I'm so excited about this week ahead, primarily because of a connection made with another woman who is passionate about health and wellness. Her name is Rebecca Turner, and you can find her on her website right here. We sat down for an interview which aired on SuperTalk Mississippi (97.3 FM) on May 3. You can listen to the recording right here, online (our chat begins at minute 29 of the recording). Rebecca is a wife, mother, registered dietician, author (I'm diving into her phenomenal book Mind Over Fork, which you can purchase on Amazon, and she hosts a regular radio show, Mission: Nutrition. In short, she's kind of a superwoman:-))
One topic that Rebecca and I discussed during our interview is the importance of creating a vision statement. If you've worked with me one-on-one, you know that this is where we begin. It sets the tone for everything that is to come within the coaching relationship. It's our roadmap, if you will, to guide you toward a destination at which you actually want to arrive!
Before we dive in to the why and the how of creating a vision statement, let's discuss the "what." A vision statement is, quite simply, a statement of where you desire your life to be years down the road. It's a detailed, enthralling (to you), multi-dimensional description of all that you hope for, dream of, and desire. When you read it, it's so powerful that it makes you smile or gives you chills, depending on the day. It encompasses everything that you want for your life, in all areas. Sound powerful? It is!
Now, in the words of Simon Sinek (have you seen his amazing Ted talk?), let's "start with WHY." Why a vision statement? I'll give you three great reasons.
A. It's Biblical.
Proverbs 29:18 tells us that "where there is no vision, the people perish." We need hope to survive. As long as we feel like there's a chance for better days ahead, we can stay strong through the battles of life, but when we feel stuck, when we lose hope, we lose that fire, that drive, that spark that can keep us moving forward.
A vision statement is a clear picture of where we desire to be in our lives. It's a goal that we're moving toward, bit by bit, day after day, steadily and surely. It's a hope that keeps us inspired when things get rough. As Christians, our ultimate hope is in Jesus, and our vision statement can help us clarify that we desire to live out our full calling here on earth. It can remind us that there is more joy, more fullness of life, ahead of us, if we will just press on.
B. It Simplifies Things.
Ugh, choices!!! Have you ever felt like there were just too many? With a vision statement in place, your choices become much easier to make. The statement outlines your new identity and you make choices that are going to align with the statement. Here's an example: If my vision statement says, "I wake up refreshed and radiant," and I'm considering whether to stay up watching Netflix until 2 a.m., my choice is made easily. I'm not staying up to watch TV; I'm going to bed so that I can "wake up refreshed and radiant," just like my vision statement says. Similarly, if my vision statement says, "I love and support my partner and I encourage him in his career pursuits," when he tells me that he has another work dinner to attend and asks me if I'm willing to accompany him, I say yes without hesitation. This is in line with my vision statement for my life. I desire to be an encouragement and support for my man, so I'm there! No waffling about all the other things I might be able to do that night, as I've already made my choice when I crafted my vision statement.
C. It Prevents Drift.
There's a fantastic book by Michael Hyatt called Living Forward in which he discusses the concept of "drift." Most of us plan our vacations more carefully than we plan our lives. Seriously! We'll research hotels, search around for cheaper air fares, figure out ground transportation, and book in at the best restaurants, but we will not take a weekend to get still and quiet with God and with our hearts to plan out a vision for our lives. So, we drift along. We are reactive instead of proactive. We let life happen to us instead of using all of our unique gifts and talents to shape the world. In a way, we become like the man who buried his one talent in the ground, because that felt safer, instead of being like the man who invested his five talents, and gained five more. Which of those men had a plan? The latter one! There's no strategy to burying your talent. There's a plan involved in investing your talents and seeing them return multiplied.
I'm Convinced, Sara Anna! So How Do I Craft This Vision Statement?
I'm glad you asked!
It's simple, but it's not easy. We've been taught to stuff down a lot of our dreams, because they're not practical, or they're too time-consuming, or they're "selfish." But in crafting your vision statement, you've got to push past all the noise that's telling you that your dreams are too big, and you have got to visualize those things.
You can begin by blocking off a few hours in your calendar. Take some time to pray, read Scripture, and ask God what He would have you do with your life. Think about all the special skills and talents with which he has gifted you. What brings you pure joy when you do that thing? That is likely in your gifting. Do you have a talent that you've been sitting on, scared to pursue? Do you have a desire that just hasn't gone away, even while you've tried to hold it back? Do you dream of finally losing those last 20 pounds that have been hanging around for years? Or do you dream of giving big financially, helping others who don't have the resources that you do? Or adopting a child? Or restoring a broken relationship with a parent? Whatever your deepest desires are, they become part of your vision statement.
You write down everything, in the present tense, visualizing your life in the exact way that you would love for it to be. Consider your relationship desires, your financial desires, your spiritual desires, your employment desires, every aspect of your life. Get detailed. Think about the textures, colors, and sounds that accompany these desires. Make it so real that you can almost reach out and take hold of it.
And if you're someone who grew up with feelings of unworthiness, if people have told you that you don't deserve to have the life that you desire, please know that you are worthy. You were created in the image of the God of the universe, and He has a beautiful and special purpose that only you can fulfill. You are unique in all of history; there has never been another person exactly like you, and there never will be another exactly like you. So steward this life that you've been given, and hold on tight to that vision. Lay all of those desires at the feet of the King, and trust Him to direct your path toward them. (Check out this blog post if you're feeling a little uncomfortable with owning some of your big dreams).
Now comes the really fun part! State your vision out loud, with emotion, multiple times each day. Words carry the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), and in speaking your vision statement aloud, you are speaking life and hope over your future.
Embracing and repeating a vision statement has been life-giving for me, and I pray that it will positively impact you as well.You are meant for divine things!
If this exercise helps you, would you please share it with a friend? We are meant to encourage and uplift each other!
Comment below on your biggest take-away from crafting your vision statement. What unfulfilled desire are you finally ready to pursue?