Early in my career, I stumbled upon a life-planning book that was designed to walk the reader through a simple process of self-realization, and the understanding that people are the masters of their own destinies. As cliché as it sounds, it is true. Yet most people float through life like feathers in the breeze—aimlessly. They take what is offered and ask for very little, because it is easy.
The book begins by asking readers to describe the people that they aspire to be—their self-vision—and the vital categories of their lives that define this vision. Examples of life categories could include marriage, parenting, religion, friendship, career, community contribution, health, fitness, business and anti-aging. Collecting pictures on a “vision board” that exemplify this vision is suggested and helpful for this part of the process. These visual images serve as a constant reminder and affirmation of where a person aspires to go and who she wants to be.
For each life category, write short, yet specific affirmations that are consistent with your vision. Under each of the affirmations, create a short punch list of practical and real-life action items that need to be carried out to ensure that you stay parallel to your affirmations, which, in turn, keep you parallel to your self-vision. A life category may look something like this.