How To Write Your Yearly Vision
At the beginning of every year I like to set professional goals and create a detailed plan for achieving them. I also take time to write down my yearly story. Also known as a yearly vision, it’s one of my favourite ways to record my goals.
A yearly story or vision is how you see your life playing out throughout the year. It includes various elements and doesn’t involve set deadlines. In this post, I share how you can write your yearly story and how you can use the power of writing to meet goals. There’s also a free workbook for you to download to write your own story!
In my free Intro to Proofreading course I ask students to write down their ideal days. Writing down my ideal day is something I started over 10 years ago when I was working in a cubicle and feeling stifled by my 9 to 5 corporate job.
To get through the day, I’d write on a Post-it what I would be doing instead if I were working from home as a freelance proofreader. In that Post-it day I’d be sleeping in, taking my dog to the park, and working at a coffee shop. I did this a few times a day, and after a while it inspired me to make my Post-it life a reality.
This practice of writing down my daily vision evolved into writing down my yearly story. I came up with this exercise so I could see what my goals and desires looked like in narrative form.
I’m a creative person who loves writing, and whenever I write my story, I feel so confident and capable of anything. It’s quite the experience to see your year as you dream it, on paper. As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
The Power Of Writing Down Your Story
Writing down your story has a big impact on your ability to reach your goals. In a recent study on the art and science of goal setting, it was discovered that people who wrote down their goals and dreams on a regular basis are 42% more likely to achieve them.
If you share your dreams and goals with someone you trust, then the likelihood that they’ll become reality will go up even more. In the same study, researchers discovered that more than 70 percent of people who sent weekly updates to a friend were successful in accomplishing their goal. Seventy percent! If that doesn’t make you grab a pen and paper and call up a friend, I don’t know what will.
So writing down your desires isn’t some groundless exercise, and it’s a proven system for achievement and confidence building.
What Is Your Story And How Do You Write One?
Writing down your story is a fun, free-flowing activity where you allow yourself freedom to dream. Don’t hold back, but remember you’re trying to make dreams a reality, so don’t go too far out of the realm of possibility.
Here are some tips for writing your story:
- If you have one, include the word or phrase you’ve chosen for the year.
- Don’t forget your feelings. How do you want to feel in different aspects of your life? Energized? Peaceful? Patient? Confident?
- Think of the people in your life. They impact your story, too. Who and what kind of people do you want to be surrounded by?
- Include your personal, health, spiritual, and professional goals.
- Don’t worry about it being linear. Write it down as it comes to you.
- Think about the big goals you want to achieve and write them down as if they’ve already happened.
Here’s an example of how to incorporate goals into your story. If your goals include paying off debt and taking a tropical vacation, then it would look like this:
After I paid off my credit card and the rest of my student loan by the end of summer, I was able to go on vacation to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean in the fall. I lounged in the sun, went sailing on a catamaran, drank a lot of slushie cocktails, and totally just relaxed. I also read books that had been on my reading list for ages.
See how easy and fun it can be? All you have to do is grab a pen and starting writing down your story. I like to write mine in the past tense, as if I’m reflecting on the wonderful year I just had. If you want to write in another style like future tense, or in point form, go right ahead.
And here’s the printable workbook I mentioned above. Grab a copy of the free workbook in the box below and start writing your yearly story today!
Write Your Story Often
Writing down your goals and desires is also a powerful form of visualization. You can write your story whenever you need some inspiration or a pick-me-up.
I write my story when I’m feeling down or experiencing doubt, or when I’ve accomplished a goal. It’s also okay if your story changes as your year progresses, as well.
Goal setting is necessary, and it’s important to have an action plan for achieving them, but I think it’s just as vital to write down your story. It doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty quarterly and weekly breakdowns and deadlines, but you’ll have set your path in a certain direction toward a destination. It’ll help guide you in your overall decisions.
And if you feel embarrassed over what you’ve written? Read it again. Do you feel silly because you think it can’t be done? Do you feel like you don’t have it in you? Just remember that your embarrassment is related to your level of confidence, and every time you read it, it’ll be easier to face what you truly want.