So I just finished reading The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, (If you haven’t read this I highly recommend it) and one of the biggest take-aways I had after reading this book was the importance of having a three year vision for your business and life.  

As I read this book it basically confirmed what I already knew about vision statements: without one it will be really hard to change. Why is that? Because real change, the kind that will make you grow and move you forward, is freaking hard.  If you don’t know WHY you want to make this change the power of the immediate gratification in the present will overpower the delayed gratification of meeting your goal in the future. 

An example: 

Let’s say that you’re having a lot of pain in your body right now.  You have a goal of having no pain in your body. In order to do this you have made a plan that includes limiting inflammatory foods like sugar, and going to your acupuncture appointments each week.  (This may be my real life goal by the way…just sayin’)

If you don’t have a vision of what your pain-free future looks like it is going to be extremely hard to say no to that box of freaking delish Cherry Pop-Tarts your husband bought that is sitting in the pantry (yes…they are sitting in my pantry calling to me right now).  It will also be hard to take the time from your busy week for your acupuncture appointment. 

The thing that makes it more manageable to ignore the Pop-Tarts and get your rear end to acupuncture is your vision. 

So…the reason you NEED a vision statement is because it is your insurance policy protecting you from present temptations and distractions.  

Here is what Moran and Lennington have to say about creating a powerful vision: 

“If you are going to perform at a high-level, take new ground, and be great, then you better have a vision that is compelling. In order to achieve a level of performance that is greater than your current performance, you will need a vision of the future that is bigger than the present. You must find a vision with which you are emotionally connected. Without a compelling vision, you will discover there is no reason to go through the pain of change.”

-The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Characteristics of a Vision

The quote above from Moran and Lennington tells us all the characteristics of a vision that will drive us.    

  1. Your vision must be compelling-It must push or drive you toward action and it should be powerful and irresistible. 
  2. Your vision of the future must be bigger than the present-It HAS TO BE bigger than your present. I mean, you need to stretch your vision to something that seems almost impossible right now. It should be something that you can’t do right now if you operate as you currently are.  
  3. Your vision must be something with which you are emotionally connected-You gotta’ care about it…and I mean deeply. Your vision is something life-changing. You need to believe that your life will be exponentially better if the goals you’ve set for yourself come to fruition.  

So, without further ado, let’s just get to it

How to Create and Use a Three Year Vision

Step 1: Consider All Areas of Your Life

As you start to draft your vision consider the following areas of life: work/business, spiritual, family, social, and personal. In three years where do you want to be in each area of your life? Remember that the areas of your life may overlap. 

Step 2: Think BIGGER

Creating your vision is not the time to play small.  As you’re considering each area of life think of what you actually want…even if it seems impossible. If you’re thinking you’d like to increase your revenue by 50% in three years I call bullshit.  No. You don’t. You want to triple your revenue in three years—that’s a vision.  Think bigger and really work to call yourself out.  

Step 3: Write in the Present and Include Whys

As you’re writing your vision write it out as if it has already happened. For example instead of writing “I will climb Mount Everest”, you would write “I feel amazing about the fact that I’ve climbed Mount Everest. (Don’t forget to include your why) It shows me I really am able to accomplish my goals and become physically strong.” 

Step 4: Keep Your Handwritten Vision Easily Accessible

Make sure you hand write your vision and place it somewhere that you can access it easily.  You’ll need it for steps 5 and 6.

Step 5: Use Your Vision to Set Goals

Each quarter, month, week, day as you set goals for yourself use your vision.  Read it. Do your goals line up with it? If not, set a different goal.  If you reference your vision and make sure your goals align, you will find yourself living your vision in a short while.  

Step 6: Read Your Vision Everyday

The final step is to read your vision everyday. Then, take some time (not long maybe 5-10min), and visualize your vision as it it has already happened.  Think about things like what it feels like in your body, the smells and sounds around you, other people as it relates to your vision.  Get as specific as possible. 

Let Your Vision Be Your Guide

Your vision will guide you toward your goals; you’ll have an easier time deciding what you need to do each day with your vision firmly in mind.  Though, if you’re still having trouble getting things done, go ahead and download my free guide: 5 Ways to Skyrocket Your Productivity…it will help you out. 

Finally, your vision is going to guide you when things get hard and things get real. Because they will. When this happens, your vision is where you turn. You read it and internalize it and connect with it all over again.  The hard stuff is worth it.  

What is included in your vision? Share with us in the comments below. 

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