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  • Writer's pictureAli McNab

Life Visioning - choose the life you want

Do you have a life vision?

Is it ambitious, brave and compelling?

Does it inspire you to drive yourself forward?

Having a life vision gives us an image of a desirable future for us to aim towards. It clarifies what is important to us, what values we want our life to uphold and align to. It establishes a personal framework for us to make informed choices that take us in the right direction. It creates focus and order that helps combat procrastination and self-doubt and enables us to progress with courage. If gives us a sense of purpose!

However, all too often our vision of how we want our life to look is obstructed by internal barriers. Our inner-gremlins question our ambitious thoughts; “but what if you fail?…...”, “you can’t achieve that …... “, “how would you do that …...”, “success is for other people…..”, “you are not good enough/skilled enough/brave enough ……”

Our thoughts create blockages and obstacles that prevent us from clarifying an inspiring and compelling vision. We end up with a “good enough” vision of where want to get to, something mediocre but attainable that our inner-gremlins will allow us to settle for.

We end up with something that does not inspire us to have the courage to work towards!

This is why I love a good Visioning Exercise! Visioning is an excellent way to keep your inner gremlins at bay and enable you to create an awesome, inspiring vision that will motivate you to take action and to build courage to drive yourself towards it.

I’ve been using visioning techniques more and more with my clients as a powerful tool to help them explore where they ultimately want to be.

Visioning puts you in a place in the future where you feel and experience what your future self is doing. You are no longer looking forward, you are already there! It becomes your present where all potential obstacles have already been overcome. You have already demonstrated the courage, skills and strengths that your inner-gremlins said you were not capable of.

Therefore instead of being caught up in the “I can’t do that because….” or “it will never work because…” it creates a positive mindset of the achievability of your vision. Once you define and hold that vision you can begin to look back to explore how you got there, what obstacles you overcame and how you did it.

Fun, insightful and liberating: I particularly love this Retirement Party / Big Birthday visioning exercise: This is best done with a pen and paper to jot down and capture your thoughts, but it can also be done on your commute to work or as a mindfulness exercise. Either way give yourself 20 minutes of undisturbed time to focus……..

Retirement party / big party visioning exercise

Imagine a key pivotal event in your future - this may be your retirement party or a significant birthday (e.g. 60th / 70th).

The party is being held in your honour to celebrate YOU, it is all about you and your world.

Take a moment to imagine what it is like at the party. How old are you? Who is there? Where is the party being held? How does it look visually? What food and drink is there? What entertainment? What can you hear, smell, see? How are you feeling?

Someone has written a speech about you to present at the party. Imagine who is delivering this speech, it may even be a joint effort with a number of contributors. As you listen to the speech you experience a flood of different emotions. Using the questions below imagine what is being said about you that gives rise to these emotions. Hear what is being said in the 3rd person and in the present tense. (e.g. Auntie Sarah is….)

  • You feel yourself brimming with pride. What are they saying about your family, career, business, community and personal achievements that makes you feel so proud?

  • You feel a strong sense of being valued. What is it about you that the people at the party truly value?

  • What are they saying that makes you tingle with happiness and contentment.

  • You laugh out loud as they create a mental image from your past - what is it?

  • A sense of fear followed by courage and accomplishment comes over you. What event or action are they talking about that brings back these emotions.

  • What are they now saying that makes you feel embarrassed.

  • What element of the speech fills you with gratitude.

  • You find yourself cringing. What mistakes did you make, that you can laugh about now.

  • As they reflect on the person you have become what surprises you the most about their admiration and perception of you.

  • As the speech ends and you look around at the smiling faces of the people in your life are you feeling any regrets? Is there anything you’re disappointed that they haven’t said?

  • What are you most smug and surprised that they seem to have not noticed about you.

  • What essence of YOU have they captured that gave you the warmest fuzziest feeling?

As the speech ends you think about your future from this key point in your life. What are you excited to spend more time doing? How do your friends and family fit into your life going forwards?


How did that feel? Take some time to reflect on what came up for you as you went through the exercise. What are the key elements that you may now want to focus on in making your vision a reality.

PDF to the worksheet of this exercise is here.

If you found this useful and would like to discuss how I could help you create your life vision and support you in developing the achievable steps to take you there please get in touch:


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