Well, as the universe would have it, 2013 has come and gone and as the year neared its end, I found that it had become a time of great reflection for me. Mostly because lately, I’ve become so obsessed with seeking out and living my purpose. I have some great ideas in store for 2014, and if these ideas are to come to fruition, I know that I need to be sure that I am best prepared to implement them. And for me, that meant doing quite a bit of self-reflection… soul-searching, if you will.
Truthfully, I haven’t done this in a long time. I allowed myself to become so caught up in the everyday things of life that I hadn’t taken the time to ask myself what was next for me. Sure, I would indulge in a few things here and there, I still enjoyed personal and professional successes, but it was the process of truly dreaming and dreaming big that was missing for me. I was so wrapped up in helping others fulfill their dreams (something that I’m still always happy to do), that I wasn’t cultivating my own, at least not to the extent that I should have been. My inner creative has been repressed for a while it seems, but I am releasing her and I’m determined to stay out of her way.
Coming to this realization was a process for me and that process included many hours of reflecting on one simple question… what is my purpose? Why did God put me here? What would He have me to do before I cross over? What will my legacy be? Okay, okay… yes, I know it’s more than one question. More like one million, but they do all center around one central theme… purpose. And almost any discussion on purpose will lead us back to passion as passion is thought to undoubtedly lead one back to his/her purpose. When you combine passion, purpose, dreams and then sprinkle in a bit of vision for good measure, you have a lot to think about and reflect on.
I think there comes a time in each of our lives when we begin to consider these things. For some it may come earlier than others, for some it may be more evident than others. Some folks may find that they never need to know their purpose in life, while others come to a crossroads where they can’t move forward without discovering it. There are some of us who dream big and others who don’t seem to dream at all. No matter which category you fit into, one thing is for sure… we were all put here for a reason.
As I began to think about living life more purposefully in 2014, I decided that I needed to be more vision oriented. So here are some things I’ve opted to do in my personal journey to clarify my vision for this year.
Create a Personal Vision Plan: I did a lot of research on personal vision planning and ultimately decided to draft a starter plan that I will surely update and revise regularly. This process was crucial for me because it required me to think about my life with a business mindset. It included drafting personal mission and vision statements, annual goals (that dig a bit deeper than new year’s resolutions) as well as deciding on a personal theme for the year (I got that idea from a friend). While most of it is between me and God (and ultimately my accountability partners), I will share this with you… my 2014 theme songs (YES… I have theme songs, what of it?) are “Just Do You” by India Arie and “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. My Vision Plan also includes lots of scripture and affirmations. I did it in a way that works for me. If you’re interested in completing one, try using THIS as a resource. It helped guide me tremendously.
Create a Vision Board: I’m still working on my vision board though I am nearly done. For some reason I was a bit more challenged doing this one, though it is the easier of the two. Quite simply, I was over-thinking it. I was trying to make it into something more than what it was, but I sought counsel in a friend who has been doing them for years and she really broke it down for me using her own board as a visual example. There are several options for creating vision boards, most people who I’ve spoken to have opted to do it the old-fashioned way (I prefer this as well) which includes clipping words, pictures, etc from magazines that reflect your goals for the year and pasting them to a poster board, or the like. This will then serve as a visual reminder of your goals and should be placed somewhere that allows you to see it regularly. Of course, there are also options for creating electronic vision boards. I created one HERE. With these, you would utilize content from the web, personal photos, etc. to illustrate your goals. Here is a great article to provide some pointers as well.
Establish Accountability Partners: I have a couple of girlfriends (well more like 10, but only three of us have entered into this partnership) who are working toward some specified personal goals. What we each aim to do is different, but the process of getting there will be similar for us all. About a year ago, we established an accountability partnership and support circle. The idea is that we serve as a sounding board for one another, we keep each other on track and we work collectively toward our individual goals. We started last year out strong and ended up, well… less than strong. However, we are getting back on track this year and may even be bringing another friend along for the ride. No sister left behind! 😉
Read: This one is self-explanatory. Find some literature, preferably by an expert or someone who knows more about what you want than you do, and read, read, read. We can all use a little coaching along the way. My goal is to read 2-3 solid books on purpose in the next couple of months. In my ideal world, I’d also have a life-coach. Anywhoo, this brings me to my final item…
Go For It: My prayer is to have things look different but better for me at the end of this year. I’m blessed now and I hope to have enjoyed many more blessings and experiences by the end of this year, all in the name of progress. Less thinking, more doing… we’ll see how it goes.
The year is still young and fresh; it (like us) has so much potential! Here’s wishing that our 2014 is filled with a passionate, purposeful journey!
Until next time…