With the close of the year, many are taking stock of the challenges of 2021. Having celebrated the Holiday Season and savored small gatherings with family and friends, there is no better time to pause, to reflect and create a personal vision for the adventure that will be 2022.
While leaders diligently draft organizational business plans each year, it is wise for each of us to develop a personal vision as well. Along with business goals, clarity around personal vision and objectives serve as indispensable touchstones as we move forward in work and in life.
I have long been inspired by the visioning work of Kate Ebner, founder of the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University. I offer you an adaptation of her visioning process to help kick off the New Year.
So, give yourself an hour of “me-time” in a relaxed, quiet space. Grab a beverage and journal, take notes, and follow these six steps to craft your Personal Vision for 2022.
Six Steps to Personal Visioning
Propel yourself forward one year, to 2023. Imagine yourself — envision yourself — one year from now. From your future perspective, reflect back to the past year of 2022. This has been a great year! In all those important aspects of your life, you have so much to be proud of as you have achieved so much!
Now consider, the key drivers of your life: career, family, relationships, community, personal finance, health & wellness, learning & spiritual growth, etc.
2. Reflect, Evaluate, Envision
As you reflect on these drivers consider, what have I accomplished in each of these areas in my envisioned future? From my own perspective of success, how have I grown, what have I learned, what new skills have I developed? What have I created and what are my accomplishments and successes? To whom & for what am I grateful?
Now, return to the present. Pause and take note of how you have answered these questions. From these reflections of your envisioned future, notice what messages you are telling yourself about your envisioned future? What patterns do I see? In considering these contemplations, what have I learned about myself and about what is most important to me? What have I learned about my values and goals?
4. Look Forward & Create
Consider, what you have learned about yourself and about the vision you have created? Ask yourself, what is most important? How will I make my vision real? What essential actions are required for me achieve my vision? How can I turn aspiration into an actionable, measurable, executable plan? How will I be accountable for making it happen?
Craft a Statement: Review what you have learned and write up a statement that represents your vision and aspirational purpose for 2022.
Move From Vision to Plan: Work through each piece of your vision and develop a plan for achieving each aspect of the vision.
Prioritize: You can’t do everything. Decide where you will focus your energy. Where will you concentrate your efforts? Choose.
Design: Develop goals for each priority. Make sure each goal is SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
5. Shape an Intention
You have examined what you want to do, now consider, who do you need to be in 2022 to achieve your purpose. Choose one short phrase that signifies a value key in embodying your vision. This mantra will help bring focus the throughout the year, inviting you to always consider, who I need to be, and how I need to show up to achieve my envisioned future. For example:
- I lead with curiosity
- I listen deeply
- I broaden my perspectives
- I commit to building deeper connections
- I commit to leading with kindness
6. Actualize & Follow Up
Make the vision real every day. Keep it front and center. Write up your plan, make copies of your Intention to be sure it is top of mind throughout the year. Follow up with an Accountability Buddy. Make it happen!!
Communicate: How will I articulate my vision for myself; communicate to others: use declarations, statements, assertions?
Visualize: Create vision boards, mindful images, quotes, notes that you can come back to.
Be Accountable to Yourself: Calendarize, project plan, support, resources. Connect with an accountability buddy.
Don’t tuck your plan into a drawer: Reconnect with your vision and plan on a regular basis.
Our world has changed. The times require that as leaders, we be agile and develop new perspectives for new times. My New Year’s wish is that we to step into the challenge and craft a personal vision that leads our way to growth and joy for ourselves and for others. Happy New Year!
To learn more about personal visioning, and growing your leadership skills, contact Sharon, for a consultation.