an art museum surrounded by masters.  The key is to have plenty of time to just sit and be – to reflect and explore.  Take a tablet and make notes.  Do not write things to do to achieve your dream. Write about what your dream will look like when you have achieved it.  Some people call this “visioning”.

Imagine yourself in the future.  Do this about all aspects of your life.  Your career, friends and relationships, health, service activities, educational opportunities, challenging projects you would like to take on, new capabilities you will have developed.

Think outside the box.  Allow yourself to dream BIG.  If you feel a little fear while imagining you have achieved your dream – GOOD!  Anytime we think of achieving something big for ourselves, we must realize all things will change around us.

Evaluate your values.  Think of your dream as a legacy for your life.  Having achieved it will give you not just a sense of achievement but something that will impact others and the world around you.

Put it all together.  Write one concise statement on what that dream is once you realize what it will look like.  A big one for us was:redbarn

“Someday we will live in a beautiful country setting in the California Wine Country with a community of friends and business associates that we contribute to and where our extended family loves to travel and visit us.”

Declare it out loud to others.  Let people know this is your dream and what action you are taking to achieve it.

Write a Big Bold Bodacious Goal for the year. This goal must be tied to your dream.  How will the goal move you toward achieving your dream?

It’s a Wonderful Life and it is your life – so take away the performance pressure – create Yourdream.  Set a Big Bodacious Goal and take action!  You will soon begin to notice how things will unfold and before you know it you will be there standing right in the middle of your dream!!

Warmest wishes,  Barbara

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