Written by: AnYes van Rhijn, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
2021 is nearing, and most people can’t wait to say goodbye to 2020! But, when I ask people what will be different for them in 2021, I often hear them say they don’t know. In reality, they are “hoping” that things will indeed be different but haven’t looked into how they could make sure that they will be. They simply go with the wave of what life throws at them, which currently is not filled with a lot of nice things. But when I dig a little deeper, what becomes apparent is that there isn’t much for them to do as they don’t have a vision to work towards in the first place. That, to me, is a challenge.
Not having a vision is like turning your GPS on when you’re driving away from home but not entering an address in it. That could lead you just anywhere! Is that what you want for your life? Let me give you four very simple steps that will bring you back in the driver’s seat!
1. Take stock of where you are right now.
If you want to know where you’re heading to, you first want to see where you’re leaving from.
Take a bird’s eye view in all areas of your life and ask yourself how satisfied you are with them on a scale of 1 to 10. These areas are:
Health and wellbeing
Physical Environment (where you live)
Once you’ve done that, take a closer look at each area and ask yourself:
What do I like about it? (i.e., what do I want to keep or have more of?)
What is it that I don’t like about it? (i.e., what do I want to get rid of?)
What is missing? (i.e., what do I want to add?).
You now know what your starting point is. Let’s now move on to step 2!
2. Write your vision
But… I hear you say… “I don’t know what my vision is; how can I write it down”? The truth is, you know what your vision is. You just don’t know that you know! So, let me explain how you’re going to unearth it (and be prepared for an amazing ride because if you follow the process well, you will not only have a vision, but you will also be completely uplifted by it!).
Let me set the scene:
You have a magic wand, and everything (yes, I said everything) is possible. There is absolutely nothing that stands in the way (yes, all your worries have been taken care of). What does your life look like in, say, 3 or 5 years from now? You will take a deep dive in all areas of your life, one by one, and you are going to write it down in full detail. There are three keys here:
Write in the present tense (you already have it),
Write in the smallest details,
Involve all your senses.
More often than not, it’s getting started that is the challenge, but once your pen starts running, you will have a hard time stopping.
So, you can, for instance, describe what your day looks like (e.g., “it’s 9:00 am, I’m sitting in my garden and am enjoying the smell of my coffee. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my arms, and I am getting ready to have my first client call”… you get the gist of it). If you suddenly start thinking that something is not possible, simply remember that nothing stands in the way.
3. Create a vision board
You will now need cardboard or foamboard (as big as possible depending on the wall space you have available to hang it up), a spray of repositionable glue, scissors, and colored pens.
What you’ve done in step 2 is you’ve unconsciously started creating mental imagery for your vision. This will make it very easy for you to resonate with images that you will associate with it. You will now use magazines or platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram to gather pictures (these may be things, places, words, quotes, etc.). You don’t have to decide at this stage which ones you want to keep. Just sort them by theme. Once that is done, lets the fun begin and create your vision board. There is no wrong or right way to do it. Just follow your intuition. You can leave lots of empty spaces or have it very crowded. Mine is quite busy, and I have created a flow by theme. It starts from the bottom center and moves as a spiral from left to right.
4. Turn your vision into an action plan
Now you have this beautiful vision board, and you’re all excited about it, but if you leave it there, all it will remain is … a dream! Let me help you turn it into reality. It is a straightforward process:
Ask yourself what you want to have achieved in three years from now. Then do a “brain dump”: list (one topic per Post It note) everything you can think of that you need to be doing to achieve your three-year plan.
Extract from it what you need to do in the first year (at this stage, I suggest you move from Post It notes to a project planning or To-Do software)
Then, what you need to do in the next 90 days
Then, what you need to do this month, this week, tomorrow.
Now it is your turn! What will you do to ensure that 2021 is different from 2020?
If you follow this process, you will not only have a clear vision of what you want your life and business to look like, but you will also know what you need to work on in 2021! There is, of course, more to it. You need to know how to stay connected to that vision, how to stay intentional and focused on it when fear will creep in (and I guarantee that it will), how to build a mindset that focuses on possibilities rather than on the challenges that will come your way, how to handle the shiny objects that will distract you from your end goals as well as what tools to use to optimize your time.
If you want help with all the above, I suggest you look at my Write It, See It, Do It - Turning your vision into action 5-week online intensive that is now open for enrolment. You can find more details and read the raving reviews here.
AnYes van Rhijn, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
AnYes van Rhijn is an award-winning Life and Business Strategist. Also known as The Reinvention Mentor, she helps female entrepreneurs and business owners who feel trapped in their life, create on their own terms the fulfilling business that will sustain the reinvented life they desire. She helps them clarify the vision of what they want their life and business to look like, build the confidence and the mindset to dare go after it, create a business strategy and a personal brand that is aligned with who they are and what is important to them and, last but not least, implement the systems/tools, personal effectiveness, work-life balance and self-care to ensure it is all sustainable.