This post will take you through the steps of how to write your vision statement. You cab find a downloadable worksheet at the end.
I used the process outlined below a few years ago when I was working with a career coach. At that time, I didn’t realize how valuable a vision statement would be.
I recommend working through the values/vision/mission process in the following order: (1) Discover your values; (2) Write your vision statement; and (3) Write your mission statement (coming soon).
Why write a vision statement?
A vision statement invites you to succinctly articulate your purpose (your “why”) and the person you want to be/become as you live out your purpose.
I regularly refer to my vision statement when making work-related and personal decisions, “course correcting”, and reflecting on my choices.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement has been defined as “a long term, high-level snapshot of a desired future state.”
It provides clarity for the future while directing you to place your attention in the present. As such, a vision statement inspires you to focus on what matters.
A personal vision statement can serve as a “North Star”: it acts as a guide that helps ensure you are maintaining the original course you set out to take.
“To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes” (one of my coaching clients)
“Being the difference in my communities.” (Isabeau’s)
“To see everyone, including my family, enjoy peace and rights, so that they can realize their full potential in life.” (Tita Ida website)
“To encourage open minds and creative thinkers who will meet the challenges of their generation.
(Helpful Professor Website)
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” (Oprah)
How to write your vision statement
Once you’ve identified your values (see this values worksheet), you are ready to create a vision statement. Creating a vision statement can take time, so don’t pressure yourself to get it done quickly.
Though a vision statement has been defined as “a long term, high-level snapshot of a desired future state,” I encourage you to define “long-term” as serves you best. Some people can easily think of the future; others can’t.
Areas to reflect upon as you create your vision
Your values: What values do you stand by? Which ones define you?
Fulfillment: What are the things you must do every day (or regularly) to feel fulfilled? For example, you may need to connect with others, listen to or play music, and/or move your body.
Enjoyment: What are the things you enjoy doing the most? Think about the things that would leave you feeling incomplete if they didn’t happen in a given week or month. These may be similar or different from the items you included in the fulfillment category above.
Focus: What are the major areas of your life that you give attention to? (e.g., family, spirituality, finance, health, family and friends, career, home and environment, etc)
Strengths: What comes easily to you? What are you good at?
Dreams: What are they?
A few more suggestions for how to write your vision statement
- Create a vision statement that you can apply to your whole life (vs separating your personal and professional life).
- Remind yourself that you’re not aiming for a “perfect” vision statement.
- Once you have created a draft, put it aside for a few hours or days. Then, come back to it and make any changes.
Revisit it regularly. Give yourself permission to change it.
- Use it when you feel confused, or are making a decision, or feel distracted. Observe how it helps you. If it doesn’t help you, consider modifying it.
- Share it with others who support you and care for you. Invite their thoughts and input (only if you find that helpful).
Download the instructions and worksheet for How to Write a Vision Statement in 3 Steps by clicking the button:
If you feel like you’re flailing around or simply want more clarity on your purpose, reach out to me–I can help. Email me email@example.com to find out more.
Photo credit: Eagle by Anthony (I picked this image because Eagles have outstanding vision).