Having a vision for your life can not only support your career, but help guide your relationships and off-the-clock activities. It can keep your long-term goals in sight while you pursue short-term ones that are realistic for your current situation. A vision can help you decide what jobs and leadership roles to pursue.

Your vision statement should communicate your goal in under 40 words. Here are some steps to developing it:

  • Know Your Strengths (3-5) 

    • Make a list of your skills:
      • What are you good at?
      • What do you enjoy?
      • What would you do with your time if you didn’t have to work?
    • Then think about which of these skills are marketable. If you can’t make money with them, which of these skills have intrinsic value whether or not they will lead to a job? What can you offer that the world needs? Can you do these things on the side of your regular job?
    • Can they be your retirement focus? Even in retirement, we need some structure and a reason to get up in the morning.
  • Reflect on Your Values 

    • Is it important to you that your work gives back to society?
    • Do you prioritize work-life balance?
    • Are you motivated by helping or inspiring others?
    • Close friends and family members can help you pinpoint your values by telling you what they think matters to you, what drives you and makes you happy.
    • You can also take an online values test like this one. It will give you information about your personality and beliefs, that can point to your values.
    • If your values do not seem to fit your goal, consider changing your goal to something related that maintains your core values.
  • Explore How Your Skills and Values Can Solve Real-World Problems 

    • What issues are you passionate about?
    • Are there challenges that your personal strengths are especially well-suited to address?
    • Are there issues, like climate change or free and fair elections, that fit well with your core values?
  • Take Your Time 

    • Do not become frustrated if it takes time—that is expected. Do not rush the process. Instead, give yourself grace. How can you use your gifts to serve others so that at the end of your time you have made a difference in their lives?
    • Gaining clarity as you continue on your life journey will bring a sense of freedom. It will relieve the pressure of striving to achieve something that others have in mind for you.
    • Being certain of your purpose and having a clear vision of what living it out looks like can bring you peace that surpasses all understanding. It can also lead to joy on the journey and a sense of fulfillment.
  • Think Big 

    • Do not limit yourself or allow others to be a barrier. Be innovative and creative as you go through this process. As you do so, you will be exposed to new thoughts, information and insights.
    • Leaders who have done great things are often people who thought bigger than anything they could ever have imagined with their natural minds.

Vision Examples

Here are some personal vision statement examples:

  • I would like to become a doctor, helping people live full, healthy lives.
  • I want to be a social worker. My strong commitment to justice has inspired me to help the less fortunate.
  • I am fascinated by technology’s ability to impact global communications. Someday, I want to be the CEO of a tech company empowering underrepresented groups.

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