It’s a new year! And, if you’re like most ambitious people during the month of January, you’re probably drafting a bucket list for exotic travels, DIY projects, and dream jobs, among other aspirations. However, without proper vision development, you’ll fail to realize your goals. Now, you may be wondering how vision development is correlated to achieving your goals. In order to realize your aspirations, you must hone your vision.


According to research by the University of Scranton, less than 10 percent of Americans achieve their New Year’s goals. If you’re ready to disrupt the status quo, you’ll need to take action. Let this be the year that you abandon the passive mindset of “waiting on things to just happen.” With proper vision development and unwavering faith, you’ll be well on your way to soaring in 2018 and beyond!


Here’s how to develop your vision so that you can achieve your goals:


Get Organized

 Whether it’s a travel vlog, a new business venture, or a more minimalist lifestyle, you can’t effectively realize your goals until you develop your vision plan. How can you develop your vision plan if it’s surrounded by a cluttered way of living? I don’t know about you, but when I’m surrounded by clutter, I feel apprehensive, annoyed, and distracted. You can design the most sophisticated vision board, but if you don’t declutter your life, your vision will remain blurred. In 2018, it’s time to get organized so that you can see your vision the way God intended.


Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NLT)


In this dynamic digital sphere we live in, there are numerous tools and methods you can employ to become more organized. Discover new apps; use intuitive spreadsheets and templates; and read material on organizational skills. Leverage your professional network and reach out to highly organized individuals to learn what best practices they use to remain organized. As the chief architect of your life, revamping your organizational skills now is key to building an indestructible foundation for your vision planning efforts.


Conduct an honest inventory of your life – starting today. What toxic things, people, or thought patterns do you need to rid yourself of to achieve your goals this year? What would your life look and feel like if you didn’t haul around these burdensome, clutter-filled suitcases? Imagine living a more organized year at home, work, or school. Now, you can begin to develop your vision plan for 2018 with clarity, and intent.


Self Assessment

It’s Time for a Self-Assessment

Now that we have laid the foundation – a more organized way of life – we can conduct a self-assessment. So, what exactly is a self-assessment? In social psychology, the term self-assessment is defined as the process of looking inwardly at one’s preferences, dislikes, etc., in relation to one’s identity. While God has fashioned us in His almighty image, we have distinct dispositions that make us who we are. Even identical twins, despite their indistinguishable appearances, have unique proclivities.


Why is the self-assessment process crucial to vision development? Well, in order to realize your destiny, you must have a keen understanding of who you are. From Tiger Woods, Diana Ross, to Tye Tribbett, and Oprah Winfrey, among other successful visionaries, when they began to embrace their unique identity, they subsequently uncovered their vision!


Today, your homework assignment is to conduct a brainstorming session. During this session, you’ll need to reflect candidly on a diverse range of preferences and dislikes, as they pertain to you. Through self-awareness, it is imperative that you focus on your identity and not on someone else’s desires for your life, personality, etc. To get started, reflect on your values pertaining to family, friends, work/career, and health, among other areas. What is your perspective on diversity, ethics, culture, creativity? What is your communication style? How do you react to stress, confrontations, and the inevitable – change? Create as many topics and subtopics as you can to assess your preferences and dislikes. There are myriad self-assessment tools and books to aid you, including the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, among other resources. The Bible, however, is the chief self-assessment resource for your vision development.





Discover Goal Setting

Goals. While everyone talks about what they hope to accomplish, how many people actually take action? The latter is more daunting than the former. Whether you aspire to be a multibillionaire entrepreneur, or an Olympic athlete, the actions you take now will determine if and/or when you achieve your goals. So, what is it that differentiates successful individuals from unsuccessful individuals? The distinguishing factor lies in the former group’s ability to clearly define their vision with goal setting.


This task is often easier said than done. However, with the proper discipline, you can realize your vision. Understand that your energy must be devoted to one goal at a time, or no more than a few interconnected goals. When you understand that your goals are vying for your attention, you’ll begin to cull the ones that do not align with your purpose. The goal elimination process is an exercise where you write down all of your goals and assess the underlying motive driving them. If your motives do not align with God’s Word, it’s time to re-evaluate your vision.


After assessing your motives, the next step is to outline a strategy to move your vision forward. This strategy should be dynamic, to allow for the ebb and flow of life. Also, take into consideration the cost of success. In order to achieve your goals in 2018, you must be willing to sacrifice your immediate desires. This may mean postponing vacations, as well as reducing television consumption. How will you honor your time?


The system that you construct within your strategy should also support your vision. A system refers to the organized manner in which you regularly work toward your goal. For example, if your goal is to become a celebrated singer, you must practice your musical scales daily. In this way, measuring your daily progress with goal setting tools/trackers will aid you in reaching those milestones.


The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5 (NIV)





Create Your Roadmap with Others in Mind

In vision development, moving your destiny forward requires organization, self-assessment, goal setting, and a network. That’s right – a network of trusted family, friends, and business partners, among others, who will help you arrive at your destiny. Did you really think that God designed you to “do life” alone? Throughout the Bible, God reminds us to be compassionate, leveraging our various talents to support our fellow brothers and sisters. Now that you’ve completed the goal setting exercise, it’s time to create your visual roadmap.


As a visual aid, the purpose of the roadmap is to guide you toward realizing your vision, which is supported by your goal setting. Incorporating your strategic network in the design of your roadmap will help you see all of the divine connections that lead to your destiny. In this way, you’ll feel a greater sense of accountability as you reference your roadmap each day. So, before you begin to create your roadmap, develop a fluid network list. This list should include those trusted individuals in your life who have the following: similar goals and talents, as well as dissimilar goals and talents. You should also include individuals who you’d like to serve as your mentor, as well as those who you could potentially mentor. Get creative with your initial list; and then narrow it down as you reach out to these individuals and assess their ability to aid you, as well as your ability to aid them.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor…. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV)


With your network list established, you can now build your visual roadmap. Be creative, using the medium of your choice – art pencils, markers, acrylic paint, large cork board, or foam board – it’s your roadmap. This visual aid can represent where you are now in life and progress forward, or it can represent your life from the earlier stages and progress from there. Decide what areas of your goal setting efforts you’d like to display, getting as granular as you wish. Incorporate your network throughout the design. For inspiration, Canva will help get your creative juices flowing.


Practical Application

Today is when your future begins. Yes, taking practical steps that move you toward your destiny will be one of the most daunting tasks that you’ll ever undertake. However, with God on your side it will also be one of the most rewarding. From launching an online coaching program to starting an organic bakery shop, you must take practical steps today to achieve your goals in 2018 and beyond – and it starts with vision development!


Don’t let another 10 years pass by without taking the practical steps needed to realize your dreams. As the confident, brilliant, compassionate, fun-loving, and creative individual that you are, it’s imperative that you understand the importance of starting today! In honor of how amazing God has been to you, honor Him with your vision development. Each day that you’re alive is a day that should be lived with passion and purpose.


We hope that these practical vision development tips will embolden you to take action this year. When you organize your life; conduct your self-assessment; complete your goal setting; and create your roadmap, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals in 2018 – and beyond!


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You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2 (NIV)


Written by: Shanda Henley

January 11, 2018