A personal vision statement is a powerful part of your life plan that can clarify your goals and aspirations in life. It is a statement that captures your long-term vision, and it serves as a guide to help you make decisions and take actions that align with that vision. Creating a personal vision statement can be a meaningful and empowering experience, help you formulate a life plan, and live a more fulfilling life.
I first learned about vision statements through my various roles in a corporate environment. I witnessed firsthand how a well-crafted and inspiring vision could change the trajectory and focus of a team, department, and even an entire organization. As luck would have it, I was also introduced to Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People during this time. It made perfect sense to me that a personal vision statement would help me to create a life of purpose and maintain my focus on what matter most.
Vision vs Mission Statements
We can get really hung up on semantics. I don’t want you to do that while reading this article so allow me to define each term.
A vision statement is typically more aspirational and focused on an end result. Think in terms of how your life will be once you’ve “arrived.” While a corporate may desire to be the “best in class provider of X”, on a personal level, this vision may look much different.
A mission statement is more focused on actions to be taken, objectives or goals to be reached, and values you hold dear.
This article combines these components to help you craft a personal philosophy to live by. Also, the terms may be used interchangeably in the following paragraphs.
Why Create a Personal Vision & Mission Statement
When considering creating a life plan, there are lots of ways to get started. You can start with a bucket list or goals you want to accomplish. Or you can be a bit more strategic and start with the vision and mission for your life. Creating a personal vision statement provides an easy way to get started with your life plan. More importantly, it provides a tool to bounce off your potential decisions against. Following are just a few ways a personal vision statement can help in life.
- Clarity: A personal vision statement can help you clarify your goals and aspirations in life. It can help you focus on what is truly important to you and eliminate distractions and noise.
- Motivation: A personal vision statement can provide you with motivation and inspiration to pursue your goals. It can help you stay focused and committed, even when the going gets tough. Video: How to Set Goals & Create an Action Plan
- Alignment: A personal vision statement can help you align your actions with your long-term goals. It can help you make decisions that are in line with your values and aspirations.
- Accountability: A personal vision statement can help you hold yourself accountable for your actions. It can help you stay on track and measure your progress toward your goals. Article: 5 Things Stopping You from Achieving Your Goals
How to Create a Personal Vision Statement
Creating a life plan and personal vision statement is a process that requires reflection and introspection. It could take days, weeks, or months to refine it to a place you like. You may modify it periodically throughout your lifetime. And if you have a partner, be sure to include them in the process.
Don’t worry so much about defined parameters like “it must have this,” “it can’t be too long,” “it should include these things.” Your personal vision/mission statement will be as unique as you are. If you want something short that you can commit to memory, make it short. And if you prefer a multi-page constitution or list of items, do that. If you want to create a poem, set it to music, or turn it into a rap song – do what resonates for you.
Article: Aligning Your Life to Your Purpose
Steps for Success
Here are some steps to help you create a personal vision statement and a life plan that inspires:
- Reflect on your values and passions. Think about the things that are most important to you, the things that you are passionate about, and the things that bring you joy. Start by brainstorming a list of your personal values.
- Think in terms of lifetime accomplishments. An excellent tool I learned from Stephen Covey is to visualize the end of my life and reflect on what I accomplished, what I regret not doing, the people I hold dear in my life, how my loved ones think of me, how I’ve impacted the world, and what I’m most proud of. Article: How to Visualize Success in 5 Easy Steps
- Identify your long-term goals. Consider where you want to be, do, have, or accomplish five, ten, or twenty years from now. Think about your career, your relationships, your health, and your personal growth. Check out this article to get started: How to Create a Life Plan by Starting with a Bucket List.
- Don’t think too much about the “How.” While creating your vision statement, don’t let fears of “how” you’ll do it stop progress. You don’t have to know how yet. Just focus on the big picture – what kind of life you want to have, what impact you want to have on the world, and what experiences you want to have while on the planet.
- Use clear and concise language to articulate your long-term vision. Your personal vision statement should be inspiring, motivating, and meaningful to you.
- Refine and revise your statement. Keep refining and revising your personal vision statement until you are happy with it. Remember that your personal vision statement should be a living document that evolves as you grow and change.
In conclusion, creating a personal vision statement can be a powerful tool to help you live a more fulfilling life. It can help you clarify your goals, stay motivated, and align your actions with your long-term aspirations. Take the time to reflect on your values, passions, and long-term goals, and create a life plan that includes a compelling vision/mission statement for your life.