With the new year right around the corner, this is the time of year when we take a look at the upcoming year and decide what we want to achieve. We start to create our goals for the new year. I have written about this concept each of the last few years, offering ideas on goal-setting and ways to achieve the goals you create for yourself.
Usually in this final post of the year, I focus on two things – looking back and looking ahead. Looking back is our time for reflection. It is when we consider what we hoped to accomplish during that year and whether or not we did. We look at the goals we had for the year and see which ones of them we achieved.
Looking ahead is when we figure out our goals for the coming year. We determine the things that we want to accomplish, and we outline how we are going to accomplish them. And then we figure out the actions we need to take to accomplish them.
It Starts with a Vision
But notice in each of those end-of-year actions – looking back and looking ahead – the common denominator is “looking.” Before we get to any set of actions we need to perform to achieve what we want to achieve, we need to figure out where we are, where we want to go, and how we want to get there. We need a vision.
You will hear all kinds of words like “vision,” “mission,” “mission statement,” and “goals” as people are looking ahead to the journey they are preparing to embark on. Each of these words is a good word, and they all provide some guidance for us as we begin to plan out what we want and what we need to do to get it.
As I look at that list, I think of vision as the biggest of all of them. I think of it as the umbrella under which the others reside. It seems to me that everything else starts with a vision.
Think of any story of great achievement you have heard. Didn’t it start with someone having a vision of something different, something better than what they already had? Didn’t it start with them looking into the future and saying, “I see myself doing this thing,” or “I see this certain thing coming to fruition”?
“Dream” is another word in this realm, and the concept of a dream may be even bigger than vision. However, dreams often have a feeling around them that they are out of reach, that they can’t come true. We have all had dreams of something in our futures that didn’t come true. That kind of result can taint the concept for some people.
I still believe in the power of dreaming and dreaming big, but I also get that there is a chance, sometimes a good chance, that our dream won’t come true. But when we think of a vision, we don’t think that way. We envision whatever the vision is as being something completely attainable and completely within our power to do it.
The owners, CEOs, or presidents of large companies will often articulate a vision of what their companies can become or what some major project will create. While there may be an initial dream that starts them down this path, they then create a vision of what it will look like and what it will take to get there. They see this happening in the future. They feel that if people will get on board with the vision, follow the mission toward defined goals, and then create habits and act on them, this vision will be accomplished. That sounds a whole lot more believable and achievable than a dream.
20/20 for 2020
And so we come to the upcoming year of 2020. As you are looking ahead to the new year, will you develop goals that you want to accomplish? Will you have a plan or a mission to reach those goals? Will you then act on that plan and develop strong habits that will lead you down the path towards success at achieving them?
These are the steps that one should take in order to create the year that they want to have. But even before those steps are taken, it all starts with a vision of what you want it to look like. When you look back at your year one year from today, what do you see? What were you able to accomplish?
That future reflection doesn’t start then; it starts now. Don’t wait to look back at how the year went. Start now and look ahead. See what you want your year to look like. Then develop the plan to get there and start acting on it.
This coming year is 2020. Most of us will say it as "Twenty-Twenty." The beauty of this year is that every time you read it, say it, or hear it, you may be reminded of vision in another way. You may think of the term "20/20 Vision."
20/20 vision is considered "perfect" vision. Whether it truly is perfect or not is beside the point; people think of it as perfect vision. When people use this term, they are talking about seeing things very clearly.
But sitting here today on December 27th, 2019, you can really look at the concept of 20/20 vision in general and apply it to the year 2020 in particular at the same time.
Ask yourself, “What is my 2020 Vision?” The question can be looked at in two ways –
In the first one we focus on the year 2020 and what it will bring us. In the second one, we focus on getting crystal clear as to what exactly we want to achieve in the new year and what that looks like. When we look at both ideas and combine them into one vision, we are able to create our “perfect 20/20 vision” for the year 2020.
Your 2020 vision is what you hope to achieve throughout the coming year. But ultimately, what you hope will not make your vision a reality. You can start with the hope of your vision. But you must quickly move into action if you want your hopes and dreams of your vision to come true.
They say that “Hindsight is 20/20.” This means that when we look back at things, we see them perfectly because we know what happened, so we see them exactly the way they are or the way they were. But when we look ahead, we look ahead with a lot less than 20/20 vision. We don’t know what the future holds, so we don’t see it perfectly.
But we need to operate looking forward with the same level of confidence in our vision for what we can create for ourselves that we have when we look back. We need to look ahead with 20/20 vision, too. The only way to do this is to get crystal clear on our vision and the actions we need to take to achieve them.
So start now. You have a few days left before the new year. Figure out your 2020 vision by looking ahead and seeing it with 20/20 vision. Write down your goals. Outline your action steps and habits that will help you achieve those goals. And then act on them.
Have a Happy New Year! Good luck on achieving your 2020 Vision by approaching it with your 20/20 Vision!