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Your vision - how to articulate

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Now you have pictured your vision, you know where you’re heading, you can see this the destination of your business or your personal goal. But how do you go about articulating this?

You may well already have a vision statement and if so park that for a moment and follow this process. If the two are then aligned great, if not you can then decide which is the most appropriate to take you forward.

For the first part all you need is a means to take notes, a quiet space and your imagination. This is a brainstorm - capture everything.

Take your pen and paper (or equivalent) and work through the following. Take each in turn and capture all as bullet points or paragraphs, note form or flowing prose but ensure you capture all, there are no wrong answers here. Leave no stone unturned and keep going until you have exhausted all details:

In your minds-eye, deep in your most focused imagination, take yourself to your vision, at a time in the future, when you have reached your destination or goal. Where will you be? What will it feel like? What will you be doing? What will it look like? Who will be there with you? If you have customers what will it mean to them? What will it mean to those closest to you? What will it mean spiritually, what will it mean emotionally and what will it mean financially? What will this mean to your health, your relationships and your mental wellbeing? What will your vision look like to others, how will they then perceive your goal or your business and how will their perception of you change? Then think about all the things you don’t want: what do you want to leave behind and what do you want to ensure doesn’t happen? While considering the elements you don’t want, now return to the things you do want and ensure they are detailed enough and strong enough to ensure these undesirable elements do not happen or you leave them behind?

Once you have the above documented talk them through with someone you trust. Go through each to ensure they are clear to you and clear to the person listening. You’ll be surprised how simply saying these out loud can help refine, question, challenge, delete or dig deeper.

Then give yourself a little time to mull these over and throw them around - again this may help refine. It may also provide you with your Eureka moment!

Once you are happy with your list, that it accurately reflects your vision, and that nothing is missing you’ll now need a pen and post-it’s (or Digi-equivalent).

Review your bulletin point/paragraph list and find the most important points. Look for 5 to 10 of these and make a note against each.

From each most important point look for the salient words: the words that sum up the point in hand, the words the bring to the surface all you are saying and the words which most resonate with you. Write each word on a post-it.

You now have 5 to 10 words which have been sifted out following a review of everything you hold to be true about your vision.

Place these post-its in front of you, rearrange and play around with them. The aim is to create a single, simple sentence – a statement to describe your vision.

You may have several options here. Once again read these out load and once again review with someone you trust.

You are looking for that single, simple sentence which fully articulates your vision at a high level – we will deal with detail later. What is important here is that it completely fits with how you see yourself and/or your business, rolls easily off the tongue, causes no uncomfortable feelings and behind which you can confidently stand.. It’s important too that it is clear, succinct and unambiguous to others – we will discuss at a later date other significant benefits this vision statement can bring.

If the sentence is not quite there yet, don’t worry. You have time and you can keep reviewing, keep trying it out and refining and over time you will get to your Vision statement. You can use a thesaurus if a word doesn’t quite work, again you can work it through with others and you can search for other vision statements which might help you build yours.

Have patience and in time it will come. Remember that large organisations use teams of specialists and pay substantial amounts of money to achieve what you’re about to achieve.

Once you have your vision you can then build your strategies, plans and tools and manage your time around it. We will help you with this over the coming weeks.

Finally, and before we leave you, a quick thought: there are those who say that this is the easy part – that the hard work comes later in implementing this. While I am not saying there is not significant hard work coming, I am saying that all that hard work will now be focused and will be taking you towards a very clear and articulated destination. How can you know you’ve reached it if you don’t know where “it” is?

We will continue next week to break down this vision into manageable “chunks”. See you there.

For now, let us know your thoughts and or questions, take care and stay safe.

(Photo: T Wardley, Oswaldtwistle)

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