A vision goal is being able to articulate what we want with an outcome that states the overall results we want to see and experience. We don't even have to have a specific plan yet, but really discovering the vision delight and desire. This is why some people create personal vision boards. They create a unique vision and then put up all the associated images that express all the different outcomes they will see and experience (physically, emotionally/mentally, relationally, spiritually). Then, having a specific deadline adds that challenge aspect to it and activates our brain to naturally work towards it. From a more clinical psychological review, this type of goal setting is tied to what's called "cognitive priming" and even "incentive learning."
So, here's a simple tool and example to help build your vision goal, outcome and deadline:
What do you want? What is your desired outcome? What is the delight you want to see?
Example: "To have a healthier lifestyle and more emotional resilience."
Vision Outcome Experience:
-- What does it look like? … Lose x amount of weight, being physically fit, less health issues, less stress, better routine and schedule (work & family balance), read 3 books for personal growth or entertainment, getting to do more of my hobbies, etc.
-- What does it feel like? … Have more energy, consistent and better moods, stronger relationships, feel mentally resilient and stronger, feel smarter and more educated about whole-health life, more confidence, more involved spouse and parent, fulfilled getting to do my fun hobbies, etc.
-- What will life be like? … More confidence in my work, feel more resilient against stress/anxiety, balanced joy with work and personal life, strong loving marriage, deeper relationship with kids, consistent community life and even new friendships, etc.
Example: July 2019
As you can see, this method provides broader perspective including personal and relational/community benefits. We should keep it simple because we can always add more later. Having this clear now naturally sets us up to explore overall plans and strategies that resonate with who we are.
Extra tip! Jesus is not waiting at the finish line of your vision or outcome, He’s with you, at your starting point or where ever you are. Thus, we can turn this into a simple prayer and asking for His thoughts and dreams to be expressed as we go through this exercise. It’s okay if we tweak it some later it just means we’re growing in wisdom and faith! Make it fun!
5. Build around unique grace and pace
As we begin to look for different plans and strategies, it's good to know our own unique Grace and Pace.
Grace is knowing the unique nuances of our personality and how we approach change. Some of us like a highly structured "1, 2, 3" plan while others prefer a lot of flexibility. Some of us want our personal space while others want a social group experience. Some of us like competitive markers and results while others just want a great emotional rewards.
Pace is finding the right balance of knowing our starting point and what we can really manage. So, especially if we're already feeling down and out, it's good we use weekly whisker goals (small, simple, and achievable goals) vs. just having the final stretch goals (the overall result you want). Even if we're at a slower speed with the plan, it's okay! The small and simple changes also build huge rewards and results.
6. We need a plan with unique strategies that resonate with who we are, not control us to be like someone else.