Do you feel like life is passing you by with no vision for the future? I feel ya. Until I started being seriously intentional about my life, I felt like every month was two weeks short. As soon as I was getting in the groove for the new month, that “new” month would be nearly over. I was spending half my life in a constant state of catch up and not actually moving forward toward any real goals.
I don’t want you to live life in catch up mode, and I’m sure you don’t want that for yourself. So today we’re going to work on an exercise that helps you think big. I mean really big. So often we create ho hum goals that aren’t inspiring or motivating. When it comes time to make a sacrifice to advance towards that goal, we choose to do something else with our time.
Big Goals Start with Vision
I love this quote published in Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s book “Living Forward”:
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.”
– Daniel H. Burnham
In other words, if you want to accomplish your goals, make them big so that the dream of accomplishing them makes you eager to jump out of bed in the morning.
Goals are difficult to set if you don’t have a vision for you life. How can you know you’ve arrived at your destination if you don’t know where you’re going? First, you have to set aside time to dream about your future and write out the possibilities. From there, you can take your vision to formulate goals.
How to Create a Vision for Your Life
- Set aside time. Don’t try to fit this in while waiting in the carpool lane at school pick up. Think about the message that sends to yourself: “My life is not important enough to set aside time for focus and clarity.” Set aside 10-20 minutes where you can focus without interruptions. Make yourself and your life a priority.
- Find a notebook or piece of paper and a pen.
- Set 5 minutes on the clock and write down as many ideas as you can think of. Don’t edit, filter or get distracted.
- Take a break. Sit back and look at what you wrote so far. Let it sink in. Is there anything on the list that surprises you? Is there anything that gives you more idea?
- Repeat steps 4 and 5. The goal of this exercise is to think bigger with each round of brainstorming. Sometimes we are hung up on what is possible or likely and it takes a few rounds to move past this limitation. You can’t achieve big goals without dreaming big dreams.
- Do 2 or more rounds. You might find that after three rounds you’re getting tired or you might find that the ideas keep coming and you want to dig deeper. You might decide to put the list down and schedule a time to come back to it later.
Word of Caution for Creating Your Vision
Are you afraid to make mistakes or be laughed out? Whatever you do, don’t edit or limit yourself in this exercise. This is not about figuring out the feasibility, this is about dreaming big. This is about allowing ourselves the happy emotions that come with dreaming big. In allowing ourselves to dream big, we also start telling that negative voice deep down that we are worthy.
You can’t achieve big goals without dreaming big dreams.
Take out a notebook or a piece of paper and find a pen. Set 5 minutes on the clock and write down as many ideas as you can think of. Take a break and look at those ideas. Repeat as you uncover the layers and start to dream big.
After you’ve gone through the exercise, let me know in the comments below how it went. What did you uncover or discover? What goal or dream on your list are you most excited about?