I’ve been writing short-term vision statements for at least 8 years. I typically write two per year keeping me focused on goals and strategies to achieve my goals for the first and second half of the year. This year, I am writing quarterly short-term vision statements to keep them more engaging with the hope of accomplishing more of my 2020 goals.
The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill outlines 6 steps for turning desires into wealth. I’ve used these 6 steps as a guide for my short-term vision statements and applied them to the goal achievement process for my personal goals each year. Writing a new short-term vision statement is part of my yearly goal setting process and now on my agenda for conducting quarterly performance reviews.
Pick a date. Your short-term vision statement is written with a future date in mind as if you’ve already accomplished your goals. I recommend six months out as the furthest date for your statement. I am testing quarterly statements this year to increase my connection to my statement.
Identify a couple of key goals to include in your short-term vision statement. You might consider including a personal, professional and financial goal in your statement. Your goals should be specific. For example, writing I am in shape is not a specific personal goal. Writing I ran a 5k under 30 minutes and felt strong crossing the finish line is much more specific.
Determine what you are going to give to achieve your goals. This is where you need to be honest with yourself and write out the beliefs that hold you back, fears you need to work through or sacrifices you are going to make in order to achieve your goals. This is the part where I write out affirmations, reminders to myself to silence the negative mental narratives and descriptions of the kind of wife or mom I want to be. This is the heart of your short-term vision statement. The more you practice writing these statements the more this part will speak to you. Connecting back to the 5k example, you might need to tell yourself to stop snoozing your alarm and to layout your run clothes the night before, so you are one step closer to being out the door in the am.
Write out the strategies and activities you need to do consistently in order to achieve your goals. Keep them simple. There is often one strategy or activity that will make the biggest impact towards your goals. Want to run that 5k used as an example above? You can get lost in the planning process for running – picking out routes, mapping mileage, researching the best run shoes, etc. The one activity that gets you across the finish line is actually running. Your statement should include the number of runs needed per week and total mileage you are running before the race.
Write out steps 1 – 4 in paragraph form. The key to success is making sure your statement isn’t too long to read daily. I like to add in quotes from books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to or conferences I’ve attended as extra motivation.