As values drive your life purpose, vision drives your goal setting and your day-to-day actions.

I took this photo on a hike last month in Gold Canyon, AZ. It was a rainy day that had a brief burst of clear skies that enabled this hike and great photo. I have titled it “Vision.” It is my desktop background picture right now. If you can’t see the photo in this article, please check on www.RealEstateMoms.com

You know the old saying: “In order to know where you are going, you have to remember where you have been.” In naming yourvision and setting goals for this year, truer words were never spoken. You need to first analyze where your business has been this past year before you can actually envision where you will be next. Vision is the big picture, the WHAT you will do (as opposed to the WHY.) In framing that picture, first decide what you want to leave out. For example, what is it that happened in your business last year that you never want to see happen again? Then you can follow up with the next question: What is it that worked well, and that you are proud of, that you want to be certain to repeat? Vision begins here.

My desktop picture reminds me every day about this vision I had for that hike and the vision and perspective I found hiking that day. My vision for that hike determined my steps and the path I took. My vision for my business does the same.

Some people believe that visionaries are gifted with natural talent or good luck and that we mere mortals cannot hope to dream in such vast landscapes. However, as Richard Koch reminds us in the 80/20 INDIVIDUAL, many times a visionary result is simply a rearrangement of something which already exists. Take, for example, that recurring annoyance or conflict from your business last year and put someone else in charge of it. Or, conversely, take a small idea which made a big difference in value for your customers, and assign a team to develop and improve upon the idea for this year: to make it bigger, monumental, even! All of this is vision.

Ask yourself the hard questions:

  • What did you accomplish this year?
  • What was the most challenging part of your year?
  • What goals did you set that you did not achieve?
  • What were the reasons?
  • What did you actively do to drive your business last year?
  • What factors do you feel drove the business without you: in other words, where do you feel you were out of control?

Then play the flipside:

  • What were your successes?
  • How did you celebrate them?
  • What do you want to duplicate and what are the steps that are necessary?
  • What is it that you value most that you want to see reflected in your business practices?

Again, only after analyzing where you have been can you paint the canvas in vivid color of where you will be next year. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces come together to form the whole once you have identified them.

And remember, vision implies seeing: you must picture it in your mind before you make it your reality!