Do you ever take the time to think about what your future will look like?
I’m not talking about daydreaming while you’re washing the dishes or taking the dog for a walk. I’m talking about sitting down with intention to think about what you want your life to look like in the future.
If you’re feeling unhappy with your current life trajectory, crafting a vision for your future is the first step towards a life that doesn’t suck.
As moms, we’re so busy taking care of our families and doing all the things that rarely do we stop to think about what we really want in life. Let me tell you, what you want in life matters just as much as what your spouse and kids want in life.
I’m sure there are some moms who still embrace the 50’s housewife values who are clutching their pearls at the thought of a mom pursuing her own hopes and dreams. Well, I said it and I meant it.
Ever since I had my second kid, I’ve been anxiously trying to figure out “what I want to do”. I realized very quickly that it was pointless and futile to return to work full time (who would have thought?) and I’ve never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I have my own ambitions, but I still haven’t been able to confidently choose a career path and just when I think I’m on to something, I start to have doubts.
After some soul searching and some research, I believe part of the problem is not having a vision for the future.
Think about it. How are you supposed to feel confident about the choices you’re making when you haven’t clearly defined where you want those decisions to take you? Otherwise, it’s kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick.
Even if you’re not interested in having a career in the traditional sense, having a vision for what you want your life to look like is crucial to building a life that is fulfilling, lights you up, and brings you happiness.
Sick of feeling like a loser who can’t get her shit together, I decided it was time to sit down and craft a clear vision for what I want my life to look like in the future. Now, I’m sharing all the details below so that you can craft a vision for your future, too. You know, moms support moms and all that jazz.
*Side note – the activities below are great to do on your own but can also be done with your spouse (hello, date night) or with the whole family (if your kids are older).
Benefits of Crafting a Vision for Your Future
There are many benefits to crafting a vision for your future, especially if you’re a mom. Having a clear vision ensures that your wants and needs don’t get lost among the wants and needs of your family. (Remember, your wants and needs matter too, damnit!)
It also does the following:
- Helps you clearly identify what you want your life to look. This may seem silly, but plenty of people (myself included) don’t really know what the heck they want until they take the time to intentionally think about.
- Puts into focus what is most important to you. Another thing that you might think is inherently known, but it isn’t always.
- Allows you to set the right short-term and long-term goals in order to achieve the life you want. No more spinning your wheels haphazardly, hoping you’ll arrive at the right destination.
- Makes it easier to identify opportunities that don’t serve your long-term vision. Stop wasting time with the wrong people and wrong opportunities.
- Keeps you motivated and focused when the going gets tough. Put on some uplifting music (Roar by Katy Perry, anyone?) and handle shit.
- You’re more likely to achieve the future you want if you envision it. Visualize what you want and make it happen.
How to Craft a Vision for Your Future
Step 1: Think About What You Really Want
Start by taking the time to think about what your values are and what’s most important to you. This could include so many things – family, friends, career, self care, health, philanthropy, fitness, creativity, academia, spirituality, conservation, animal rights, art, volunteering, zero waste living, etc. The list literally goes on and on and of course, you can mix and match.
Next, think about what a fulfilling life and ideal future looks like to you. Perhaps it’s having a big family or a lucrative career, or both. It could be living debt free or having financial security. A life of fulfillment could be one centered around fitness or academia. It could be starting your own business or homeschooling your children. Maybe it’s a life dedicated to helping others or exploring the arts.
Now, it’s time to think about what you want your life to look like in a certain number of years (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.). During this exercise, you’ll answer a series of questions about your ideal life in the future. This is when you should start to think about all the little details and really get specific. You can ask yourself questions such as:
- What does your family look like?
- What are your family’s values?
- What does your family dynamic look like?
- What do you like to do together as a family?
- What’s your relationship like with your spouse or co-parent?
- What’s your relationship like with your kids?
- What’s your role in the household? What responsibilities do you take on? What responsibilities does your family take on?
- Do you have any pets?
- What kind of friendships do you have and what role do they play in your life?
- How often do you spend time with your friends and what do you do together?
- Where do you live?
- What does your house look like?
- How would you describe your lifestyle?
- How’s your health?
- What steps do you take to stay healthy?
- What is your creative outlet(s)?
- What are your favorite hobbies? (If you need some ideas, here are 75 mom hobbies to choose from.)
- Do you work on self improvement? If so, how?
- How do you practice self care? (Learn why self care is so important for moms like us.)
- What goals are you working towards and what goals have you achieved?
- Do you travel? Where to and how often?
- Are you involved in any organizations?
- How do you give back?
- What causes are you passionate about?
- Do you have a career? If so, what do you do?
- Where do you work? (e.g. – office in the city, brick and mortar, home office, etc.)
- Who do you work with?
- How much money do you make each year?
- Do you have additional sources of income? If so, what are they?
- Do you have debt?
- Have you saved for retirement?
Again, this exercise can also be done with your spouse, though I would answer the questions separately and then together. You can also modify the questions and do it as a family. I would only do this if your kids are older, otherwise your future is going to consist of living in a lego house and eating cake for breakfast every morning. Either way, I recommend you also complete the exercise by yourself. After all, this exercise is for you.
Step 2: Create a Visual
To get long-term value out of this exercise, it helps to create a visual that you can refer to. Whether you need a little boost of motivation or feel like you’ve wandered off your path (hey, we all from time to time), having a visual aid can help you stay focused on the life you want so you make the right decisions to get there.
Write it Down
The easiest way to create a vision for your future is to write down your answers to all those questions above. All you really need is a pen and paper. If you want to get fancy, you can use colored pens and journal your answers. Or, you could use this handy worksheet I made. Added bonus – it’s pretty. Download the PDF here.
Make a Vision Board
If you’re crafty, buy a poster board and bust out the scissors and glue. If you’ve never made a vision board before, don’t worry. It’s not rocket science, they’re really easy. You simply cut out words and images that represent your goals, aspirations, and what you want in life. Then you glue them onto a poster board all willy-nilly. Think, collage style. I make one every new year with old magazines that I’ve collected during the previous year.
You could create a vision board instead of or in addition to writing down your answers.
Step 3: Adjust as Needed
It’s no secret that people change and so can their wants and needs. Your vision for your future life may change and that’s okay. Whether it’s a big change or a few little ones, these shifts are totally normal, but they should be accounted for to keep your vision genuine.
Refer back to your list of answers or your vision board and make the necessary changes to accommodate the changes to your vision. To stay consist and keep your vision top of mind, make it a new year tradition to pop open the champagne, reevaluate your vision, and adjust as needed.
So, what do you think? Have you crafted a vision for your future yet? I’d love to hear what you got from this exercise. Tell me about it in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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