I’ve always been a huge goal setter and overachieving person – priding myself on being able to achieve more than work colleagues and peers. I’d set my goals and then hold myself accountable to a huge workload, thinking that it was the right thing to do to forward my career and then later my business.
But over time, I realized while I may have been hitting goals and checking everything off my checklist, I was neither happy nor fulfilled. In fact, I was worn out and not even enjoying the work I was doing.
I realized that fulfilment wasn’t going to come from hitting goals. It was going to come from having a clear vision for a life I would love and then taking the right steps to get there. And the funny thing was, when I sat down to write my vision, I realized part of it involved me doing less work, not more!
The problem with goal setting is we write our goals from the position of our current perspective. We look to make incremental changes to what we already have rather than taking a completely fresh look at our lives and checking in with ourselves whether the life we currently have is even what we want.
If it’s not, making incremental changes won’t be enough to live a happy life. So here is a great approach for crafting a vision for the life you truly desire.
1. Setting the Vision for Your Dream Life
The first step in setting your vision is to write down what your ideal life would look like in three main areas:
- What experiences do you want to have in your life? This could be the kind of house you want to own, having a family, working from anywhere, travelling, etc. Get clear and write down exactly what you would like to have and experience.
- Who do you want to be in your life? What skills, expertise and personality traits do you want to have? Sometimes we get stuck thinking that our personality is fixed and there is nothing we can do to change ourselves. This is simply not true. We can become more resilient, more intelligent, and more compassionate. But it all starts with becoming aware of who you are currently and who you desire to become.
- What kind of impact do you want to make in your life? We get true fulfilment when we are able to share our gifts and talents with others. What kind of impact and legacy do you want to leave in the world?
2. Translating Your Vision into Goals
Now that you’re clear on your vision, it’s time to break it down into goals. What would you need to do to get you closer to achieving your vision? This could be making more money, learning new skills, etc.
I use the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. Let’s take an example. If one of your goals is to increase your income, this could be achieved in a number of ways: you could get a better paying job, start a side business, turn your expertise into a course, write a book, become a paid speaker, just to name a few. List out your goals to achieve your vision.
3. Identifying Support to Realize Your Goals
The next step is defining what you need to achieve these goals. If you were already the person that could achieve these goals, you would have achieved them already.
What skills, experiences, personality traits, and beliefs do you need to have? Perhaps you need some training or a mentor. Make a list of resources and support you need to achieve your goals.
4. Avoid the Number One Obstacle to Achieving Your Goals
The biggest obstacle to achieving your goals is self sabotage. And by this, I mean your mindset. Working with a range of clients every day, I can immediately tell which clients will be the most successful just by their mindset.
The attitude of my most successful clients is very simple. They decide to do something and then… they do it. There’s no wondering if they can do it, and there’s no lack of self worth or doubt. They 100% believe in themselves and back themselves even when things don’t work out or they make mistakes. Taking massive action is preceded by clarity on what you want and self belief. That’s it.
Our self sabotage is hiding in our subconscious thoughts. So the best way to overcome it is to become aware of our subconscious thoughts. Take note of times where you don’t feel good about something you need to do and write down the negative thoughts that come up. Observe the thoughts but don’t associate with them. Do this daily. Self reflection is key to staying on target and achieve our goals.
Setting your visions and achieving your goals should be fun. You need to enjoy the process as much as reaching the destination. Fall in love with the daily work and start living as that future person now.
About the Author
Louise Booth is a former Fortune 500 marketing director turned personal branding coach. For the past 17 years, she has worked with brands such as Nissan, Nestle, Lloyds Banking Group, and Gucci in marketing and brand strategy. She is the founder and director of Hudson Digital, a consultancy helping experts, coaches, consultants, and corporate professionals build their personal brand, become a leading authority in their field, and increase their income.