Whether you are in business for yourself or working for someone else, you need a vision for your professional life. And that vision should incorporate your personal aspirations as well. (We often act as if we are multiple people- one individual lives our work life and another lives our personal life. How about we integrate all of our dreams and aspirations together and treat ourselves as a whole person?)

Here’s five reasons you need a vision to fuel your professional and personal life!

1.It provides direction. While the idea of just jumping in the car and commencing on a road trip to unknown places holds a certain appeal, it isn’t very practical since I don’t have unlimited time and money to amble off into the sunset. Knowing where I’m headed helps me pack the right clothes, determine which roads I want to take and select my perfect traveling companion. Likewise, having a vision for my professional and personal life provides the same type of map (more in #5 on potential detours!).

2.It expands your sense of what’s possible. I love facilitating a strategy session with solopreneurs where we talk about the values that anchor them and the dreams that make their spirit soar. The same excitement happens with management teams who are inspired to create a great workplace. A vision should be BIG! I spent a lot of years updating visions in my corporate life where our main objective was “let’s knock this out and get out of this conference room!” It doesn’t have to be that way if you make it about creating something inspiring that makes people want to come to work.

3.It provides clarity. When you get caught in a cycle of just going through the motions, you become oblivious to how much more you can create. One of my favorite exercises is to have a client draft their obituary or write what they would like their eulogy to read. You can do the same in visualizing the day you hand your wildly profitable business to a successor. As Stephen Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.”

4.Just the act of writing it sets things in motion. Henriette Anne Klauser, author of “Write It Down, Make It Happen,” shares that writing down dreams and aspirations activates a part of the brain known as the reticular activating system (RAS). Once activated, the RAS sends a signal to the cerebral cortex to pay attention for signs and signals to help deliver that goal to you. (Highly recommend her book for great stories of people utilizing different methods for capturing their aspirations in writing and seeing them come into being!)

5.It keeps you going when the going gets tough. Having a vision and a plan doesn’t mean that unexpected and challenging things won’t happen. It means that you will have a sense of purpose when they do. You will have a better idea what to shift to still reach your destination. If I know I’m headed to California from Illinois, there are countless options of how to get there…I can shift roads or transportation vehicles if I need to. But if I know where I’m headed and why, then my resilience can kick in.

By the way, having a vision is foundational to creating a comprehensive business plan. I think it’s the best place to start your business plan…there’s a different energy to writing a plan when you’ve gotten inspired by your vision first. Springboard into your success with a vision that motivates and fuels you!

Author's Bio: 

Ann Potts is a Strategic Executive Coach & Motivational Consultant who helps business owners and leaders find powerful professional focus that increases work production and quality of life. She brings more than 25 years of successful corporate leadership, communication, and change expertise to support and empower her clients. Ann's ability to continuously improve results was recognized by GE through certification as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Read more about Ann and her services at www.executiveperformancefuel.com.