The debate over whether to create a compelling vision or set a S.M.A.R.T goal continues.
The proponents of goal-setting position it as the means to the end. Knowing what you want to achieve and setting the path to getting there.
Creating a Vision
On the other hand, proponents of creating a vision suggest that goals are not as useful as having a vision.
From my perspective, both have their value and it’s essential to have both.
In my article, “5 Ways to Achieve Goals Even If You Don’t Like Goal-Setting” on BIZCATALYST360, I outlined steps you can take to achieve your desired results, whether you’re purely setting goals, or you’re using them to realize your vision.
You must be very clear about your vision or goal and set the path to achieving it, followed by action.
“In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing
daily acts of trivia.” ~Author Unknown
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 90 days’. If you were to end there, the goal would not be complete.
So far, you’re specific and you’re time-sensitive. To be effective, your stated goal should include activities that can be measured, achievable, and realistic – but always make you stretch.
What are the small consistent activities you’ll take to achieve your weight loss of 10 pounds in 90 days? You see, if you don’t have a clear plan, it will never happen. An effective goal would also include by when you should see a loss of 5 pounds and the activities that get you there. This way you can decide if the same pace will get you to lose the other 5 pounds in the allotted time.
This same ambition posed as a vision rather than a goal would include visualization. For example, you could visualize yourself running on walking on the beach in the summer in a sleeveless t-shirt or bathing suit with firmer arms and less flab around the middle and feeling healthy at the same time.
Why Visions Work Better Than Goals
According to the article “Why You Need to Create Visions (not Goals)” on Huffpost.com
“Vision is your why. Vision gives something direction. It's your desired future. Your vision includes what you believe in (your core values) and what you want in your future (what you want to be). It's the powerful reason why you want to do something; your overarching purpose. Your vision is your passion and keeps you excited and motivated. It's what inspires you to do whatever it is you want to do.”
Vision-makers say that 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. When you create a vision, 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 that they have more emotional content. Visualization triggers certain regions in your brain that create the experience as if it is already happening. And it’s this emotion you can use to motivate yourself to go through with plans!
So now that we have considered both sides of the coin, what are your thoughts? Will you create a compelling vision or set S.M.A.R.T goals? The choice is yours.
The third choice is actually what I recommend. Do both! Your vision is like the end of your journey and your goals are the mileposts that get you to the end of the journey.
I invite you to join me in a complimentary coaching session to discuss whether a vision or a goal would be better suited to take you from where you currently are to where you want to go. Contact me with the heading “Goal or Vision” and let schedule a time to talk. I would love to assist you in getting clear on what you need to do next.goal