Mission statements were all the rage throughout corporate America in the 1980s.

And vision boards, handmade collages of visual images a person wants to attract to their life, were featured in “The Secret.”


Now, the latest tool for helping to create our ideal life is through the use of a “Vision Statement.”

“A vision statement is something that will inspire you. It’s what you want to happen,” says career and new company launch strategist Joyce Schwarz who is the author of the upcoming book "THE VISION BOARD": Unlocking the Secret to an Extraordinary Life. Harper Collins Publishing, Collins Design, fall, 2008.

WHAT IS THE VISION STATEMENT? “It’s a vivid, idealized description of the outcome that you want. Something that inspires ... energizes you, and helps you create a mental image of your target.”

Unlike mission statements, which originated in corporations, Schwarz says, “Vision statements started from the grass roots up, by people who want to create personal power and their own realization.”

USE TO ENHANCE YOUR LIFE...and visualize the future: A vision statement can be used to enhance any part of your life, like family or career. It could also be created to visualize a new home or a specific project.

If you’re currently using affirmations to help achieve your goals, Schwarz suggests summarizing the affirmations into a single, powerful vision statement.

You could make your vision statement appear each time you turn on your computer, or arrange the vision statement at home or at your office where you will see it regularly. Some people are going all out, creating multimedia vision statements.

“If you go to youtube.com ... and put in ‘vision statement’ you’ll see more than 300 users that are creating video vision statements,” said Schwarz. There are several versions of commercial software available or “You can create yours as simply as using Power Point.”

Here are Joyce Schwarz suggested guidelines for creating your vision statement:

Summarize your vision in a powerful statement (1-4 sentences)
Make sure it stands the test of time (think ballpark vs. small details)
Suspend disbelief—anything is possible!
Follow up with ‘inspired action’ (specific steps toward your vision)
Post it somewhere you can see it daily (and update it quarterly)

As with goals, Schwarz suggests checking in with your vision statement quarterly, at the change of seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter).

This will give you an opportunity to check on your progress and revise or fine-tune your vision statement as needed. While you’re doing this, make sure to give yourself credit for the work you’ve done, and spend some time being grateful for the ways your life is improving.

Try not to be too tough on yourself if you didn’t accomplish everything on your list.
By Joyce Schwarz, author “THE VISION BOARD” book, Harper Collins Publishing, Collins Design, fall, 2008.

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Schwarz is the best-selling author of more than 200 articles and 5 books. She is a Hollywood celebrity career strategist and works with high tech companies to launch new products and services. She has raised more than $200 million in funds for start-up services and non-profit ventures. She founded the CENTER FOR SUCCESSFUL RECAREERING in Marina Del Rey, CA.Watch for her new book "THE VISION BOARD:Unlock the Secret to An Extraordinary Life, Harper Collins Publishing, fall, 2008. website for book is www.ihaveavision.org.