What is your vision?

mind map - EEPaulVision. What is your vision? Do you have a vision? What is the larger story of you?

These are some of the questions I am struggling with this year. I have always been very goal-oriented, but I’m realizing that those goals are basically in the short-term. They are geared to the not-so-distant future of this year, or the next couple of years.

But what about long-term? What is it I see myself “being” or “doing” in maybe 5 years? What is my dream?

I am participating in Chris Brogan’s Brave New Year program (affiliate link) this year, in part to help learn how to identify that vision and come closer to reaching it. What I have realized as I’ve brainstormed and mind mapped lately, is that I have never given myself permission to dream big. When I think in terms of what I want to do or be known for, I don’t think in broad terms. I think small. That needs to change.

As you make your plans for the new year and think through your goals, here are some things to keep in mind that are helping me to think bigger:

  • Permission – you may not realize it, but I bet you’ve never given yourself permission to dream big. I’m realizing this is my biggest roadblock because one of the scripts running in my head is “who am I to presume to do big things?” Scripts like that need to stop! You and I have every right to dream as big as anyone else – so let’s go do it!
  • Release – your fears, your anxieties, your hesitations – don’t think in terms of your own limitations, real or imagined. Stop the script in your head that tells you that “I’m not good at this” or “I could never to that.” Just dream for a little while. If you could do anything, what would it be? If you could accomplish anything, what would it be? Open your mind and let it run wild. No telling what you will come up with.
  • Reality – once you have brainstormed without reservations, see what parts of your dreams you could really accomplish. So maybe you can’t be a professional tennis player anymore, but you could coach a high school tennis team. Move toward your vision.
  • Partnership – no one can do it all, so figure out who you can partner with to go even further, whether that’s someone to share both the mental and physical work, or a means to expand your reach outside your local area, either through digital channels or otherwise. You need encouragement and support along the way to be successful.
  • Accountability – no one is an island, and you will go much further if you have someone to hold you accountable. It could be your spouse or friend who shares your dreams, a mastermind or support group, or an online community, but you need someone outside of yourself helping you stay motivated and on target. And someone to check in with to make sure you continue making progress.
  • Bravery – There are going to be times when dreaming big is scary, and that’s normal. If you only do the things that don’t scare you, you will never grow. Go outside your comfort zone and you will be amazed at the confidence and growth you will experience. This is my year of being brave!

Goal setting and vision casting should not be “safe” activities. While it’s nerve-wracking to do things when you are inexperienced with the process, you will never stretch and grow if you always do the familiar. Like in exercise, you have to overwork the muscle to gain new strength.

In the end, do you want to be known for being safe and comfortable or for having made an impact? This year, I want to make an impact!

How will you step out into a bigger vision this year?