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“I’ve drawn a line in the sand.  I’m quitting this job at the end of the year, come hell or high water.”

“This is absolutely the last time I’m working a holiday season.”  

“I can’t take the stress any more.  I’m retiring at the end of the school year.”

Have you heard or said any of these things?  I’ve heard all of them from clients, friends and acquaintances.  What do they all have in common?  They are all about leaving something behind (and that can be a good thing) but none of them are about moving toward something.  

And maybe you’ve heard that if you don’t know where you are going… you are likely to end up somewhere else.  

Or as Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

I recently received a referral for a client who was letting all her friends know that she was definitely quitting her job at the end of the month and was looking for direction and prayers for the future.  While I applaud anyone for being decisive and moving on from a situation that has become stagnant, stressful or even unbearable, I also caution clients to use all that energy to plan and create an action plan around what comes next.  Otherwise, you may just fall back into something else equally challenging and frustrating in order to make a paycheck.

Brain research has shown that we are naturally wired to focus on the negative.  Rick Hanson in his book, Hardwiring for Happiness  explains that our brains are like Velcro for negative and Teflon for positive. When we are focused on what we want to leave behind, we are focused on the negative. To be successful though, we need to instead envision what we want for our future.  

What are the steps to creating a vision for the future?

  • Set aside some time to determine with clarity what you want for yourself.  Ask yourself:
    • What are your skills and talents?  What are your interests and dreams?
    • What are your core values?
    • What do you prefer in terms of an environment to work in?  Do you prefer to work by yourself or in collaboration with others?  What type of coworkers do you relate to best?  
    • Do you prefer to be your own boss or to let someone else run the show?  
  • Design a description or visual of what you envision for your future. This could be a vision board or a specific job description that identifies what is important to you.  Make it the ideal so you know what you are looking for.
  • Research companies or businesses that meet your criteria–Identify what criteria they meet in your ideal career and rank them in terms of how they reflect your vision.
  • Contact your top businesses and begin a job inquiry. There are lots of details about how to successfully navigate this process in Dan Miller’s excellent resource, 48 Days to the Work You Love.  

Most of us have fleeting ideas of what we ideally want in our lives but those thoughts remain fleeting and unattainable because we don’t take the time to gain clarity, create a vision and an action plan.  Take the time to turn dreams into reality by creating your vision for the future, not just leaving behind the past.  

Want to join me in creating a vision for your future?  I’m hosting the first ever Dream Board Workshop!

Read all about it here:  Create Your Life- Dream Board Workshop

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