Clean the smudges off your blue light glasses, because this episode is all about looking to the future.
I’m going to do my best to avoid any cheesy puns about 2020 being the year of perfect vision – and I don’t even want to take a guess at how many organizations themed their conferences and events around having 2020 Vision. And on the subject of looking to the future, I’m sure a lot of us would like to fast forward and skip ahead to 2021, hopeful that there are better days ahead.
Either way – Looking ahead, having a vision for the future – for YOUR future is critical, but it’s often one of the most avoided, or skipped over parts of life. When we’re in the weeds of the day to day, running from one meeting to the next, moving from one meal to the next, one week or one day to the next – it’s a lot easier to just think about what’s right in front of us.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a frazzled friend tell me, “I used to plan in advance, but now all I can do is just live day-to-day.”
And that works – for a while.
And I completely get that when you’re in the weeds, when you’re putting out one fire after the other, living day-to-day is an understandable short term solution.
But here’s the thing – it’s only a short term solution. And the longer you live day-to-day, the longer you ignore the future, and postpone any thought of bigger goals and dreams… well – the longer you’ll just be living day-to-day.
Nothing will really change and life will feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel, or living groundhog day, or running a rat race.
And why exactly are there so many sayings named after rodents?
Anyway – Maybe you’ve even been living day-to-day for so long that you can’t even think of a big goal or dream anymore.
Well my friend – you can have big goals and dreams, and you deserve those big goals and dreams. And the only way to get there is to stop living day-to-day and step into the most important role that you can have in your life.
It’s time for you to get out of the weeds and become the Visionary of your life. What’s a Visionary? Well – that’s exactly what I’m here to tell you about in this episode.
So today, I’m talking about
Why you need a vision for the future, and why you and only you can be the visionary of your life.
I’ll also explain exactly what it means to be the visionary of your life, especially when you already have so many different hats and job titles and responsibilities on your plate
And finally I’ll share 3 ways that you can start being the visionary in your life starting now, so you can say goodbye to the hamster wheel, reconnect with your big goals & dreams and start taking steps in the direction of the life you envision for yourself.
Daughter, Co-worker, Mom, Friend, Wife, Boss, Leader, Cousin, Committee member, aunt, volunteer, partner, business owner, supervisor, chairman, sister, coach, confidant, mentor – and for the guys listening I’ll throw in husband, uncle and dad.
We all wear a lot of hats in our life, shoulder a lot of responsibility and fulfill so many different roles – it’s just a part of being an adult.
And while we’re at it – can we just do away with the phrase “adulting?” I’ve got to say – that one’s a huge pet peeve of mine. We’re adults. The end.
But – as I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, there’s one role that rules them all – that role not only sets the stage for how you spend your days and months – how you live out your life and create memories – but this role dreams up and designs the stage before it’s even set.
This role is called The Visionary.
And if that sounds a little weird to you, stay with me. You could also think of this role as something a bit more familiar – how about CEO.
The Visionary – or the CEO – of an organization is responsible for making major decisions that affect the future of an organization. They are the steward of the company’s vision, mission and goals. They look to the future, they assess the landscape, they think 5 steps ahead, and they steer the company in the direction of that future.
So – thinking of yourself as that company, you – as the Visionary of your life are responsible for making major decisions about your future. You are the steward of your vision for the future, your personal mission and your goals – both long term and short term. You look to the future, assess the landscape, think 5 steps ahead and steer yourself in the direction of the future – or the life you want to create for yourself.
why you need to be the visionary
And one of the reasons why it’s so important that you step into this role – the Visionary role – is that… well – no one else can do it for you. Your vision, your future – the life you hope to create for yourself and live – is totally up to you.
If you don’t take the time to think about what you hope for the future… no one will.
One of the biggest mindset shifts that many of my time management clients make during our time together is the undeniable acceptance that we are 100% in control of how we spend our time. Some of you are nodding your head right now, thinking, yep – I’m in control. And some of you might be scratching your head… thinking… wait… how? There are so many things I have to do… my time isn’t up to me right now.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE
And I have to gently disagree – you have a choice in how you spend your time. You always have a choice. The alternative might not be appealing, but it’s there. For example, let’s say you hate your job. You’re miserable. If you hate your job, you don’t have to show up. You can quit. You wouldn’t have a paycheck… and that would affect a lot of other things in your life, but the point is – you have a choice.
If you hate your job, you don’t have to show up. You choose to show up – just like you can choose to look for a new job and rewrite your future. One where you don’t have to show up for work into one where you want to show up for work.
See what I mean?
When you’re the Visionary – or the CEO of your life, you accept that you’re in the driver’s seat – and you make the big decisions about your future.
And – most of those big decisions – and big goals in life just can’t be accomplished in one day. Or one week even. Some of the biggest and most powerful dreams take years. That’s why only thinking about life from day-to-day is going to keep you living that day-to-day cycle.
YOU NEED A VISION
But in order to be the visionary – you have to know what that future looks like. You need a vision.
Can’t be a visionary without a vision.
Think for a second – especially if you’re listening and living day-to-day right now. Do you have a vision for the future? What’s the last time you thought about what you want your life to look like? What do you want your career or your family to look like in the next 5, 10 – even 20 years?
When you’re 80 years old, sitting on your rocking chair, sipping sweet tea and reminiscing on your life – what do you want to remember?
Look – I get it. Our lives are BUSY. They’re jam packed. We’ve got a lot to manage, and it can be hard to carve out anytime to think about life beyond what’s for dinner this evening (Sidenote: meal planning on Sundays can help with this).
But I’m inviting you to think of creating your vision not as overwhelming, but as exciting.
So here are three steps that you can take to start showing up as the visionary in your life – starting now.
First. Create your vision.
Second. Set some goals.
Third. Check in with yourself to make sure you’re on track.
Let me dive into each one just a little deeper.
CREATE YOUR VISION
First – Create your vision.
And this doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Just give yourself permission to daydream, and to think big about the future. One way to do this is to think of yourself a year from now – what do you want life to look like? What is your ideal day? What about 5 years from now?
Another fun way to start getting your wheels turning about your vision for the future is to make a list of 100 dreams.
And that’s exactly what it sounds like. Give yourself some time, sit down and write down 100 things you want to do in your lifetime. This could be books you want to read, places you want to visit, maybe it’s businesses you want to start or products you want to create. The possibilities are endless. If 100 feels too daunting, start with 50. Better yet, create a note in your phone or a page in your journal called 100 Dreams. And – as you think of things add them to the list. Be on the lookout for things that could shape your future.
Once you’ve got a pretty good list, give it a good look. And ask yourself the question… is how I’m spending my time now on the day-to-day moving me closer to achieving any of these dreams? What baby steps can I take in the direction of those dreams?
SET SOME GOALS
Which brings us to the next step, Set some goals.
Just like the Visionary – or the CEO of a company is responsible for the vision, mission and goals of the company – you are responsible for the vision, mission and goals for your life. No one else can do this for you.
Very often, I hear that the idea of setting goals, doing monthly, quarterly, annual planning feels overwhelming and intimidating. I get it – somewhere along the way, goal setting got complicated, and it feels like you have to sit down and dedicate a whole day setting goals and that it has to be this whole official thing.
Not to mention the whole SMART goal thing. Back in Episode 9, I walked you through the process of setting smart goals – goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
And don’t get me wrong – SMART goals are totally the way to go.
But if you’re new to being the visionary in your life… they can seem like a lot. So – keep it simple.
Just like the visionary or the CEO of a company is charged with
Take your vision and turn it into an “I will” statement.
I will visit San Francisco.
I will get promoted to manager.
I will build my dream house.
I will make my first million.
Boom. You’ve got a great starting point for some goals. Basically – you’re committing to something you want to do in the future, something that helps you achieve the vision you’ve created for yourself.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE ON TRACK
And step three – once you’ve created your vision. Once you’ve set your goals – step three is to check in with yourself and make sure you’re on track.
Just like the Visionary of a company who is responsible for steering the ship – it’s up to you to check in with yourself and make sure you’re on track to make your vision a reality.
THREE WAYS TO CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF AND STAY ON TRACK
Here are a 3 ways that you can check in with yourself to make sure you’re staying on track
First – if you have a weekly planning session, or really if you do anything once a week on a regular basis use that as an opportunity to review your list of goals or dreams and ask yourself – what’s one thing I can do in the next week that will move me one step closer?
Second – Another idea that I’m using right now – write your number one goal or dream on your bathroom mirror – so you’re reminded of it every single day. And as you’re brushing your teeth, ask yourself – what’s the one thing I can do today that will move me one step closer?
Third – Share your vision with someone else and schedule accountability check-ins with them. Whether it’s an accountability buddy, a mentor or a coach – I share 6 different options for getting accountability back in episode 29. Having regular accountability makes you 95% more likely to achieve your goals, so this is one step you won’t want to miss.
YOU ARE THE VISIONARY
You are the Visionary of your life. You are ready to go forward, create your big vision for the future, design the life of your dreams, take control of your time, and steer yourself in the direction of your success.
You understand that you are the only person who can create your vision and make it a reality. It’s up to you to take time to think about the future, make the big decisions about what you want it to look like, and to start taking small steps to make it a reality. From your list of 100 dreams, to your goals and regular check-ins, just like the Visionary – or the CEO of a company – you know that it’s up to you to steer yourself in the direction of your dreams. And I know, 100% that you can do it. Oh yes my friend, you are a visionary and you can live the life of your dreams.
Well Andree0318 – Thank you so much for taking time to leave such a kind review. I’m so happy to hear that you’re able to walk away with fresh motivation to take bold steps in the direction of the life that you want. It takes a lot of courage to make changes, big or small – and I’m so glad that It’s About Time plays even a small role in making your life better. Thank you again – so much!
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LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam
Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience by Fred B. Bryant & Joseph Veroff
Download the FREE Pre-Vacay Getaway Checklist
Join the It’s About Time Podcast Community!