Want to Achieve Your Goals? A Personal Vision is Your Map
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the future. What does your life look like?
Where are you? Who are you with? What does your day to day look like? Can you describe what you’re doing when you first wake up in the morning?
Now, ask yourself: Are your actions today moving you towards the life you want?
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey said to begin with the end in mind.
To get where you want to go, you need to know exactly what the endpoint is, then reverse engineer and work back from there. In other words, you need a North Star to guide your journey.
When it comes to sales, having that North Star is crucial – because sales is hard. It’s sometimes “ready to give up, want to drop everything and just quit right now” hard. As sales people, we have KPIs to meet, tough bosses to please, and of course, tons of rejection to face.
And yet, some of us continue to enjoy it, even to the point where we sometimes think about it 24/7.
Having a personal vision helps. It gives you a big picture view of the situation, so you can persevere even during slumps.
As humans, we tend to focus more on the negative. We forget that the time we spend dwelling on the negative is time that we could actually use to work towards our goals.
Having a clear, tangible personal vision to refer to can help us refocus on the big picture, remind us of what we’re truly working towards, and nudge our behaviours and habits back on track.
When you’re powered by a personal vision
You know that each cold call you make is a step towards your vision and each rejection you face is a step towards something bigger.
These experiences aren’t fun, but you’ll be fully aware that these things are just small obstacles you have to overcome to achieve your goal.
If you are just turning up at work to get paid and check off tasks, you will quite soon lose motivation. Your vision is what keeps you on course towards success, no matter how big or small. It’s a North Star that drives your values and decisions.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” —Earl Nightingale
There’s a reason why retargeting campaigns work. You know those display ads that follow you around on every website you visit, just because you clicked through to view a product just that one time?
Those in the digital marketing world know that retargeting can increase conversion rates by a whopping 161% – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It also helps to increase brand awareness, web traffic, and ad click through rates.
As the stats show, visual stimulation works!
This is why it’s so important to define your vision. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts and focusing on the rejections you will get, you will lose sight of what’s important.
A very tangible way to counter that is by creating a vision board.
As sales professionals, having our vision and goals visible to us can help us stay motivated and on course to hit our goals. Visualisation and manifestation are powerful mental tools for focusing our attention on the important things.
To put it bluntly – if it’s in your face all the time, you’ll have a constant visual reminder of your goals.
How to create your own vision board
Your vision board can take any form you prefer, whether it’s a physical one with magazine cutouts or a digital one made in Canva. There are many ways to conceptualise and design it as well.
“A vision board is a visualisation tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and/ or pictures that represent your goals and dreams.” —Jack Canfield
Thinking of your goals daily as if they have already come true is one of the best ways to activate the Law of Attraction. And it’s easier to practise that when they are all collected in one place.
I chose to use a word-based vision board, which I refer to every morning at 8.30am but when you create your own, it should be something that will best express your vision.
Here are the five steps I used to create my vision board:
1. Write down your personal values and find visual representations of them. The visual representations can be of the value itself, from a moment in time where you were most fulfilled, or people that embody this value that you aspire to be like.
2. Create a list of goals and add visuals or words relating to them on the board. To get you started, you can think about what you want in life, who you want to become, skills you want to develop, experiences you want to have, or the companies you want to work at.
3. Add positive affirmations to describe how you want to see yourself. Imagine what you would say to someone who’s doing exactly the awesome things that you would like to do. Switch the pronoun so it’s in the first-person.
I am great at sales.
I work with clients easily and they enjoy hearing from me.
I can win these deals with the hard work I put in.
4. Look for visuals of things that inspire you and spark creativity. They could be people (including movie characters), books, or a song. You can cut out magazine photos, take a photo of a passage from a book, or create a hand-lettered version of a word that means something special – it’s up to you!
5. Put your vision board in a place where you will see it often and schedule a regular time to look and reflect on it. This could be one of your atomic habits, the ritual you perform first thing in the morning.
Finally, remember this: Mapping out the vision for your life isn’t a one time thing. It’s a constant evolution and something you can and should be working on regularly. It will take time.
A vision of the future to guide you in the present
The key idea behind creating a vision board to represent your goals is that it helps you start to take control of your mind and thought process. It makes your personal vision more tangible and easier to reflect on.
However, recognise that the things that you want to achieve can change over time. Even if you haven’t figured out what your vision, mission, or passions are right now – that’s okay.
It’s a journey. What matters is that you’ve started and that you keep going.