2017 is here! I’m sure you’re super excited about the new year. I am! There will be tons of new year resolutions but those have been proven not to be effective. Think of 2017 as a notebook with 365 blank pages that represent the days of your life. You need a plan to make the best of it all.
A Vision plan is your map for navigating the new year and its amazing potentials. It focuses on the big picture and the smaller steps towards achieving the broader goals. Let’s jump in!
- Start with the BIG picture. Clearly write out what your vision for the year is. A vision points to the end goal, the finished idea…the zenith. It doesn’t matter how huge or ridiculous it sounds, because this is about you. Starting with the BIG picture helps you to see exactly where you are going. You should end up with a statement that sounds something like this: “My vision for 2017 is to…. 1, 2, and 3.” Part of mine is to build a team around my first theater production in the U.S. Knowing this is helpful so that I can focus my efforts and plan accordingly.
- Harness the power of imagination. The creative mind is a unique tool. In fact, it has untapped potential. I find that most people are so busy blazing through tasks that they forget that the most powerful moments come in quiet moments. This is a deliberate and conscious effort to find a space where you are free to close your eyes and visualize. After writing the phrase/description of what your BIG picture looks like, go ahead and IMAGINE it.
- Use arrows and boxes. The next step is to illustrate your vision. Trust me, you don’t have to be an artist to do this. You need some office paper or journal and a pen. Sketch out the components of that BIG vision. Start with the key ideas in boxes and then use arrows to connect them creating a rough flow chart. This step allows you to focus on the skeleton/blueprint of the vision. Likewise, it helps you to know the components needed to make your vision achievable. This is the framework or the “business canvas” pretty much. For a theater production, heck, I need a script, a director, actors…a location!!! Hope you get the idea…
- Who’s doing what you want to do? Ah! The power of creative plagiarism has no bounds. This isn’t as evil as it sounds. This just means doing some research to know who has done what you want to do. Study their processes, activities, structure, and finances. It’s better to learn standing on the shoulders of others who have gone before you. In business-speak, this leads you to your SWOT session. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The trick is to write these down while studying what others have done to be successful. What are they doing that you can do, and even do better? What areas are you lagging in and how can you leverage that to become a strength? What threats do you need to mitigate? And what opportunities are screaming out at you?
- 3 is better than 1. Now it’s time to test out the efficacy of your vision plan. If your vision is to finally launch your fashion blog, your vision boxes may involve a website, illustrations, photography, models, etc. It seems straight forward but you’re safer reviewing this idea with someone you trust who can give you constructive feedback – a mentor, an advisor, a spouse, etc.. I say 3 is better than 1 because it’s always safer to test out your idea with 2 – 3 people. There’s safety in the multitude of counsel. But beware the merry or not-so-merry charlatans who pretend to love you but will attempt to kill your dream. You should have 2 – 3 trusted mentors/advisors. They’ll help you find the holes in your plan and advise you on how to proceed.
- No dates? That’s lame. Beware of the jolly captain who launches off to sea without the company of a compass. As a compass guides a captain’s sense of direction, so does setting deadlines. I call them “lifelines.” A lifeline is a target date for the completion of a task. In this step, you write out the “SMART*” goals for the ‘boxed’ items in Step 3. Each goal should be a line item that you can check off once completed. It could be a call that you need to make, registering a domain name, or attending a class, etc. Add a reasonable lifeline for each task. Give yourself ample time to get things done. You’re a busy person, after all.
- Rock on! Launch into deep waters and begin implementing your vision. Ideally, a vision board helps to keep your vision right in front of you. You also need someone to be accountable to. We’ll do this for you at GodKulture if you let us. We’ll be happy to check on your and your progress. There will be “opportunities” to slow down, to lose your focus, or to simply quit on what you’ve started. You need to be determined and resilient. Never ever give up.
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
(These criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives)