Weirdly, all the global predictions I have read for 2018 are similar. Perhaps because there are a number of rare planetary alignments due in 2018. Or they are plagiarising each other! Regardless, it’s time to think more seriously about where the year is going, and in particular, my 2018 Vision, Mission and Virtues.
After last year’s drama, 2018 will be less turbulent and more grounded; a year of rebuilding the wreckage of our lives. One where optimism and hard work is rewarded by slow and steady progress towards our goals. But, while our personal lives are more stable, and we are a little kinder to each other, the political and environmental turbulence will continue.
Good news for me, given I’m hoping for a more annus mirabilis (wonderful year) in 2018.
2018 Vision, Mission and Virtues
Every year I start by thinking about what I want my future to look like, but I haven’t shared them publicly before. In the main, I’m doing it now because I explained the process in Holistic Personal Finance, and feel like I should be open about mine.
Your vision is your version of the ideal universe I keep talking about. I think it’s important because if you don’t have one, it’s like starting your car’s engine without knowing where you are going. You’re sitting in your drive, wasting your time and energy with nothing to show for it.
It’s more qualitative than quantitative – a vivid picture to summon when you need a little help making hard decisions or sticking to your plans. And if you need a little extra backbone, you can imagine your five-year-old or ninety-year-old self looking back at you with great disappointment.
So my 2018 vision is:
I am a dynamic businesswoman, making a good living. I am happily married, living in a beautiful house, with a tranquil garden.
You can see that’s nicely generic but active and meaningful.
It’s also useful to give your vision a timeframe, something around the five to ten-year mark, depending on how changeable your life looks. For me, this vision is my overall five-year plan.
Your mission is your next layer of planning. It explains how and why you’re going to make your vision a reality. It’s a sort of milestone on the way to fulfilling your vision. Like when you are taking a long drive, and you decide to get to a big town or major intersection before taking a break and recalculating the next stage of your trip.
This is where I start thinking about what my version of a dynamic businesswoman does to make a good living.
Entertain and share my wisdom by writing prolifically, and publishing widely.
Still generic, but active, meaningful, and more or less achievable.
Virtues are like values; only instead of being fixed, they are areas of growth and development. They set parameters around what you will and won’t do to achieve your vision. A bit like the Global Positioning System you use to plan your drive; avoid toll roads, show traffic cameras, take the quickest route.
Following 2017’s drama and my new vision and mission, it’s time to think of some new virtues that will support me on my journey. At this point, I’m asking what a dynamic businesswoman is like.
- Wise: possibly most important, she has street smarts but is also be flexible and adaptable and dreams up new ideas for dealing with difficult situations.
- Energy/Positivity: she takes care of her physical and mental health to maximise her ability to achieve her goals.
- Focus/Discipline: she does one thing at a time, balancing her workload, and managing her time and energy so that the right things get done at the right time.
- Friendship: she is open and honest in her dealings with others.
- Prosperity: she’s a businesswoman, so of course, she’s going to want to make money, but she also values her time and health.
These virtues may seem a bit esoteric, and you might prefer practical or more finite things like Honesty, Education or Teamwork. They’re still a little vague because they’re the state of mind that forms the foundation for the detailed work of living.
And at this point, we’ll take a break and see how the virtues settle. The next step is to come up with goals that move me closer to my vision.
There’s more on the Project Worthwhile Life page.