Why You Need a Personal Vision Statement

personal vision statementAs I prepare for my second Atticus practice growth event in Orlando next month, one of the things they have asked us to do is to create a Personal Vision Statement.

The purpose of a personal vision statement is to help you to:

1) Outline what it is in life that you value; and,
2) Design a plan to ensure that your life includes those things.

In one of the most influential books of all time, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, this is referred to as your “burning desire”. Hill states in step four of his six-step method for achieving wealth that you must “create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”

In Micheal Gerber’s “The E-Myth Revisited”, this is referred to as your “primary aim”.

The basic idea here is that you must write the script of how you want to live your life. There are two types of people in this world, those who plan their lives, and everyone else. According to Gerber, “great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.”

So before you go back to work on your law practice, it is important for you to understand why you are doing what you are doing.

What is your purpose?

What are your goals?

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years from now?

What do you want your life to look like on a daily basis?

The answers to these questions will start to form the basis for your personal vision statement.

So now that you realize you need a personal vision statement, how do you go about putting a statement together?

It all starts with your Core Values

In other words, what matters most in life to you?

You need to rank your priorities in areas such as your family life, your professional work, health, friendships, spiritual needs, recreation, etc.

Next to each of the values that you listed, you should put a number from 1-5 indicating your current level of satisfaction with that value. A “1” would mean you have a high level of satisfaction with that value and a “5” would mean you are not satisfied at all with that core value.

Ideally, the values you list at the top of your list will all have 1’s next to them, but frequently, this is not the case.

How do you currently spend your time?

For this next part of the exercise, I opened up an excel spreadsheet and listed the various activities that I spend my time on during the week. These activities included working, sleeping, eating, time with family, working out, recreation, etc.

There are 168 hours in a week. I chose to track my time during the week because I strive to only work 5 days a week, taking the weekends off. So I have more time with family on the weekends and want to capture that time.

Next gave an estimate of how I spent my time during the week. What was glaring to me is that I’m not working out right now. And that is such a small amount of time that yields such tremendous health benefits, I can’t really justify that by saying “I don’t have time”. Of course I have time, I have just chosen not to engage in that activity for awhile. That needs to change.

Begin Drafting Your Personal Vision Statement

To draft your personal vision statement, you can start by answering some of these questions:

1) How are you committed to spending your time with your family?

2) What do you enjoy doing for recreation?

3) What does your ideal home look like? Where is it located?

4) What does your retirement home look like?

5) What hobbies, passions, interests do you enjoy the most and how much time will you spend on those activities per week?

6) How will you maintain (or regain in my case) your health?

As you answer these questions, attempt to write out your statement in paragraphs that you can print off and read on a regular basis.

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