Vision Setting for the New Year

Goal setting and the new year are synonymous. Some say that goal setting in a new year is the key to their success, however, others say it’s one more thing that doesn’t get done. Whether you are a goal-setting believer or denier there is one aspect I want to highlight: vision setting.

Vision setting is the act of setting a clear image of where you want to be. Your vision setting can be something you hope to see in as little as a day or even 10 years from now. This is where goal setting comes in; to achieve your vision, you set goals and use them as the steppingstones towards helping you achieve your vision.

You see, I think that we’ve had it somewhat wrong these years. We begin each new year with lists of goals we want to achieve, but we don’t often (or maybe it’s just me…) look at that list of goals and compare it against our vision – maybe we haven’t even written out our vision.

Like many of you, my 2020 was filled with difficulty, both personally and professionally. With those difficulties and challenges, it was hard to stay focused and on track to achieve goals. Many of my goals were set without a clear image and vision of where I wanted to be.

So, I invite each of you to work on setting a vision – not only a vision for yourself that’s both personal and professional, but also to extend that vision setting to the teams and individuals you lead.

If setting a vision is something new for you, here are some tips that I use to set a clear vision:

  1. Define your vision as something that is in the future that you are ultimately going to achieve.
  2. Dream big; keep it overarching and allow room for the ebb and flow.
  3. Keep it concise and written in the present tense.
  4. Know that the vision statement doesn’t need to be concrete and can change over time.
  5. Ask yourself some questions: Where are you going? What can you realistically achieve? What do you want your team or resource group to look like? What ultimate impact do I want my team or resource group’s brand to have on the community, industry, or the organization?

For example, a vision statement I wrote for myself is: Create a space where Resource Group leaders feel connected and inspired.

My short-term goals to achieve this are:

  • Identify the needs of resource group leaders and invite a space where they are heard and addressed
  • Using my resources, create spaces and connection points for resource group leaders where their visions can be further developed and made real through inspiration and support.

Having this vision allows me to always be connected to the work that I do throughout the year and helps me create key goals that support me towards achieving it. It’s important to only create 1-3 goals that support your vision, otherwise having to many can dilute and blur your vision.

I can’t help but think that visions are a lot like dreams – and dreams are big visions that can lead us individually, or as a collective people. As I reflect on dreams, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how his speeches and work were guides that served him very much like a vision. I consider how the work he did was steps towards his vision of seeing true justice, equity, and freedom. A dream and vision that so many of us are still working on to this very day.

Reflection Questions:

  • What will your vision be for 2021 (self and team)?
  • What goals will you put in place towards supporting you in reaching your vision?

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