According to Dan Denison’s (formally of the University of Michigan Business School) 30 years of research linking behaviors to bottom-line business performance the “mission” is one of four key quadrants essential to long-term sustainable success. In his words, it is essential to answer the question “do we know where we are going?”
This can be applied at the individual, team or organizational level. For the sake of this conversation, we will focus on the individual level.
To over-generalize, my clients fall into two categories: (1) those who excel at the big picture and then feel fog roll in as our conversation turns to the details of execution, and (2) those who struggle to articulate the details of a long-term vision yet can create an action plan in a matter of minutes.
If you are closer to the first category, please read this article as though you are reading your own notes — these exercises can serve as a priceless reminder of how you can successfully create a helpful dynamic tension between the current reality and your ideal future. If you are closer to the second group, take a deep breath. You WILL come out on the other side with a clearer sense of where you are going and why.
Having a clear sense of what we want is the surest way to get it.
This activity walks through creating a vision for each area of your life using a series of questions to ignite your thinking. Set yourself up to enjoy this process by creating time and space –have your favorite beverage, delicious snacks and music that matches your mood. You may want to make notes on your computer or using different colored markers on paper or flip-charts or a whiteboard. Stretch out and have fun!
Focus on each of the following categories:
- Reflect — How has it been? Celebrate accomplishments and notice what was missing.
- Dream — Ideally, how would you what this to be? Capture your vision in writing or with an image.
- Prioritize — Highlight your top priority.
RELATIONSHIP WITH SELF
- What is “enough” alone time for me?
- What do I love to do on my own?
- What are the signals I need some alone time?
- What activities do I love?
- How active do I want to be?
- What does “Health & Wellness” look like to me?
- What foods are most important for me to eat?
- How much water do I want to drink each day?
- What would I like to learn?
- In what ways do I hope to grow?
- What have I always wanted to know more about?
- What are the daily rituals that fuel me?
- Do I want to be in one?
- What does “quality time” with my partner mean to me?
- How much romance do I want?
- Would does ideal communication in our relationship look/feel like to me?
- What would I like more or less of in my relationship?
- Who do I consider to be my “family”?
- How much family time do I want?
- What are my favorite activities to do with my family?
- Do I want more or less social time?
- What do I most enjoy doing with others?
- Who are my favorite people to be around?
- When do I laugh the most?
- What do I most love about where I live?
- What would I like to add?
- What would I like to take away?
- What do I most love about what I do?
- What would I like to do more of?
- What would I like to do less of?
- If I could change anything, I would change _____.
- What annual income would allow me to sustain the lifestyle I want?
- Currently, what are my strongest beliefs about money?
- What is most important to me in the realm of finances?
- What would I like to better understand related to money, finances and my future?
- Is there more I want to do to work towards a greater level of financial freedom?
- When during a day/week is my energy the highest? What is the best use of that energy?
- When during a day/week is my energy the lowest? What would be best to focus on during those windows?
- What is an ideal flow of a day/week for me?
- How do I want to modify my life to more closely match my ideal?
- What other categories are important in my life?
- What is my ideal vision in these areas?
- What are my goals and or priorities?