• Anita Chastain, MBA

Why You Need a Personal Vision Statement and How to Create One

Updated: Sep 19

Visualize your highest self, then start showing up as her. Unknown

Confident woman smiling

Visualizing your highest self sounds great, right? But, how exactly do you get from the visualizing part to the showing up part?


You write a personal vision statement that describes your best self.


In this article, I'm going to tell you everything you need to do that. You'll learn why a personal vision matters and how you create a vision statement you can live by. I'll also share five examples to inspire you.


Table of Contents

Before You Get Started

What is a Personal Vision Statement?

Why is a Personal Vision Statement Important?

How Do You Create Your Own Personal Vision Statement?

Guidelines for Writing Personal Vision Statements

Personal Vision Statement Examples to Inspire You

Summary


Before You Get Started


Here's something to think about before we get into the hows and whys of vision statements:


People often stumble, get stuck, or get sidetracked on the way to achieving the things they want in life. They get discouraged because they don't have a clear idea of what they want in the future or how to get there.


And that's understandable. No one gives you a map to guide you through life. You can't open an app and get step-by-step instructions on how to build the life you want.


So what happens is this... we wing it on our own and hope we'll achieve our goals and get where we want to be.


Winging it is fine when you're chatting with a clerk at the grocery store. But it's not a great strategy for creating a satisfying life or career.


That's where a personal vision statement comes in. Writing down your vision of the future is the first step in making your dreams a reality. Your vision forms the foundation for achieving your goals.


What is a Personal Vision Statement?


A personal vision statement is a summary describing what you want to accomplish in your life. Think of it as a guide to help you navigate your way through life.


Your personal vision is unique to you. It reflects who you are now and who you want to become in the future.


In a nutshell, your vision statement lays out a long-term view of your values and the expectations you set for yourself.


Related... 25 Best Questions to Find Your Authentic Self [Updated]


Why is a Personal Vision Statement Important?


I mentioned earlier that we're not given a map or an app to help us figure out what we want. Without those tools to guide us, we're left to wander along and hope that we eventually get where we want to be.


Hope helps you make it through the day, but by itself, hope is not a plan.


The best strategy for achieving your goals starts with creating a vision of what you want. That's why a personal vision statement is so important. It helps you identify a crystal clear vision of a future that matters to you.


There are other reasons why a vision statement matters. Here are three:

  • You make more informed decisions about how you will spend your time, energy, and money. Each of these resources is only available in limited quantities. Use them wisely.

  • You gain access to the ultimate motivational tool in life. There's nothing more motivating than working on goals that define you and your aspirations for life.

  • You have something to hang on to when you feel discouraged. When the days are difficult, you have something to focus on and a reason to keep trying.

Now that you know what a vision statement is and why it's important in your life, how do you go about making one?


Read on to find out.


Writing in a notebook

How Do You Create Your Own Personal Vision Statement?


While you could write a personal vision statement right now, many people find it helpful to start by answering a few questions about their personal and professional lives and the short-term and long-term goals they want to achieve.


The questions below are divided into two categories: personal values and career values.


Personal Goals and Focus


These questions will help you identify your personal goals and interests:

  1. Do you prefer to relax by spending time alone or with other people? Why?

  2. If you could do anything you like today, no matter the cost or effort, what you would you do?

  3. What is the one characteristic that you like the most about yourself?

  4. If you could take a self-development course to strengthen something about yourself, what course would you take and why?

  5. Rank the following aspects of your life in order from 1 (most important) to 10 (least important):

-Family

-Money

-Friends

-Work/career

- Spirituality/Faith

-"Me time"

-Goals/Achievement

-Having fun

-Personal growth/development

-Living by your personal values


Write down your answers to each question and think about each one. What do your answers tell you about your short and long-term goals and your values?


What you learn about yourself here will carry over to your personal vision statement.


Career Goals and Focus


These questions will help you identify your career goals and values:


  1. What's the most rewarding and personally fulfilling job you've ever had? What made that job special?

  2. If you were to take your career in an entirely different direction, what would your new career look like?

  3. What do you do better at your job than anyone else?

  4. What skill would you most like to improve to make your job easier or less stressful?

  5. Rank the following workplace values and characteristics from 1 (most important) to 10 (least important):

-Open/honest communication

-Respect and fairness

-Autonomy to make decisions

-Challenging work

-Opportunities to grow

- Flexibility in work location/times

-Worklife balance/boundaries

-Strong coworker relationships

-Proud of the company your work for

-Pay, benefits, and perks


Write your answers down. The answers will help you understand what you value in your career and what type of work environment will help you feel fulfilled and satisfied with your job.


Now that you have this knowledge, how do you turn it into a vision statement?


Related...14 Journal Prompts to Start Your Day with a Smile


Guidelines for Writing Personal Vision Statements


These five guidelines will help you organize your thoughts, so you can write a vision statement that feels real and inspiring:


  1. Decide whether you want your vision statement to focus on your personal goals, professional goals, or both. There's no right or wrong answer here. Making that decision simply helps you focus your thoughts as you write.

  2. Write freely without worrying about the quality of your writing. Don't worry about what your English teacher would say about your writing. It's not the quality of your writing that matters, it's the direction of your thoughts.

  3. Start your statement with "I" or "My." Put your focus where it needs to be, which is on you. When you're defining your personal vision, you're the only person that matters. Use language that puts you first.

  4. Discuss the "why" behind your personal vision. Why does this vision inspire you? Why is it important to you? The more clearly you understand your why, the easier it is to stay on track or get back on track if things go wrong.

  5. Summarize your vision in three sentences or less. Limiting your statement to three sentences helps you focus your statement.

Before you start writing, take a look at these five personal vision statement examples. If you have trouble getting started, they will inspire you before you start writing your own.


Personal Vision Statement Examples to Inspire You


Some things are easier to do when you can see what other people have done. Vision statements are a good example. Here are five examples to help you get started:


  1. I want to complete my degree in Elementary Education. I love kids and want to help them succeed in life. Teaching would give me the financial stability I need to raise my daughter as a single mom.

  2. I see my future self as a writer. Writing is my true passion, and it's the one thing that motivates me to push myself out of my comfort zone. There's nothing I would rather do every day than write.

  3. My vision is to become someone who is less focused on my professional life and more focused on being there for my family. I want my kids to look back on their childhood and remember the good times we had as a family, not all the things I missed because I was traveling for work.

  4. I want to quit being so busy. I feel like I spend most of my life on auto-pilot, rushing from one thing to the next. I don't want to look back one day and realize that I spent most of my time working or doing things that didn't really matter.

  5. My highest self is someone who places a priority on being healthy. I want to live a healthier lifestyle, from diet to exercise. What inspires me to change is that I don't feel healthy and I'm tired of feeling this way.

Summary


Now that you know what a personal vision statement is, why it matters, and how to create one, you're ready to write your own. Start writing and take the next step toward creating a life you love.


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