3 min read
From time to time we feel lost in life—we’re unsure of what we should be doing and where our life is headed. It’s normal (especially during your 20s and 30s), and it’s happened to me. For a while, I was homeless, living in the back of my car, asking people for money. The thing that helped me find my way again was having a personal vision statement.
A personal vision statement describes your long-term values, strengths and goals. It is a powerful tool for those seasons when you have big choices to make but aren’t sure what to do. However, not enough people have a personal vision statement, because they don’t see the full value in it. So, I’m sharing my top six reasons why you absolutely need a personal vision statement and how to write your own.
I go in depth on creating a vision for your life in my new course on how to maximize your single season. In it, I teach you everything that I did to transform my life and make the most of my singleness. If you want more guidance on making your personal vision statement, sign up for the course. Now let’s get into it!
1. A Vision Statement Helps You Align and Develop Your Personal and Professional Goals.
Your career affects your personal life and vice versa. If you’re trying to decide what you want out of your career or business, then you have to start with what you want your lifestyle to be. Do you want to be a stay-at-home parent, retire by 45 years old or take care of your elderly parents? All of those desires should have a direct impact on the career path you choose. Once you determine these, you can make intentional decisions to align your career with your personal values.
2. Making Decisions Becomes Way Easier.
Remember that scene in the Matrix when Morpheus gives Neo a choice: the blue pill or the red pill? Life is full of choices like that. It may not lead you to discover that you’ve been living in an alternate reality. But it can significantly impact your life. Most of us know that, and it causes us to either freeze or panic. A personal vision statement takes a lot of the stress out of making those major decisions.
Your personal vision statement already lays out where you want your personal and professional life to go. So when faced with a major decision, like moving, marriage, education, etc, you can look at your options and choose the one that best aligns with your vision for your life. So even if that job offer pays you more, you can feel confident turning it down if it doesn’t get you closer to your ultimate goals.
3. It Keeps You From Marrying the Wrong Person.
When it comes to marriage, we should all be looking for someone who shares our core values—whether that’s family, legacy building or your faith. A personal vision statement includes your values in life, so when you meet that special guy or lady, you can make sure they align with your vision.
Marrying someone who doesn’t align with your vision is dangerous. If building generational wealth is important to you, but he or she doesn’t budget, save money or pay their bills on time, then you shouldn’t get married. Instead, look for someone who wants to build wealth just as much as you do. Your personal vision statement will help you make those hard choices.
4. You Develop a Stronger Sense of Direction in Your Life.
It’s common to feel lost at different times in your life. Sometimes it’s triggered by a major disappointment in life, a personal loss or even a layoff. A personal vision statement can help you regain clarity and offer a stronger sense of direction.
It wouldn’t make much sense to drive to a city you’ve never been to without using a GPS to give you directions. You’d get lost. It's the same without a personal vision statement. It’s easy to get lost in life when you’re not sure where you’re going or how you’ll get there. When you’re unsure of what to do or where to go, look to your personal vision statement to guide you to the next right choice.
5. It Will Keep You Motivated During Difficult Times.
I keep my personal vision statement somewhere close, where I can reference it often. It helps me to stay motivated. That’s because life goes through cycles: Some days, we’re on the mountain top and everything is going our way. Other days, we’re in the valley and it’s tempting to quit and change course. But don’t get discouraged. When you’re feeling low on energy or straight up burnt out, your personal vision statement can reenergize you and remind you why you’re working so hard in the first place.
It also reminds you to keep looking forward instead of getting stuck on your mistakes. With a personal vision statement, there’s no time to live in the past, you’ve got to keep moving forward if you’re going to reach your vision.
6. It Becomes Easier to Avoid Distractions.
Focus is key to success, and a personal vision statement makes it so easy to ignore distractions. When opportunities come your way, you can determine whether it’s going to push you closer or further from your ultimate vision.
For example, say your vision is to help underprivileged kids break the cycle of generational poverty through reading and writing (that’s awesome). If that’s what you want to do, then you don’t need to look for jobs in university-level education. It’s a good opportunity, but it’s a distraction from your ultimate vision of helping school-age students to read and write.
Your personal vision statement helps you wade through the sea of good opportunities to find the few great ones that will truly move you forward.
How to Make a Personal Vision Statement
You didn’t think I was going to talk up personal vision statements and not teach you how to make one, did you? Don’t sweat, I got you! Here are the basics of how to make a personal vision statement. Keep in mind that you don’t have to finalize it immediately. Take a few days or more to work on it. It also doesn’t need to look exactly like the example I provided. You can do something slightly different if it suits you better.
Answer these questions on a piece of paper. Circle any common themes and fill in the blanks for your personal vision statement:
- What are you good at?
- What does the world need?
- What activities make you feel energized?
- What makes you angry? List 3-6.
- What problems in the world do you want to solve?
- Who are the most important people in your life?
- What is your ideal lifestyle in five, 10 and 20 years? Circle any common themes.
- Who do you want in your life in five, 10 and 20 years? Circle any common themes.
- How would you like to be remembered at the end of your days?
Fill in the blanks:
I want to _____________________________. This connects me to my values of _____________________________. This is important because _____________________________.
Save your personal vision statement somewhere you can reference it often. I know it’ll improve your life the way it improved mine.