Writing A Vision Statement
The process to write a vision statement from a technical standpoint is straightforward. Deciding how the vision statement is to represent in what way you want your future or your organization’s future to be shaped over the next so many years is the challenge. At the very least, a vision statement should be outward looking 3 years and at most 20 years out. You may want to view of think of each period a vision statement represents as a chapter / stage in a life cycle.
For example, such as college, entering the workforce, starting a family, to preparing for retirement, then retirement, etc. for personal life planning. For businesses, starting up, ramping up, scaling, maturing, and either reinventing itself or dissolving the business when considering business life cycles. The vision statement for each stage is what the end of that specific stage should be or what set of conditions should be met.
This page is to help provide an understanding of how to write a vision statement and provide an easy process so you can develop and write your own vision statement, whether for your own personal life or for your organization.
Vision Statement Objective
A vision statement is to create a forward-looking picture of to answer where, when, what and how you want your personal life or your organization to be well into the future 3, 5, 10 even 20 years out.
Vision Statement Purpose
It’s aspirational and often thought of as your North Star. Your Vision Statement answers the question, “If all goals are achieved, what will the future be or look like for myself or my organization X number of years from now?”
Before You Start
Keep in mind of the following:
- Be Relaxed: Just relax…
- Be Patient: Do not pressure yourself to write this statement asap and perfectly. If you need or want time, take it. If you want to get it done now and refine it over time, that’s good too! The major objective here is to set direction. No direction leads to floundering. Some direction is better than none. Clear direction is ideal but it can take some time to figure out. It is like saying you want to go somewhere versus to Europe or saying Europe versus Paris. More specific the better.
- Be Flexible: Vision statements are to serve as a guide and depend mainly on the desires along with the existing circumstances and available information understood at the time the statement is written. As time goes on, desires may shift for many reasons. The 3 most common is internal or personal circumstances change, external changes create new opportunities or risks, and more often than not, shifts in perspective by learning new things and going through new experiences will reshape the vision. Minor refinements are good and normal. Major refinements or complete rewrites are sometimes needed and the need becomes obvious over time.
Simple 5 Step Process to Write Your Vision Statement
1. Think big and think bold. Look many years into the future to visualize long-term ambitions, out 5 to 20 years from today. Think of and list out major accomplishments that could impact humanity that excites you, how you want your personal and professional life to be like every or most days, where your life or organization should be involved, how the community and environment where your located in should be shaped.
2. Consider how your circumstances will be impacted by changes in your personal life, your family, technology, society, the environment, the country, the world, etc during that time. No one has a crystal ball to predict 100% accurate, but life is dynamic and we should be prepared to adapt.
3. Write several statements that vividly creates an action-oriented picture in your own mind, clearly defining how you want your life to become or how you want your organization to be, out the next 3 to 5 years. Consider these statements as guides for all development related activities over the course of this next period or stage of the life cycle.
4. Now work to combine your statements into one very clear and concise statement incorporating the key components that are meaningful in those statements. Make certain to keep what you feel strongly about. Refine it until you feel it will answer the questions below well.
- Future-Oriented: Where are you or is your organization headed?
- Motivating & Purpose-Driven: What emotionally connecting direction do you want to keep pushing toward?
- Unique: Could your vision statement be mistaken someone else’s? If so, it still needs more work.
5. Refine the vision statement as much as possible to limit it to one powerful forward looking sentence if possible, limit it to 50 or fewer words and commit it to memory. Make certain the vision statement is aligned with and or supports your values and mission statement. Poor or lack of congruency will make achieving overall success more challenging up to the point of impossible if the vision opposes the mission and or values.
The “What” is key here…
If you’re going to work over periods of years to improve yourself, your ability to perform and shaping your environment, you must have an optimism about it to stay excited about your future and to continue to be excited to work at making the changes you must, to take on the learning curves you need and to make the sacrifices ultimately required of you to be successful. The vision statement answers the “What” you are working toward and that needs to be something you will absolutely remain excited about….. Happy writing!
Vision Statement Examples
Personal Vision Statements
1. To be a model student, engaged in my school, community and family with a reputation for high performance and excellence.
2. A well known and very capable engineer who solves challenging problems in the field of nuclear energy.
3. A world renowned inventor focused on solving problems related to hearing loss with technology I develop while being an excellent wife and mother.
4. Champion level athlete entering a professional career as an accomplished honors graduate with Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry.
5. A proud parent that successfully raised my children to be productive members of society while managing and maintaining a happy homelife.
6. A proud parent that successfully raised my children to be productive members of society while myself managing a successful professional career.
7. Be a sought after expert after having a successful career I leverage to help those in the leadership ranks in the defence aerospace industry.
8. The ultimate family man that took great care of my children and continues on expanding that role helping my children by taking care of my grandchildren too.
Organization Vision Statements
1. “A place where efficient buying and operating practices give members access to unmatched savings.” ~ Costco Wholesale
2. “Guided commitments to great value, the community, diversity and the environment.” ~ Target
3. “To be the earth’s most customer-centric company.” ~ Amazon
4. “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” ~ Microsoft
5. “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.” ~ Nike
6. “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” ~ Habitat for Humanity
7. “Striving to be the world’s leader in patient experience, clinical outcomes, research and education.” ~ Cleveland Clinic
8. “Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.” ~ Smithsonian
TIP: Make Your Life Easier