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From Dreams to Reality – Turning Vision into Action.

Last week we looked at your personal vision, and why it’s critical to have one.
 
Do you want to make your dreams come true? Then the first and, arguably, the most important step is to build them into a clear and structured vision.
If you missed last week’s article, you can find it here
 
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OK – Done! But now what? Are we done? Do we just wait and visualise? What comes next?
 
Well, after starting this journey last week, it makes sense to continue this train of thought and discuss the next steps this week. So let’s get to it.
 
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SO . . . You have a destination now, or at least a direction that your internal compass can point towards. But you still need to plot your route. How do you ensure that your vision materialises?
 
Wouldn’t it be great if we could capture our vision into an app? Then we could get a ‘turn-by-turn’ plan of action to reach our goals; much like a readout from Google Maps.
 
Well, that algorithm doesn’t exist, so we have to do it manually.
 
Before I run through the step-by-step method I want to give you the template I use for the process👇. Then you can follow the sequence of activities on the template.
 
My original template (that I’ve been using for 20 years) is HERE
 The original template works very well, but in recent years I have revised and refreshed the layout a bit. The updated template is HERE
 [Note that I will be using the updated template in the below explanation. The process works just as well for the original template though]
 
I suggest you download at least one of these templates before reading on. It will make the process much easier to follow
 
 
Now, here’s my process . . .
 
Using this simple template I first document my vision, and then reverse-engineer my action plan in the following sequence:
 
 
Step 1: Vision – 2035 [Column 1]
 
I follow the steps laid out in last week’s article to create my vision. I then write it down in the applicable sections under column-1 of the template.
 
The new template splits the individual characteristics into 12 segments, or Key Performance Areas (KPA’s). These are grouped into the four main foundational elements. [Body | Spirit | Community | Career].
 
I made these changes to align it to my unique FutureProof Life-Balance Wheel (shown below). I use this wheel in my Work-Life Balance training course.
I made provision for up to 3 goals in each section, and you should stick to this limit. Focus on the most important goals and select 1 to 3 in each.
 
Remember that you are defining the essence of your future self. This is not a shopping list of objectives.
 
Result: You now have your entire future vision distilled into between 12 & 36 bullet-point statements.
 
 
Step 2: Aspirations – 2025 [Column 2] &
Step 3: Goals – 2022 [Column 3]
 
For these two steps, you will zoom in to an envisioned future state that is closer to your current reality. So, taking your 15-year vision into account, clarify where you need to be, first in 5 years, and then in 2 years from now.
 
The purpose of this is twofold . . .
 
First, you are building ‘stepping stones’ that are more tangible and relatable to your current state.
 
Second, you are breaking down your journey into more reasonable timeframes. In doing that you can better assess how audacious your 15-year vision actually is. What I mean by that is you may realise that you can achieve some of your 15-year plans in less time.
I always go through the process in sequence [1 to 2 to 3], and then review it in reverse [3 to 2 to 1]. I often do this several times in one sitting. I find that it helps me refine and tweak my 15-year vision; usually to be more audacious.

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Step 4: Plans – 2020 [Column 4]
 
This step is a continuation of the first three, but it requires creating specific, short-term targets. These are objectives that you need to achieve by the end of THIS YEAR to set you up to reach your 2-year goals. These milestones must be simple, fully achievable, and focused only on working towards your 2-year objectives.
 
Once you’ve written these down, place reminders around your environment to ensure they stay top-of-mind.
Examples include:
  • setting monthly email reminders
  • putting ‘post-its’ on your fridge and computer
  • creating 30-day challenges
  • putting printed reminders on you notice board.
 
Step 5: Monthly Results [Column 5]
 
Now we’re getting to the sharp end of the stick – what do you need to do THIS MONTH to ensure you reach your targets for the end of the year?
 
Here’s where you document your month-end results and action plans that you need to follow through on.
 
 
Step 6: Daily / Weekly Actions [Column 6]
 
Lastly, document the specific activities you have to consistently do every day, or a certain number of times a week, to make sure you hit your monthly results.
 
This is often where we fall down. We know where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there, but we don’t take immediate action because our vision is far into the future.
 
Appreciate that today is part of your future. Make it count.
Do what you need to do now, or you will end up somewhere other than where you dream of. And if you aren’t taking the initiative and actively creating your future, you won’t have anyone else to blame.
 
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So that’s the process in a nutshell. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, but also easy to relegate to the ‘important but not urgent’ pile.
Take action Now. Go into your diary right now and block off two 1-hour slots – on two consecutive days to go through the process. You will thank yourself sooner than you think.
 
Important Note. You shouldn’t consider this activity to be a “to-do list” entry that you can cross off your list after you’ve finished it and walk away. It is a fluid document than needs to become part of your life.
 
I review and tweak my daily, monthly & year-end entries at the end of every month. It’s a documented part of my month-end procedure. I also review all my 2, 5 and 15-year goals at least every six months.
 
It has become an important part of my consciousness, and I hope it becomes as important for you. In my experience, it will serve you well.
It will also ensure that you never feel directionless while on your path.
 
 
If you need any help or support with this process, or just want to discuss any challenges you may be facing, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a chat. Have a look at the end of the article details to contact me directly via E-Mail or WhatsApp.
 
 
I hope you enjoyed this article. If there are any topics you would like me to focus on in future editions, please don’t hesitate to send me your suggestions.
 
Thanks a mill, and until next week – – – happy trails & keep the entrepreneurial flag flying.
 
Take care

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