WHAT'S YOUR VISION FOR 2021?
Do you get tired of setting goals and vision? Especially in 2020, when COVID happened, all our plans were thrown out of the water.
That said, having a vision provides a guide for us, though the details and how it can be formed may change, it serves as the light at the end of the tunnel for us to follow.
If we don’t have a vision, we may end up being reactive, we can fill out times and days. We may end up getting very busy BUT over other people’s agenda not ours!
Jim Rohn, the mentor of renowned Tony Robbins said:
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are, you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. Guess what they have planned for you? Not much”
If we approach our new year by just being reactive, we can be so distracted with the different things that comes our way and may get tugged in different directions and end up in the same spot. Do you want that? No!
For us to launch effectively into a new year, it serves us well to have a blue print, a general direction so that we can be proactively working towards where we want to be. While at times, we remain only reactive to the different circumstances that may surface, like COVID.
There is an ancient timeless wisdom or famous quote that says:
“Write your vision down, make it plain, ….. so that he may run who reads it” Habakkuk 2:2
When we have a vision, when it is so plain that we can understand it, it helps us to run forward, to gain distance with speed, regardless of what circumstances may be.
If you feel somewhat stagnant, then perhaps, writing a vision, a clear one, can set you up on a trajectory that helps you to grow and become who and where you want to be.
So how do we effectively write our vision?
In this blog, I'll be sharing what I had been practicing for years, it had been my saving grace in my journey. It has helped me when I moved to countries to an entirely new environments. It has helped me when I was seeking for my clarity for what's next. It has helped me when I was managing transition from a corporate consultant to currently an international bestselling author. I trust that this will help you in your journey too.
Especially if you feel that there’s something more to your life, a vision helps to overcome the inertia and reminds you of your why. Take time to create a vision that’s aligned to the desires in your heart. If you would pause, reflect and to pen this down, I know it can propel you forward with speed.
I encourage you to grab your journal or laptop and tuck yourself away for one morning/one day, treat yourself to a nice brunch with a scenic view and take your time to pen this down.
1) Look back to look forward
Look back. Pen down all the things you are grateful for this year. Write down as many as you can, I give myself a goal to write 100 things to be grateful for. You can just write down as many as you can. Then take time to write down the major 5 to 10 things you have learnt, identify your fears and what you would do differently on hindsight. If you find yourself repeating the same lessons and fears, writing this down helps!
Personally, when I noted down what I would do differently, it gave me the language and the information to face my fears and do things differently, should the same scenario comes up. Whenever I encounter a similar fear, I actually look forward to face it. I take that as my second chance to grow and be better.
This first step is very important as it sets the context, to create a grateful posture and positive mood for us to be bold to think about the coming year.
2) Dream without judgement
Think about your ideal future self. Describe as much as you can who you’ll be in the long term. What are you doing? Who will you be? What skills do you have? This will help you in your long term vision. Allow yourself to dream. Don't limit yourself, don't rationalise yourself out of it. Dreams are free! What if you only achieved half of what you dreamed? It's still good right?
Alternatively, I ask myself, what is my end of life goal? What is it when I look back at the last stage of my life that I’m grateful to have achieved? This gets more real as I grow older!! :P
Write what you see down. It’s ok if it looks blur. Our vision gets enlarged or become clearer as we achieve our goals each year. I remember when I first went to Australia to do my MBA and couldn’t find work, it was hard at that time for me to dream too far. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I needed to fulfil the first layer of hierarchy – the physical needs. It was hard then to dream further than that. All I wanted was stability. That’s fine. Note it down and do what you can in the coming year. You can always revisit this to add more details or dream bigger when you find greater stability and achieve your goals for the year.
3) Ask your future self for your goals next year
Think about what the things you can learn or do this coming year to become your future self. List down the practical goals you can achieve this coming year. This helped me a lot in my transition. I had to still work in my corporate job to earn the income to feed myself, but I know that as long as I do what I need to learn or do, I am contributing to my future self and getting closer to where I want to be. Strangely, because I knew I was heading towards where I wanted to be, I performed better in my corporate job!
For those who have attended my clarity workshop, I often share that we create goals in every area of our lives, just so that we can continue to shine in all aspects of our lives and find holistic fulfilment. These areas are spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, financial, growth, contribution. Always include something that you can learn so that you can grow to become who you want to be. If you want the templates for such goals, you can download the bonus video and templates after Chapter 1 of the book CLARITY IS POWER.
This book should be available in major bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia in January 2021. It is currently available on Amazon and Book Depository for other regions.
4) Include one thing creative to feed your soul
Do you have something in your heart you want to do but you have been pushing it off, thinking that it’s not important nor practical? Can I encourage you to do just that? While it may not appear to have “practical” applications towards your career, I find that when we do something creative or something that we had always want to do, it serves as a catalyst for us to dream more. Perhaps it triggers our right brain and promotes us to imagine and dream again. It can be something very random! Like bake a cake, jog a marathon, learn a new hobby, go sing karaoke, return to an old hobby. It doesn’t need to take up a lot of time and effort. Well, at least for me, it excites me and feed my soul!
I remember my time in Australia when I was doing my MBA and seeking work. It was a tough season as I was in my mid 30s and had no connections for a senior level role. I also had the restrictions as a student, of only working 20 hours a week so I faced a lot of rejections. Life can be really disappointing when doors kept closing in front of me but I remembered going for dance classes. That added a smile to my face and a spring to my step. I noticed I would be able to visualise my future more after my dance class! It enabled me to face the challenges and helped me to dream again. It was food for my soul. What's yours?
What would bring a smile to your face? How about painting together with your child or doing something creative with your friends?
5) Create your WORD of the year
Do you have a theme of the year or a word you’ll like to focus on? As a Christian, I always pray for a theme verse for the year and create a word of the year. This helps me to be intentional, to remind myself of that word and the verse. I encourage you to change your handphone wallpaper or your laptop wallpaper to include the word or paste the word in places you can see often. I even printed a T SHIRT for it!! With a word of the year, you can look back at the end of the year to see how much you have grown by focusing on that particular word.
Having a word of the year, or an intentional focus, is like shining the sun rays through a magnifying glass. It can set things aflame! There’s power in focus.
For example, my word of the year in 2020 is LOVE. I had to constantly check myself if what I was doing was out of love or strife. Did it help the people I love? Do I love myself enough to pursue what’s in my heart? Were my decisions based on my love for my God, my Saviour?That formed the guidance to my decisions, major ones too! This year, I came back home to Singapore, after 10 years in Australia. Love led me to my clarity. Love led me home. While it has it’s challenges, this has been one of the best decisions I made! I also did the things I loved! I published 2 books which had been in my heart since my teenage years!
What is your word for coming 2021? Don’t underestimate one small word, it can set your heart and your life ablaze with joy and excitement!
I trust that if you would dig deep and do the above, 2021 could be your best year yet! Best of all, you’ll rise up to become who you were made to be. It doesn’t matter how the world is, we can still choose to live out our destiny. We are all uniquely wired for greatness. Stop comparing, and let your clarity be your power to propel you forward.
If you are looking for clarity, the answer is already in you.
Find the clarity you need, pen down your vision, to create the future you want.
I believe in you.
Note: For those in Singapore and Malaysia, the revised edition of the book CLARITY IS POWER will be available in major bookstores (Kinokuniya, Epigram, Popular Bookstores, Amazon SG, Borders, MPH) from January 2021 onwards.