It’s important to create a personal vision statement. Doing so guides you to set financial goals that align with your values. It helps you set goals that push you closer to that vision.
So, having a vision statement for your life can help you. Continue reading along or skip ahead to:
Unfortunately, many financial advisors will ask you about financial goals without ever discussing your vision for your life. I believe it’s important to get clear about the vision for your life and clarify your values before you set financial goals.
I covered this in my book, You Only Live Once.
In the book, I argued that we’re told how to buy a house when we may dream about traveling the world. We’re advised to save for a downpayment for a car, but not how to achieve financial independence.
What is the difference between a goal and a vision?
Goals are specific accomplishments like buying a house or a new car. In contrast, your vision is the bigger picture that includes these financial goals and why these goals are necessary to achieve the dream life.
What’s a personal vision statement?
A vision includes all your thoughts and feelings and all your hopes and dreams. A personal vision statement helps you decide what goals are important and becomes your framework in how you spend your money and time.
When you have a clear vision for where you’d like to go, then you’re not swayed other priorities that may easily distract you.
Answer these questions to start thinking about a vision for your life:
- What kind of life do you want to be living in retirement?
- If you have all the money in the world, list the things, experiences, and people that would matter to you?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What do you want to create in the world? How do you want to make your local community or the world better?
- What do you enjoy doing? How do you feel doing what you enjoy?
- What makes you happy? What is important in your life?
- Who do you want to be surrounded by? What kind of people fulfill you?
Clarifying your values
Your values are not goals. To identify your values, you must answer the question: what matters in my life?
Some things that matter in your life may include:
- Wealth – the means to live life
- Family – feeling of belonging
- Relationship – intimacy
- Education – knowledge increases opportunities
- Travel – experiences bring joy
- Health – necessary for comfort
Ask yourself why these things matter to you.
For example, why is family important? What does family provide you? Your list of things that matter to you can and will be different. Settle on 3-4 values.
Creating your vision statement
Create a vision statement based on your answers. A personal vision statement is going to emphasize your ideal life while highlighting some key values with associated financial goals.
Your vision statement is going to help you focus your time, money, and effort. Write down this vision statement and make it readily available to review daily.
The vision statement can be 1 sentence or 1-3 paragraphs. Remember, it’s needs to reflect your vision for your life and move you.
My vision statement:
To spend my time finding the meaning of life, explore it, experience it, and share the wonders of the world. To serve a purpose that fulfills my mind and spirit.
My personal vision statement might seem vague but it helps me filter out the type of work I undertake. If I won’t learn anything new or won’t push my abilities or mental thought, then I’d pass on the opportunity. It has helped me choose my business partners, projects, and ultimately how i spend my time.
The reason I continue to work on phroogal is because it serves my desire for meaning and purpose. I know I am helping others improve their financial wellbeing.
One last thing, your personal vision statement can and may change as you grow and experience the world. The importance is having it to guide you now and to update the statement as your values and dreams evolve.