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I get a lot of questions from coaches who want to help their clients with life planning or life visioning. Often people – and their coaches – are looking for a catch-all tool, workbook, visualisation or some other technique to help their clients.
The thing is, there are endless ways to identify a vision for our lives. Maybe that’s why we sometimes feel overwhelmed and need help.
In my experience there are two main ways a life vision can help our clients. If you don’t know what you want you’ll end up with what you get!
1) DIRECTION: A life vision gives us something to work towards. It gives us clarity so we can go through our days knowing we’re working towards what we want in life – and what’s truly important to us. This clarity of direction helps us make the right decisions and choices – for us.
2) INSPIRATION: A life vision should be inspirational. If your client’s life vision is ho-hum, they’re not going to want to take action.
A good life vision exercise or plan creates a desirable future that gives us direction, helps focus our lives AND inspires us to take action to create it.
Here are the Life Vision Exercises I Use With My Clients:
First, a series of 3 simple, but powerful one-page life vision exercises to help clients connect with themselves and what they truly want from life.
1. Rocking Chair Life Vision Exercise. This is a writing or journaling exercise where they imagine being 90, happy, healthy and look back over their life and what they have achieved. This gives a broad life vision – and points to key life values which can be helpful when helping to identify a client’s values.
2. Get Perspective Vision Exercise. This exercise asks people to detail where they want to be in 10 years, then 5, 2, 1 and 3 months time. The exercise deliberately works back from 10 years to the present day so that they get a sense of what they need to do NOW to make their 10 year goals happen.
3. 3 Month Vision Worksheet. This exercise asks people to consider where they would like to be in 3 months time in key life areas (eg. Personal Life, Home and Family, Health and Well-being, Career). It then asks for obstacles and who they need to be to achieve these goals.
When you do these 3 life vision exercises in sequence like this you first get a broad overview of the vision our clients have for their life. Then you gradually bring it back to the present day/immediate future. This tells them what to focus on NOW (or in the next 3 months) that fits beautifully into the overall vision they have for their life. And there is plenty of scope for additional coaching or homework around each of the exercises.
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