A personal vision statement – What is it? Why do you need one and how do you create your own?
In this post, I’ll answer these three questions, and provide a simple four-step process for creating your personal vision statement. Plus, I’ll share my personal vision statement example.
And while we’ll talk about personal vision statements, you can easily change this and apply the same process to your business, career, or community – all you need to do is change some of the Wishlist questions.
Why do you need a personal vision statement?
Why do you need a personal vision statement? The short answer is this: Would you rather be bored? Or inspired? Now, that’s an easy choice.
Inspiration happens when you connect what you are doing right now with things that are important to you – that inspire you. Having a personal vision statement is an easy way to do this on a regular basis. You simply write it down and refer to it often.
It gives you direction, purpose and energy. Plus, it becomes a benchmark for making decisions in your life. For example, if your family is important to you then this might help you decide where you want to live.
What is a personal vision statement?
What is a personal vision statement? It’s a short description of the life you want to live.
There are a few different ways that you can do this.
- The classic way is to paint a picture of what your future will look like.
- You might also create a short list as a summary of the action or who you want to become.
- Plus, you can also distil it down into a single sentence that captures your personal vision.
- You can also present this graphically. For instance, as a word cloud or as a vision board with images.
To create a word cloud for your Personal Vision Statement, here’s an article that reviews some of the best word cloud software.
How do you create a personal vision statement?
To create your personal vision statement there are four simple steps to take.
Step 1 Wishlist
The first step in creating your personal vision statement is to start dreaming and wishing. You want to answer the question: What do you want your life to be like?
And the best way to do this is to answer this question across some simple life/work categories.
Here are ten categories to create your wish list. As you read this, take notes and write down what you want.
- Lifestyle – how do you want to live? How much work do you want to do?
- Money – how much do you want to earn? How do you want to earn it?
- Work – Describe your ideal work and ideal work day.
- People – who you do want to hang out with? Include friends, family, work colleagues.
- Create – what do you want to create? This might be through your work or as a hobby.
- Location – where do you want to be? To travel or not?
- Learning – what skills, information or wisdom do you want to learn?
- Health – What will you do to maintain and build your wellbeing?
- Play – What will you do for leisure and play? Where will you do this?
- What else? – what else is important to your future?
Feel free to add your own category here to personalise your vision statement – especially if this is for your career or business.
Step 2 Scenario
The second step in creating your personal vision statement is to paint your picture.
Consider your answers to the previous exercise as your raw materials. Now you can build them, mould them or sketch with them to draw a picture of what you want your life to look like.
The key here is to be as descriptive and colourful as you can. Don’t just say, ‘live with my partner.’ Write down the things that would make this a joyful, happy, and exciting time for both of you.
Again, I suggest you take some notes. The value here is not in reading this post, it’s in being inspired by the life you are creating for yourself.
Step 3 Keywords
So far, you’ve been exploring, expanding, and brainstorming what you want your life to look like.
In the third step in creating your personal vision statement, you want to narrow this down to fewer things.
Review what you’ve written in the previous two sections and find the keywords that stand out – those words that have extra meaning to you. For instance, my keywords are: create, health, happiness, location independent, a body of work, and grateful. And if I could only pick one word, I’d choose ‘create’. That sums me up. That’s the thing that most excites me in life.
Step 4 Statement
Now for the all-important step of putting this groundwork into a finished personal vision statement.
There are two ways to do this.
- You can write one, two or three short sentences.
- Or you can write a series of short bullet point statements.
In terms of the right length of your vision statement, go with the flow and do what feels right for you. Make sure it is long enough to include all of your important things, but not too long that it becomes something that puts you off from reading it often.
You also might have several versions. For instance, a one-page description with the full sentences and a short 10-point bullet list of the highlights.
Here’s my personal vision statement example: Be creative anywhere at any time.
(My example is very short. I have longer descriptions that sit in the background. And because I been living true to my vision for some time I tend not to refer to the other longer versions.)
Words have power. What we call things defines our experience of them. Think about the words you would describe your most and least favourite movies. Is it good, bad, or magnificent?
And to put this power into play with your personal vision statement you want to call it something that captures the spirit of you and your life in a name or a title.
I could simply call my vision, Geoff’s Vision Statement. But that’s a bit lame. There’s no excitement there. In contrast, if I called it ‘Anywhere Anytime’ that captures the spirit of the lifestyle I want to live – to work on my projects anywhere on the planet at any time I please. Plus it gives me room to interpret this as I live my life and new opportunities show up.
The final bonus step for you is to come up with a sexy and inspiring name for your personal vision statement.
And remember, your title and any part of your personal vision statement is a flexible and fluid document. Let it grow and change and evolve with you.
My tip is to write down your best answers for today. Then as you reflect on your vision over time feel free to experiment with new words and add new things that inspire you.
How to Live your Personal Vision Every Day
Now that you have created your personal vision statement, what are you going to do with it? How will you use this to inspire you to live a great life every day?
There is one crucial thing you must do: You need to give it presence in your life. In other words, you must think about it and act on it every day.
Three Ways to bring your Personal Vision Statement to Life
- Morning – This could be as simple as reading what you have written down as a daily practice – perhaps as the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning.
- Evening – Plus, you might want to reflect on it when you go to bed. How did you do today? Were you inspired? Did you live true to your personal vision? This is another reason why having a short name for your vision is crucial. For me, I don’t have to remember my whole vision, I just have to remember ‘anywhere anytime’.
- Post a Copy – Another easy thing to do is to put a written copy of your personal vision statement on a wall where you will see it often. This could be your fridge, next to the bathroom wall or on your desk.
Remind yourself of the life you want to create so you can make it easier to live that way.
More Creating Your Personal Vision Statement
To help inspire you, you might like to read these other posts on lifestyle design, location independent living and work-life balance:
- 17 ways to work from anywhere in the world
- Work-Life Balance Three Metaphors for a Great Life
- Work Freedom and True Work-Life Balance
- Lifestyle Design for Business Experts
- Location Independent Lifestyle Design
- How to work from anywhere
Add your personal vision statement as a comment below. I’d love to hear what you’ve created for yourself.