As we stand at the beginning of a new year, many of us have made resolutions to change our lives for the better. However, experience has shown that traditional New Year’s resolutions often fall by the wayside within weeks. Why is that? The answer lies in the fundamental difference between resolutions and visions. In this blog, I’ll explore why resolutions don’t work and how embracing a clear vision can set you on the path to creating a new and improved version of yourself.
THE PITFALLS OF RESOLUTIONS:
Resolutions are often short-lived because they lack the depth and substance needed for sustained change. They’re often framed as a list of do’s and don’ts without a clear roadmap or purpose. Without a compelling vision, resolutions become mere wishes, easily abandoned when faced with challenges, or just forgotten. Examples of some New Year’s Resolutions are:
- Exercise at least three times a week to improve overall fitness.
- Read a new book every month to expand knowledge and perspective.
- Get enough sleep each night to promote overall well-being.
- Create and stick to a monthly budget to save more money.
These read more as action items, but what is missing is the BIG ENOUGH WHY and that is where visions can help.
WHAT IS A VISION?
A vision is a vivid, inspiring mental image of what you want your future to look like. It’s a destination, a guiding light that illuminates the path ahead. Unlike resolutions, a vision taps into your deeper motivations and aspirations, by providing a more profound sense of purpose. Without a vision in your life, organisation product or team, you are floating around reacting to whatever life dishes out. With a Vision, you are declaring what it is you want and why, you are putting that stake in the ground to do so. It creates a directions and brings about alignment. Alignment in the organisation, alignment in your life, alignment with the universe.
IDENTIFYING YOUR VISION:
To create a vision, start by reflecting on your core values, passions, and long-term goals in the different areas of your life. Ask yourself: What kind of person do I want to become? What legacy do I want to leave? What do I want to achieve? Your vision should align with your authentic self, serving as a compass for decision-making and goal-setting. When you live a life of alignment between your values, vision, words and actions, that is a life of integrity and one that has power to manifest anything. So what are some of the areas of life that you can consider, well, I have listed options for you below:
- Finances & Wealth – identifying what you need to live well, for yourself, your family, your business, savings, retirement, home, etc
- Career & Professional Development – setting goals and defining your PATH forward, being in action about that and being deliberate
- Health, Wellbeing & Fitness – focus on physical, mental and emotional health, on increasing your health span, not just my lifespan; what do you need to do to support that
- Social, Recreation & Leisure – activities & hobbies that bring relaxation, e.g reading, chatting to friends, dinners
- Relationships & Family – envisioning a fulfilling and harmonious relationships with others, or a significant other; how can you get better, what can you do to make others lives better? How can you take the focus away from you and be “of service to others”
- Personal Growth & Learning – goals for personal development; what are you doing to continue to learn, grow and have your boundaries expanded in relationship to growth
- Spirituality & Mindfulness – spending time exploring your beliefs, values & practices, choosing empowering contexts for your life, being conscious
- Contribution & Service – considering how you can make an impact on others and give back, leave a legacy, etc
- Home & Environment – envisioning the ideal living space and creating a peaceful environment
- Personal Relationships – focusing on personal growth, self awareness, & healthy relationships with oneself
- Fun & Adventure – embracing spontaneity, new experiences & life’s adventures, doing different things to stimulate the brain
- Environment & Sustainability – setting goals for promoting ecological responsibility such as reuse & recycle
- Business (team or organisation) – focusing on building and growing a business, a team and taking it to that next level. Look at the entirety of the business; what do you want the culture to look like, the leadership, the office, the systems, the strategy etc. Give it real depth
- Product – focusing on where you want to take your product and what opportunities or pain points to leverage and focus on solving
Now when you are creating a vision you can’t necessarily focus on everything all at once. What I like to do is focus on areas that I want to build up, that I feel a little unsatisfied with, be it in my life, career or business. Focus on 1-2 areas and you can then focus on the rest as you achieve those first few. Flesh the details out; what does it look like for you, if you were to achieve what you want. Paint that complete picture in detail!
Secondly, identify WHY you are wanting these things. For what bigger purpose. It is really important to identify this, as that becomes your BIG ENOUGH WHY. That will pull you forth into action when you don’t want to. Do you want to leave a legacy for your family? Do you want to create a business to bring awakening to the sleeping masses? Do you want to create a product that solves users problems in a certain way. What is that big enough why that will drive you forward?
THE IMPORTANCE OF A VISION:
A well-defined vision serves as a source of motivation during challenging times. It acts as a North Star, helping you navigate through the inevitable obstacles and setbacks. When your actions are aligned with your vision, you are more likely to stay committed, resilient, and focused on your journey of self-improvement. Critical is that you can visualise what it is that you are creating. You can see it in your minds eye. You can hear it, possibly taste and smell it, you are interacting with the vision. Visualisation of the vision is critical, because if you cannot visualise it, how will you know what to do to achieve it? It also forms the basis of manifestation meditations; more on that later.
THE VISION-REALIZATION CONNECTION:
A vision provides clarity on where you want to go, but it’s the intentional actions and habits that bridge the gap between vision and reality. Break down your vision into actionable steps, set realistic milestones, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Consistent progress, no matter how small, fuels the momentum needed for lasting change. If you see yourself in that vision, let’s say 2 years from now, look back to today and identify everything you needed to do to get to that future. What are big milestones, or steps you took to get there? Then prioritise those. As you start to take action on those steps, more and more actions will be revealed for you to prioritise and take.
The other thing worth mentioning is about cultivating a positive mindset; on that focuses on possibility and growth. You will be stopped by your own Gremlin and its limiting beliefs, these will come up for you, because you are human. So the practice here is identifying your limiting beliefs and then doing the work to create new ones. More on that in a separate blog.
CREATING THE NEW YOU:
By embracing a vision-driven approach, you’re not merely setting goals; you’re transforming yourself, your business, your product, your career, your life. Your vision becomes the catalyst for personal growth, pushing you to expand your capabilities, overcome challenges, and unlock your full potential. The process of creating a new you is ongoing, fueled by a vision that evolves as you do.
As we embark on this new year in 2024, resist the temptation to set fleeting resolutions. Instead, invest your time in crafting a compelling vision that will guide and inspire you throughout the journey. The power to create a new you lies within the clarity and purpose that a well-defined vision provides. Embrace the transformative potential of a vision, and make 2024 the year you unlock your truest, most empowered self.
Reach out to me directly if you want some coaching on this for you, your life, career, business or family. I am a licensed coach with 20+ years experience in leadership, in New York, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, London & Sydney. You can book and pay online here on this website!