There has been much talk in recent years on the concepts of visioning and goal-setting, with many people – myself included – using these concepts to take stock of where they are at, where they want to be AND what they need to do in order to get there.

Are you happy with where you are at in life and work? Or is there room for a few (even minor) tweaks and adjustments to get you where you want and need to be – ultimately a place of fulfilment and purpose in which you not only survive, but thrive? Are you perhaps unclear on what your vision and purpose actually is?

Don’t fret – there are a few some simple yet highly effective things you can do TODAY to get you clear AND on the right path for a brighter future.

Here’s what you can do to set clear visions and goals for the future:

  1. Take stock of who you are, where you are at and where you want to go

Of course, on a practical level you know who you are. You are a wife / a daughter / an employee / a mother. You fulfil your various roles – most likely to perfection – to ensure that everybody in your world is happy and taken care of. But what about you? Who are you WITHOUT all of the people, noise and distractions? Well, in order to plan for a better or different future, this is what you need to find out!

To do this effectively, set aside some time to be ALONE. Find a space where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Go to this space with pen and paper and ask yourself some honest questions. It is important that you allow yourself to be BRAVE enough to go deep inside and search the very depths of your soul for the answers. Ask yourself the following:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I stand for – what is important to me?
  • What gifts do I bring to the world – what am I here for?
  • Where do I want to be in six months – or six years – time?

Write down whatever comes into your head without any editing – these random ramblings are important and will form the basis of the next step.

  1. Start goal-setting

So, you have your sheet of paper revealing your innermost thoughts and desires, and your vision for the future. What’s next? Time to set some goals to reflect all of this! Here’s how to go about setting a goal to give it the BEST chance of success:

  • DETERMINE your goal. And whatever it is, imagine it as if it were your current reality. Make yourself feel how you would feel if you had this thing in your life, right now. This will help propel you forward.
  • WRITE your goal down. Be as specific as you think you need to be, and give an estimate of when you would like this goal to become a reality in your life or work. Don’t be too specific with the timing though – remember, your circumstances may change – new situations may develop of which you have no inkling yet. Be a little flexible and open-minded here.
  • BREAK your goal down into manageable portions and steps. For example, if it is a new job you would like, think about what you would need to do, on a practical level, to make this happen:
    • Do you have the required skills for the role? If not, how and when could you start learning?
    • Do you know people within the industry who could help you get a foot in the door?
    • When do you think would be an appropriate time to put yourself out there and start looking for this job?
  • PLAN your first step. And once it is under way, tell people of your plans. Telling people will give you the incentive to stick at it. Be careful who you tell though – steer clear of those negative naysayers who will put doubts and fears into your mind about what you are planning. Remember – YOU know what is best for you!
  • KEEP MOVING FORWARD with the steps. Remember not to be too rigid in your planning and timing – you never really know what is around the corner, and life may just have even better plans and ideas for you. But, stay loyal to your path and you will be rewarded in time.
  • ASSESS where you are at with your goal on a regular basis. It is important to remember during this process that your goals may change over time as you evolve and new opportunities present themselves to you – this is absolutely OK! Even if you don’t achieve a particular goal, or it changes to accommodate your changing feelings and circumstances, there is still power in letting yourself envision some concrete plans for your future, doing what you need to do to make them reality… then letting go and allowing the universe to take care of the rest.
  1. Train yourself to be positive

Understand that YOU have power – you are not completely at the mercy of the gods, your family, your boss or your circumstances. You always have the power to make changes to your current reality – no matter how dire this reality may seem to be. You have the power, and the right, to move your life in the direction that it needs to go. Remember this, and learn to be positive in your dealings with yourself!

Positive self-talk does not mean that you are denying truth or reality, it means that you are choosing to take positive action in your life WHATEVER the situation at hand. By consciously choosing to remain positive in the face of uncertainty, change and setbacks (there will always be setbacks) you regain control of not just your peace and sense of wellbeing, but the future course of your life. Just imagine that.

Shona Dee
Shona Dee is a divorced mother and writer from Australia - after surviving the pain of the sudden breakdown of her marriage, her passion now lies in supporting and empowering women to not only survive but THRIVE through change and upheaval – whatever the cause of that change and upheaval - through the organisation She is very excited to both share her wisdom and learn from other female entrepreneurs and feels that Future Females is the perfect space in which to do this. In her spare time, Shona enjoys reading, writing and reconnecting with her soul by taking long walks in nature.