How to Create Your Personal Vision Statement

Vision statements are tools used by organizations to convey their mission, values, and goals succinctly to employees, shareholders, and other parties. 

The goal of a vision statement is to help everyone involved in decision-making to make decisions that align with it and the overall purpose of the group. They have proven to be valuable tools that help a company reach its goals without forgetting its values or purpose.

A personal vision statement is nearly identical to one used for a business but is directed towards a single individual and his or her life. It encompasses one’s values, goals, and purpose in life. Sometimes it also includes a statement of the lifetime impact you wish to have on the world.

The overwhelming majority of research on organizational business statements shows that they are effective in helping keep an organization on track and aligned with its values. Less research has been done on personal vision statements, but so far it looks like they have the same effect on individuals when created and used properly.

Personal vision statements can encompass both personal and professional goals. They also tend to include a list of some deeply held personal values. They tend to be short, only a few sentences long, and can be either kept private or made public.

You don’t have to be famous, a hero, or a CEO to create and use your own personal vision statement. Many people do it. Millions of people around the world in every walk of life from students to farmers to artists have a vision statement they use in their daily lives.

It takes some work to create your own personal vision statement, but it’s not hard to do and you don’t need any special help or expertise. All you need is commitment and a willingness to do the work to craft it. After it’s finished, all you need is a determination to use it to guide your life.

The remainder of this post is going to be devoted to exploring the benefits of personal vision statements and teaching you how to construct yours.

You might be wondering why you should go to the effort of creating a personal vision statement, especially if you’re already driven and goal-oriented. What’s in it for you? Will the benefits outweigh the time and effort? 

Personal vision statements bring a lot of benefits to the people who have them. There’s not enough space to cover all the benefits you’ll get from creating your own vision statement, so here are the top three.

It gives you a sense of direction

A personal vision statement will provide you with a feeling of direction, of knowing where you are right now and where you are trying to go. This motivates you and makes your work feel meaningful. This is something most humans crave, especially in a world as chaotic as the modern one.

If you start to feel lost or rudderless, all you have to do is look at your vision statement to help you realize the truth. This is an important psychological benefit -don’t underestimate it!

It keeps you motivated

Motivation isn’t something you feel all the time. It comes and it goes. Sometimes you’ll be more motivated than others. Sometimes you won’t want to work on your goals at all, either because you’re too busy or you’re frustrated at a lack of progress. 

Lack of motivation is where discipline becomes important but getting your motivation back is also a prime goal.

Personal vision statements have been shown to provide additional motivation when it’s lagging. It can provide you with that extra “oomph” you need to keep pushing and get yourself over the finish line when times are tough.

It provides a framework for decision making

Making decisions is part of being an adult and sometimes it becomes hard to make decisions that keep us moving forward towards where we want to be in life and that are aligned with our values. 

A personal vision statement helps with decision-making by providing a framework you can use to evaluate options, especially for complex decisions. Which options move you towards accomplishing your next goal? Which will move you further away from it? Which ones would let you uphold your values? Would any require you to break your values?

You can use this yes/no framework to decide which options to evaluate further and which to eliminate. This takes the stress out of decision-making and lets you make decisions that will help you succeed.

Personal vision statements are just that -personal. No two are the same and many might not even be recognizable as examples of the same thing. Some will focus more on personal issues and others more on career or spiritual issues. 

The one thing they all have in common is a deep focus on creating a life of purpose for the people who hold them. Most people don’t share their personal vision statements with anyone, or only with a few trusted people such as a spouse or advisor. You can share it online if you choose to.

Here are some great examples:

“To have an abundant life for me and my family.”

“I envision a life where I am confident in my goals, and those around me are inspired by my dedication.”

“I will always be full of energy for others because I know how to take care of myself.”

“To inspire others to find their own unique destiny”

Keep these examples close at hand as you go through the next several steps of creating your own vision statement. Refer to them when you need inspiration. Your personal vision statement might be shorter or longer than these and more or less detailed. It’s up to you. It’s your personal vision statement, after all!

Step 1: What Are Your Goals?

The first step in creating your personal vision statement step is going to be writing down your goals for your life. What do you want? Do you want to start a multi-million-dollar company? Do you want to become an astronaut? An artist? A stay-at-home parent?

You need to create this list before you go any further. Start by brainstorming. Get a sheet of paper and a pen (not a computer) and write down every single thing you’d like to do in your life. Don’t hold back and don’t censor yourself. Write down everything that comes to mind.

If you have a hard time doing this at once, that’s okay. Take some time with it. Carry the list around with you for a few days and add to it whenever something crosses your mind. Keep going until you feel like it is completed.

Again, don’t worry about what anyone else’s list would look like. Everyone is different and unique. Every person has different goals. Your list of lifetime goals will be different from every person you know, even if you have an identical twin. That’s normal and to be expected.

Next, go down this list and think through every item you wrote down. Is this something that you want in your heart of hearts? Or is it something you think you want? Or that you think you should want? Mark these latter items off at once.

What’s left is a list of things you do want to achieve in your life. Which ones do you most want to accomplish? Some of them are going to exert a stronger pull on you than others. Put a star beside these.

After you’ve done that, go back through the list and consider the compatibility of all of your goals. You’re probably going to find that some of them are contradictory or at least can’t be accomplished together. You’re not going to become a famous actor and an astronaut at the same time, for example.

This is the hard part. It’s time to choose. You’re going to have to make some painful choices here -which goals do you want most? Which are you willing to sacrifice in order to get to the others? Mark off the ones that don’t make the cut. It will hurt, but you have to do it.

When you’re done, copy the surviving goals down onto a clean sheet of paper. This is the beginning of your vision statement.

Step 2: What Are Your Strengths, Skills, and Weaknesses? 

The second step in creating your personal vision statement is to make a list of your strengths and skills and decide how they relate to what you want to do with your life. It’s time to get out the handy pen and paper again.

What are your strengths as a person? Write down everything you can think of. This is another brainstorming session. Don’t judge yourself and don’t hold back because of uncertainty or insecurity.

Are you strong (physically or psychologically)? Stubborn? Independent? Are you a freethinker? Are you good at helping people get along? Are you highly intelligent? Empathic? Incredibly organized? You have a list of strengths just like everyone else. Don’t stop with this list until you feel like you’ve covered them all.

Next, you’re going to do the same thing for your skills. List every skill you can think of that you have, in particular those that are related to the goals you identified in step one. What skills do you currently have that will help you get to those goals? How many of those are good to go and which need work?

Now, look at the list of goals once again. What are the strengths a person who reaches each of those goals must possess? Go down the list and evaluate them one by one. Take your time with this; don’t rush this process. When you’re done, do it again and write down the list of skills needed to accomplish these goals.

You may have already guessed what the next step is going to be. You’re going to compare the two lists you’ve created -the one of strengths and skills you already have versus those that you need to accomplish all of these goals you want to achieve.

The differences between the two are your weaknesses. These are things you need to work on if you’re going to make all of your goals a reality. Circle all of these weaknesses. 

If you like, you can add working on or developing some or all of these weaknesses to your personal vision statement. You don’t have to do so, but if you don’t, you still need to keep the list handy because you will have to work on these things if you want to reach your goals.

When you’ve finished with this step, set the lists you made aside -but keep them handy for later -and go on to the next step. 

Step 3: What Are Your Values?

You’re almost ready to write your personal vision statement. You’ve written down your goals and come up with a list of strengths and skills you need to work on. The next part of the process is to decide what your most important values are.

As with steps 1 and 2, this step is going to yield different answers for everyone. There are no wrong answers so don’t get anxious or worked up. All you’re going to do is decide what’s most important to YOU, not what is important to anyone else or that you think should be important.

Once more, you’ll need your pen and paper. Write “My Values” across the top. What’s the most important thing in the world to you? Your top priority, the thing you work so hard for, the one rule you always follow, the one guideline you use to define everything else in your life.

It’s a hard task, isn’t it? It may require some thought. Or maybe you know right away what it is. If so, you’re one of the lucky ones. The rest of us have to think about it for a while!

The answer, when you come up with it, might be simple or it might be complex. It might be the Golden Rule. It could be taking care of your family. Making money is a top value for some people while making a difference is most important to others. Some write a single word, such as “love” or “caring.”

Again, there are no wrong answers. This is about you and no one else. Your answers are private and should reflect your innermost self, or your vision statement won’t be genuine. Being honest with yourself is the most important part of this process.

Once you have an answer, you’re going to write down your second and third most important values. These might take you a while as well. You might even discover you have two or three on the same level. That’s okay too. 

Now write down any other values you hold in high importance. Don’t write down too many; you don’t want to dilute the issue. You’re going to want to include your top value in your vision statement. Depending on your personality, you might want to do your second and third most important and maybe a few others as well.

When you finish with this exercise, you’ll be ready to write down your vision statement.

Step 4: Put it All Together

You’re almost finished. You’ve reached the final and most difficult step -combining everything into a coherent statement. If you’ve done the first three steps thoughtfully and honestly, you should be able to come up with a moving and motivational personal vision statement for yourself.

Get out a new sheet of paper. Write down all the things you’ve already come up with that need to be included in your vision statement. That is, write down your most important goals, any strengths or skills you want to include, and your personal values. These together form the nexus of your vision statement.

You’ll create drafts of your vision statement by playing around with words. Start a sentence with any of the following phrases and write until you have incorporated everything you want to include. Your vision statement may be anywhere from one sentence to a short paragraph long.

Vision Statement Opening Words

“I am…”

“I want…”

“My purpose/mission/vision is…”

“My life will show…”


“I will…”

Don’t just try one set of these opening words. Try several. Play around with them. Come up with four or five draft vision statements. Use active, first-person verbs in all of them. That means you should write as “I [verb]” as much as you can.

Take some time with this, at least as much as you spent combined on the first three steps. Make multiple drafts of vision statements that all start with the same opening words. Add things in and take out other things. Use synonyms and antonyms. 

Try different lengths, sentence structures, pacing, and tones. Make drafts that sound as different as possible while still expressing the same core set of beliefs.

How will you know when you’re finished? If you’re extraordinarily lucky or a talented wordsmith, you might be able to come up with the perfect vision statement just from these drafts. If not, keep working on drafts until you get tired of it or frustrated.

Set the task aside for a day or two, then come back and read your drafts again. Circle things that you really like. Mark out things you don’t. The bits and pieces that you like are going to form the core of your final draft.

Start making another set of drafts and this time use only the phrases you’ve circled from your first drafts. Then repeat the process until you’ve formed a personal vision statement that suits you. You’ll know when you’re finished. 

Have you created your own personal vision statement? Let me know in the comments!

Hi Beautiful! I’m Jilanne, the founder of Soulful Planner, and I believe you are the expert of your own life. Deep down, you know what your hopes and dreams are, you just need a little bit of help to create an achievable action plan to make it happen.

Visit my digital and planner shop here.

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