If you're anything like me, you take one look at your to-do list and think, “This is too much. I don’t have time for this. I can never get this all done.” And then you jump on Facebook really quickly to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Here’s the deal: if you look at everything from the big picture perspective, it will never be a “manageable” task. The key is taking that big picture vision and breaking it down into easy to accomplish, no-stress steps.
Take a moment, close your eyes and dream of a perfect day. It doesn't matter if it's business or personal. Can you feel it? Can you smell it? Now open your eyes … What do you see? Do you see a cluttered desk and instantly realize you have no idea where to begin?
This is where my Action to Vision plan comes into play. I developed this for myself when I was first launching Vickery & Co. It's a simple to follow format that had me moving, one small step at a time, closer to my big picture vision.
First and foremost you need to really know your vision. Vision is important; we often speak of brilliant minds as being visionaries. These people are able to imagine something into existence, and they do so through setting goals and breaking these down into smaller steps. But they begin with a dream. Before you can create a path, you have to know where you’re going. Your vision is where you are headed. Many people get confused as to the difference between a vision and a goal. A goal is an action step; a vision is bigger than that. I have a client who speaks and writes about LGBT and mental health issues. However, their vision is not to speak and write about LGBT and mental health issues - their vision is to raise awareness about the LGBT community and those with mental health issues. The vision is awareness raising, not speaking and writing!
Then you need to set those goals. Essentially your goals are milestones, that when met, get you to your overall vision. Goals are the roadmap to your vision. Clear and smart goals state how you are going to reach your vision. It is important to be specific about the goals you set. Words are important. What you put out into the world is what comes for you. Be specific. Be intentional. For example, instead of a goal being, “have more speaking engagements,” it could be, “have 5 speaking engagements a quarter.” Having specific goals gives you great aim.
In order to reach our goals, you must assign tasks. Most of you are excellent goal setters. In fact, according to a survey we ran of over 400 entrepreneurs, nearly 94% of entrepreneurs and small business owners stated they have clear business goals. However, in that same survey, over half say they are unsure how to achieve their goals. This is where tasks come into play. Tasks are the much smaller individual actions you can take to achieve your goals. Tasks are the tiny steps. The small movements, that when continuously pursued, get you from A to B. For example, with the goal, “have 5 speaking engagements a quarter,” a good task would be to write a list of places to pitch. Another task could be creating your pitch letter, with the next task to send the actual pitch. These task are simple and if you focus on them, just one at a time, rather than looking at the big picture, they are non-threatening and easy to cross off the list. Before you know it, you have crossed off all the tasks and that first goal!
It's easy to have a vision but still not know what steps will actually get you there. It is vitally important to regularly check in with your vision. Is it still strong? Is it still what you want? Have you identified the right goals to help you achieve the vision? Are you moving forward, one tiny task at a time?
If you would like a copy of my Action to Vision worksheet just follow this link for a free download. Print out as many copies as you want and then start creating your plan. I'd love to hear your vision! Be sure to share in the comments!