If Agile has taught me anything, it’s that when you are faced with uncertainty – you need to be able to lean hard on your vision and your values. But, to make that possible, you first need to be able to connect with what matters to you most. For many of us, this is something that we may well take for granted. So that, with a new year before us, I wanted to offer some thoughts and questions to inspire and support you in clarifying your own vision and values.
Key to this activity is that we cast ourselves far enough in to the future. Most of us are currently living day to day and are maybe thinking of our lives a year or two from now. The best visions and values tend to outlast that time frame and require more time and integration than a year or two will allow for.
This activity should take at least 30 minutes to complete and requires that you be able to engage fully and be free of distractions. I like to bring my coaching journal with me and tend to write freely anything that arises during the activity. It makes for interesting reading in hindsight – so I try hard not to overthink it in the moment.
Cast yourself into the future, 10 years from now. Take a few minutes to visualize yourself 10 years older. Try to bring clarity of vision to different aspects with equal measure…
- How are you personally? How do you feel physically? How are you emotionally? Where is your attention, time, and energy focused?
- Who are the people who matter most in your life? How is your relationship with each?
- Where are you professionally? What is your relationship with your work and how does it connect you with what matters most to you?
Give yourself time to “see yourself” with each aspect of your life – take the time to fully visualize your future. Feel free to capture this in any way that makes sense for you – intuitive writing, narrative, poetry, sketching, painting, sculpting, movement – unleash your creativity!
Once you have clarity of your vision, step outside of yourself and ponder – what are the underlying values that support this way of being for your future self? What are the key words that you associate with your personal, relationship, and professional wellbeing? Try not to overthink these words – it’s more important that they resonate for you than they be the perfect words to express what you value.
Once you establish your vision and values, be sure you find a time and place in your life where you can reflect and connect with them regularly. Periodically, take the time to ponder what steps you are taking to make your vision real and to live by your values.
Above all, try to remember that time isn’t out to get you. After all, you cast yourself 10 years into the future to establish your vision and values. Be patient, be open, be persistent and (above all) pay attention when your path misaligns with what matters to you most.