Life Design Journaling Framework: Vision

What is Vision

Your vision is the vivid picture of the life that you want to create.

There are a few misunderstandings of what vision really is. You can have many different visions for your life, especially when you are younger. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact, it is probably better to create several visions for your life and then pursue the one that is most compelling.

Visions can change at any point. Where your purpose is a deep unchanging part of you, your vision is what you are creating to fulfill that purpose. There are many ways that your life purpose could be fulfilled.

The purpose of your vision is to give you something to strive for, a reason to learn, to create, and to build value. Click To Tweet

Even if your vision is vague, but it gives you motivation, that vision has value and importance in your life. As you drive towards that vision, more details will become apparent. Your vision is the story of the life that you want to create. Create your story with as much detail and imagery as possible.

Creating a vision is not hard, but for most of us, it takes a while. It is easy to say what we don’t want, and easy to say we want to lay on the beach, but to create a compelling life to work towards is a matter of time, creativity, and focus.

There are some people such as hockey players where the vision is laid out for them. For most of us that is not the case. In this day when everything changes so fast it is becoming even harder. The more you record the parts of your vision you know, the greater the chance you can put those pieces together to create your ideal life.

Defining Your Vision is a Creative Process

Your vision is what you create by taking your purpose and designing a life around that purpose. There will be many ways you can fulfill your purpose based on who you are and what your current environment is. Be creative, dream big, and imagine an exceptional, unique life that will motivate you and allow you to create massive value based on your purpose.

What is the life you want to create, not a vague idea like “I want to live the laptop lifestyle” but a detailed description of the life you want to live?

When you need to describe the life you want to create in detail it becomes much harder for most people. This is where journaling comes in. Journaling your thoughts and your experiences over time allows you to learn from them.

As you collect more and more details in your journal, the vision of your ideal life will start to become clear. The details can be small or large. As an example, you may want to have a meal in a particular restaurant in a particular country. That detail, if it is compelling enough, will help to define other details of your vision.

Questions to ask to help you start to craft your vision

  • What experiences do I want to have?
  • What possessions do I want?
  • What do I want to do on a daily basis from the moment you get up until you go back to sleep?
  • What value do I want to create in the world?
  • What is an ideal normal day?

You are designing a whole life as your vision. You need to make sure it all fits together. If you are designing a house, you keep a book of everything you want in the house, of things that work, of things that didn’t work. Same for your vision. Think from the different perspectives.

Iterative Visioning

Designing your vision is an iterative process. As you learn through experience and introspection, you can refine and expand on your vision.

Your vision will help you discover what your purpose is and vice versa

  • As you journal your vision contemplate how it fulfills your purpose.
  • You want to refine your purpose based on your vision and your vision based on your purpose. Having both of those journaled allows this.

Your mission, which is the path you will take to achieve your vision, will also help refine your vision.

Multiple Life Visions

In life, you have the freedom to design any number of lives that would satisfy your purpose. Each satisfying different life areas in different proportions. In the movie Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange completely changed his life vision for carrying out his life’s purpose. As a surgeon Doctor Strange’s purpose was to “save lives”. After a car accident that damaged his hands, he learns the mystics arts as another way to “save lives”.

Your vision may also change as you grow and experience the different stages in life. Once you become a parent you may want to fulfill your purpose through your kids.

Many athletes whose purpose was to excel, became life coaches to help others excel. Same purpose different visions.

Out of the different visions for your life that you have created choose one to be your vision. Some are easier to achieve based on where you are in life, some are more compelling, each fulfill the different life areas differently. You need to decide which one will take you towards your purpose – fulfilling your purpose more.

Inspiration for your Vision

A life vision should be inspiring on its own. The joy, fulfillment, meaning you would get from living your vision is what drives you to create the vision. Your vision is what will inspire you to live your mission, to do the work required.

Visualizing your Vision

Visualizations are parts of your life vision that you can imagine, that makes your vision more real.

Add as much detail as possible, it will make your vision more compelling. When the destination is clear and has clarity, the path to that destination will start to become clear. Your subconscious mind will start to fill in the gaps.

You can visualize any part of your vision. Where you work, where you live, who you are with, what you do for fun, possessions you want to own. All these visualizations make your vision more real and feel more compelling. You can also collect images from magazines that relate to your vision and paste them on a board to create a vision board.

Journaling your Vision

As you are on your journey of life, your journal should be the first thing you think of while living life, not Facebook, not Instagram. When your thoughts and experiences are in your journal they are there for you to find value in.

Once your vision is journaled, you can add details, and refine existing details.

Your journal is a judgment-free zone, feel free to create the vision you want regardless of what others think, regardless of how outlandish.

You never know what glimpse of your vision will turn into, grab that thread and start pulling – record what you find and add to it.
Journaling Technique to Create Your Vision

One great exercise to help create your vision is to imagine what a normal day would look like if you were living your vision. Use a template like the following to add as much detail as possible.

Wake UpWhat time do you wake up?
Morning RoutineWhat is the routine you go through each morning?
BreakfastWhat do you eat for breakfast?
Where do you eat breakfast?
Who do you eat breakfast with?
MorningWhat do you do in the morning?
Who do you do spend time with?
What experiences do you have?
LunchWhat do you eat for lunch?
Where do you eat lunch?
Who do you eat lunch with?
AfternoonWhat do you do in the afternoon?
Who do you do spend time with?
What experiences do you have?
DinnerWhat do you eat for dinner?
Where do you eat dinner?
Who do you eat dinner with?
EveningWhat do you do in the evening?
Who do you do spend time with?
What experiences do you have?
Nighttime RoutineWhat is your nighttime routine?
SleepWhat time do you go to bed?
How much sleep do you get?

Journaling Questions to Help Define Your Vision

  1. What do want your life to be like in 5, 10, 20, 50 years?
  2. What relationships do you want in your life?
  3. What types of people do you want to be a part of your life?
  4. What do you want your legacy to be?
  5. What impact do you want to have on the world?
  6. What experiences do you want to have?
  7. What accomplishments do you want in life?

Life Design Outcome: Your Vision Statement

Clarity in your vision is the most important part of creating a vision. Design a vision where you can visualize what the days living the vision would be like. Have as much detail as possible. Make your vision as if you are actually there living your vision. Your vision is the biography of your life written before you have lived that life.

Your vision statement should capture that detail in a way that you can read your vision and imagine living it. If your vision statement is too long you will not review it as often as you should. If your statement is too short it won’t have the detail to make it real.

Your vision is a personal story that motivates you to bring it into reality. It may take a while to achieve the clarity to write it in a way that is the most motivating. Initially, it may help to write a series of statements about who you will be and what your life will be like.

  1. I am a person who … (describe an aspect of who you will be)
  2. I experience … (describe an experience you will have either daily, weekly, yearly, etcetera)
  3. I have the opportunity to … (describe the opportunities you will have)
  4. I have … (describe possession you will have)
  5. I live … (describe where you will live)

Once you have enough of these statements you can organize them into groups that will then describe your vision.

Creating Your Life Vision: Actionable Steps

ActionStep Description
Start a journalStart a journal if you don’t already have one.
Document your visionCreate a section specific to your vision. This will allow you to regularly review and update your vision.
Document experiences of your visionCreate a section where you can document experiences related to your vision. Journal experiences you want to have, things you want to have, value you can create. These can be big or small.
Document reflections of your visionCreate a section where you document reflections you have about your vision. Journal how your vision makes you feel, how you could change it to make it better. The important part is to get your thoughts down. When you review your journal, you can tie ideas together to start to refine your vision.
Document inspirationsWhenever you felt inspired regardless of how small, journal it. When you reflect on times when you felt inspired they may hold some aspect of your purpose or vision.
ReviewReview your journal regularly. Ideally, you would review your journal as part of your morning or evening routine. This is an integral part of daily improvement.