If you want to accomplish as much as you possibly can, the most important thing to get right is the vision or goal you have to begin with. This is essentially the same as setting your trajectory and without a trajectory, you don’t stand much chance of getting to your destination. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to correctly write goals and this can end up preventing them from standing any chance of success in their chosen field.
And actually, if you’re setting off to write a goal then you’re starting out with the wrong intent to begin with. Because ‘goals’ aren’t really as useful as visions – which is what we’re going to explore here.
The Difference Between a Goal and a Vision
So what’s the difference between a goal and a vision? Essentially, a goal is something that you write down and that is very concrete and simple. A goal may for example be to ‘lose 10lbs in two months’. That’s a goal but it’s also not as effective as a vision designed to the same end.
This same ambition posed as a vision rather than a goal would instead be more the idea of being in shape. You might visualize yourself looking ripped and feeling healthy. You might imagine yourself going for jogs on the beach with your top off in summer and feeling great about yourself. That’s your vision.
A vision can also be an image of yourself standing in an office block and looking out over the world, knowing that you’re in a position of great importance and power.
This is a much more abstract concept that nevertheless helps you to get a picture of what you want and what the emotion behind that goal is.
Why Visions Work Better Than Goals
So why are visions more successful than goals?
For one, goals are not nearly flexible enough. If you have a goal, then this gives you one thing you’re trying accomplish and only one idea of how to get there. If it doesn’t go to plan then you have the freedom to change the steps you’re going to take to get there, or to bend them to fit your current lifestyle, plans and free time.
Another reason visions work better is because they have more emotional content. When you visualize something, the same regions fire in your brain as though it was actually happening. This in turn means that you can actually trigger the emotion as though it were happening. And it’s this emotion we can use to motivate ourselves to go through with plans!