Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In one of the comments on the Write2Vision post, someone wondered if the hardest part of visioning is putting the dreams into practice. It may be. You know the old quote:

A vision without a task is merely a dream;
A task without a vision is drudgery;
But a vision with a task is the hope of the world.

If we're going to bring to life a piece of our Best Possible Self vision, then we need to do some planning and goal setting. Despite the bad press good intentions get, writing down a goal moves it from imagination to intention. The written goal becomes part of our conscious lives, and we become more likely to achieve the goal. 

Recent research has discovered some interesting facts about writing and goal setting. First, people who emphasized approaching a desired future as they wrote narratives about life-changing decisions (versus writing about escaping an undesired past) reported a greater sense of well-being. Second, writers who use causal words tend to live longer than those who don’t. (Causal words and phrases include the words so, hence, in order that, in hopes of, and for the purpose of.) Finally, as I have mentioned before, people who note when, where, and how they will achieve their goal are more likely to do it.

Take a look at your write2vision journal entries. Ask yourself:
  • What specific goals are inside these visions? Make a list.
  • What goals are most dear to you? Or, what goals are you especially passionate about? Star these goals on your list.
  • How could you go about achieving these goals?
  • What one goal could you begin working on this week?
  • Write this goal in your journal and begin making a plan. Include lots of small steps!

Once I have a goal and a loose plan, I like using the write2dump exercise to plan my day. Each morning, I write one to three pages about what I hope to accomplish during the day. I often create a schedule to connect my writing goals to specific times of day. I also allow for times of rest and reward in the schedule. For example, I might plan to work on a current writing project for ninety minutes in the morning. I also plan what my reward will be. When I plan both the work and the reward, I am much more likely to accomplish my goal.

Now it's your turn. Write2Plan—then let me know how it goes! 


  1. That's basically the way I approach things too. I usually call myself a "list person" because if its not on a list somewhere, it just doesn't get done.

    The only question I have is: When and how do you decide to move on from one goal to another?

    So, you finished your novel(or whatever) that you did in November. Yahh! You feel great...but then comes the emptyness. "What's gonna be the next goal?" you ask yourself. And you find yourself in a slump until the next goal presents itself.

    Or you get to the first step of your plan(in my case, writing the first draft of a novel) but can't seem to get past the middle stage(rewriting it and polishing it up to actually get it polished). You get stuck there...until the next big idea grabs your attention and you scrap that one and enter the exciting beginning stage of the next one until the cycle repeats itself. How do you escape?

  2. Nothing happens without seeing it first. Small steps lead to big steps. Every step counts...

  3. Rochelle, this is really helpful for me to hear right now in this transition time. Thank you!

  4. Thanks, all!

    Bill, I usually have multiple goals going so that I don't ever end up facing that awful slump. When I do face the slump, I have tried to see it as a necessary fallow period. Does that help?

  5. I love the link between causal words and a longer life. I guess my sermons always serve that purpose. And in any of my creative endeavors, I am always writing 'in order to make meaning.'