Many financial experts will ask you about financial goals without ever discussing your vision for your life. Have a vision for your life and clarify your values before you set financial goals.
What is the difference between a goal and a vision? Goals are specific accomplishments like buying a house or a new car. Your vision is the bigger picture that includes these types of goals and why these goals are necessary. A vision helps you decide what goals are important and becomes your framework in how you spend your money and time.
Creating a vision for your life
A vision includes all your thoughts and feelings and all your hopes and dreams of the life of your dreams.
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.
Your Vision Statement
Create a vision statement based on your answers, your thought and feeling, and your hopes and dreams. A vision statement is going to emphasize your ideal life while highlight some key values with associated 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.