Past, Present and Future: What is your VISION?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Past, Present and Future: What is your VISION?
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 4:07pm

Many of us have been here a while, and some are new members. Sometimes it helps to motivate us into future goals if we reflect a bit on our past, then look at where we want to go.   So instead of the normal "goals for 2013" I would like to challenge everyone to look further.

Studies show over and over again that those with firm goals, tend to achieve more than those who do not have any goals. 

My husband and I have been doing a lot of goal planning, not just this year, but our entire time together.  Personally, I have always been a very goal oriented person, maybe too much so as I know that if you really want to give God a good laugh, just make a plan.  But recently my husband attended a wonderful leadership course and learned about VISIONING - or really forming a vision of what you want your future to look like, starting with a "proud list" or a list of accomplishments, envisioning a future, sharing the vision with those around you and then creating a plan to allow the vision to come to life.  This is not just a vision for the next year, but more of a vision of what you see a decade from now.  We are working to find that vision together and mine really took a huge step last year as I took a huge leap toward my ideal career.

So to do this, start with some simple questions:

1.  What am I most proud of?  What are your greatest accomplishments, skills, hobbies, interests, etc.

2.   Now sit back and close your eyes (after you read this entire step, of course.) If you were to have a twin, who would leave earth and go for a space ride that took 10 years, then could come back and knock on your door to face you one decade from today, what would you be doing?  Where would you live? How would your life look? NO, how would you in imagination wish your life looked?  Put that vision on paper, or share it with us if you so dare to do so.

3.  Who do you need to share your vision with?  (Spouse, Significant other, parent, co-worker or boss, or employees?)  Are you open to input on the vision?

4.  What is standing in your way to initial moving toward your vision?  What can you list as goals for 2013 to move toward your vision (besides creating one to begin with.)


Tips:  When times get tough, keep going and sticking with your vision.

If the vision is no longer sound, it can be revised, it is a vision, not a photo!

Share your vision with others - it makes it more real!!





iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010

 1. What am I most proud of? What are your greatest accomplishments, skills, hobbies, interests, etc.

I have an MBA, 25 years of business background, 5 years experience as an adjunct business professor, financial certifications and licenses. I love talking to people about finances as well as teaching. I am a DR counselor, and have a passion in this field. I have been through personal financial success and difficulty including divorce, death of a spouse, job loss, parenting, seeing my parents go through retirement, and caring about people and their families.

Our family has paid off over $100k in debt in less than 4 years, while tripling our net worth and increasing our savings for retirement by 30%. We have dealt with job changes, blended families and the needs of teenagers. We are educating two children at very high level institutions, and instilling family values.

2. Now sit back and close your eyes (after you read this entire step, of course.) If you were to have a twin, who would leave earth and go for a space ride that took 10 years, then could come back and knock on your door to face you one decade from today, what would you be doing? Where would you live? How would your life look? NO, how would you in imagination wish your life looked? Put that vision on paper, or share it with us if you so dare to do so.

I see myself in my local financial office, connected with many business and social groups in the area. I spend time teaching and meeting with clients to help with their concerns. I help people who cannot afford expensive counselors and teach financial concepts to young adults. I would like to be the most highly respected female advisor in the two county area.

I seem myself often entertaining family and clients at local restaurants or at our home. Speaking of our home, it is a cozy, open concept design, 3 bedrooms, in warm tones with a big fireplace in the great room, surrounded by open spaces and woods. We still have our log cabin at the lake, but have done some remodeling to it to make it more energy efficient, and family friendly while adding a garage for items needed there.

We work with a local charity to help people who are in need and need help to fill a gap between jobs, or sponsor families in need locally with a connection to those families to act as mentors and guides when needed.

We do some travel to warm areas to break up the winter, and have gone skiing with my daughter and her "husband" (kind of envision her married in 10 years - HEY, it is MY vision!) I have an open schedule so I can watch a "grandchild" one day a week or so.

Both kids are now taking care of themselves, are gainfully employed, and come by often to visit.

3. Who do you need to share your vision with? (Spouse, Significant other, parent, co-worker or boss, or employees?) Are you open to input on the vision?

I need to share with my husband so he knows my clear intent about what our home into retirement should look like. I will work with my partner at the office to create the corporate vision I am striving for, but I am already firmly down that path.

I think my kids know my vision, and that I want to help them with their lives, but want them to be independent - but what they do is their vision and not mine as long as I am not still paying for the roof over their heads.

4. What is standing in your way to initial moving toward your vision? What can you list as goals for 2013 to move toward your vision (besides creating one to begin with.)

I need to take one more exam this quarter as well as pursue another financial designation to help women. I need to connect with women's groups and do at least 3 more educational events this year. I need to do more free counseling through DR program with area churches to help those who wish guidance.

Financially this year, I have a goal of income I need to make each month and how that is divided. I just need to plot in the activity needed in order to reach that income level. We need to pay down the last $20k of unsecure debt (hospital, CC, and my student loan.)  We need to refinance our current house and keep income up to pay off our cabin and college for the kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008

My greatest skills are organization. My hobbies are plants and animals.  I missed my calling and should have been a vet.  

Ten years from now I am a retired stay at home grandmother of a teenager.  The house is paid in full and DH is ready to retire in the next three years to join me and pursue a part time interest in our county government.  I'm loving being able to have financial freedom for the both of us.  We have rebuilt a desent retirement and are happy in our senior years.  

Nay, hubby knows me inside and out.  He wants me home as much as I want to be there.  

You have a good idea what stands in my way for the next 59 weeks and the people that follow this board do too.  Once we clear our Chapter 13 plan things should start to fall in place for this simple dream of mine to be a homemaker.  That's all I want.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

I've had a vision for my future for a loooooong time.  The number one thing I always wanted was to have a strong family.  Thankfully this is my DH's vision too, so everything we've done for the last 20 years has been built around that.  Today we have kids who are 20, 18 and 12, and our family life is everything I hoped it would be, even though there have been some unexpected twists and turns along the way.  And my marriage is as strong as I hoped it would be too, which is an important part of family life.

The other parts of the vision included having a healthy life with enough resources to enjoy it.  This didn't seem to be even remotely in my grasp when I started my journey out of debt in 2004, but with a lot of effort and a lot of good fortune, that vision is coming true also.

Now that is not to say that I never lose sight of it.  (Cue the Wallflowers:  "Eyes on the prize, reboot the mission/ I lost my sight, but not the vision"...)  In fact last year I got distracted by a number of things and took my eye off the ball.  There was no permanent damage, only a mild setback in achieving the vision.

Ten years from now, I envision this:  I'm 60 years old.  I've finally finished putting all three of my kids through college (today one is nearly done, one is about to begin, and one is still years from starting).  I'm still happily self-employed but close to having funded my retirement with no help from an employer.  I'm still physically fit, I have interests and hobbies that I pursue alone and with DH, we travel for pleasure a couple of times a year, and we have broadened our group of friends and renewed bonds with old friends.  Our house looks great!  We have plans for how we're going to spend our next few years to retirement, and plans for the 10 years after that.

Watching our parents age, and learning from others online and IRL, has greatly informed my vision of what I hope my life will be like.  I don't know exactly what I'll be doing 10 years from now, but I think I can say pretty surely who I'll be doing it with and how it's going to be.

When I started my debt journey in 2004, my goals were to (1) get out of debt, (2) buy a house, (3) pay for college for my kids, and (4) fund my retirement.  I am done with #1 and #2, am 2/3 of the way through #3, and have been working on #4 since 2005. For those who are discouraged by the length of time it will take you to get out of debt, I'm here to say, Take heart!  You probably didn't get into debt overnight, and you won't get out of it overnight either.  It took me 4 years just to get out of debt, forget anything beyond that, and I've been working at this for 8.5 years.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008

Interesting topic Marie. And I have been reading some articles lately that talk about goal setting for now and the future. If the goals you have set don't seem to get you there later, you won't be happy. That is what I want! To be happy! So I will play.

1.  What am I most proud of?  What are your greatest accomplishments, skills, hobbies, interests, etc.

I am a wife, a mother, a business owner for 7 years, a sister, a daughter, a member of a great community, and a great x wife. I am proud of all of those. I love to read fiction, curl, swim, walk, cook and visit with friends. I love to see family when I can.

2.   Now sit back and close your eyes (after you read this entire step, of course.) If you were to have a twin, who would leave earth and go for a space ride that took 10 years, then could come back and knock on your door to face you one decade from today, what would you be doing?  Where would you live? How would your life look? NO, how would you in imagination wish your life looked?  Put that vision on paper, or share it with us if you so dare to do so.

In ten years I see myself cooking in my new kitchen of my new home with my daughter coloring at the kitchen table. I am thinking about my younger son  in college, my older son and his girlfriend just moving into an apartment together and he is starting a new job(I can dream too!) and my husband working in the yard.  I wish to be working in a 9-5 job with holidays and have sold the store(thus having enough money to put down on a new house). I hope to have extra funds to put extra money on my mortgage and put more away for retirement. I also hope to have a vacation fund started for a trip to Ireland.

3.  Who do you need to share your vision with?  (Spouse, Significant other, parent, co-worker or boss, or employees?)  Are you open to input on the vision?

My husband and I have talked about this already and both agree this is what we would like(the house).  I suppose my store would have to cooperate and sell! Will it? I don't know, I hope so. If it doesn't We will save up for the house ourself and keep on keeping on, the store does well. Am I open to input? not really lol. My husband and I really want a new house and have wanted one for 5 years now. I don't want anyone telling me it isn't a good idea lol.  Plus Lila is really a willful little go machine. I will have to really talk her into sitting still and coloring at the table for any length of time. 

I love to cook and would love to entertain our friends more at my home. I would love to have family over more in a spare bedroom down stairs and just generally enjoy my home which I don't really do. I would love to decorate my home to express myself and so more crafty things. 

I also see us working on the berry farm and me working outside more. That is a whole other option to be explored but I don't know where that is leading yet. 

4.  What is standing in your way to initial moving toward your vision?  What can you list as goals for 2013 to move toward your vision (besides creating one to begin with.)

I know the only thing standing in our way is me just going back to work. We have been living on one salary since we have known each other paying off heaps of debt and now into a saving phase.  I plan to go back in August 2013. I know that is  long time away but my little girl is still very little we are enjoying all the moments with her. She is almost 6 months old now, sitting up, rolling over, playing with her toys, eating her baby food and is mostly a happy little baby! She needs to work on her sleeping though!

Very interested to see what others have planned here!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2011


Thank you for posting this.  I am going to take some time to think on it, and will report back by next Friday at the latest.  : )  My hubby and I are both going to work on this and go out for coffee and discuss Tuesday night.  It will be good for us  : )

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Karen, check your private messages, please!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008

I have always done this and love it. Before we got married, I had DH write down a list of all his dreams and desires. I did the same. We have a lot of that stuff ticked off and working on many more :)

1) I am most proud of my ability to accomplish the things in life that make me happy. I have gone after life and have had a wonderous plethora of experiences even though I grew up very poor. I have backpacked across Canada and Europe. I have told bosses to stuff it & started my own business. I have swam with wild dolphins in the ocean and published poetry. I learned the art of natural healing. I taught myself how to bake & cook in a healthy manner and have maintained my ideal weight for 2  years (working on ideal fitness!). I learned how to play ice hockey as an adult and played in a guiness world record hockey game of 243 hours (24/7 for 10 days). I did stand up comedy and theatresports. I have volunteered to just causes. I worked as an environmentalist for 10 years because I believe in what I was doing. I have always stood up for my beliefs and values - even in the face of danger.

2) In 10 years we are living in the desert in a comfy home. The whole family enjoys ice hockey & skiing in the winter. We take the boys on recreational trips with a tent trailer and our mtn bikes in the summer. DH have finally found some sense of community and some people we can call friends. Our children are strong and healthy.

3) Hubby knows ALL about it and is completely committed.

4) I have 3 seperate scenarios of success. For the first one, I am getting my accounting certification as I've researched this and it is the occupation in most demand in this region. For the second, I am trying to get verification of my First Nation's heritage. There is a new centre opening up in DH's field in this area as wel. It would be the best chance for both of us to get positions at the same time and place. I have the skills/ability/work experience but it might give me another edge. I am also mapping out the possibility of DH only getting a position and what we would to make one salary work initially.

Having a clear vision of what you want gives you the freedom to JUMP when you need to take the leap of faith to make it happen.

Wow, that felt good!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2008

Interesting questions!  I thought about it for a while and decided to chime in.  I will say that my goals and plans never seem to mesh up the way I want.  It always seems that I have to wait longer and work harder than others.  That goes for everything from when I wanted to have children to getting the jobs I wanted at the time I wanted them.  It never happened when I planned.  Usually took years more to reach those goals.

1)  My greatest acomplishment are my children.  There was a dark time in my life where we thought we might not be able to have children.  My main goal growing up was to be a mother.  I was lucky that the medical problems we faced regarding conceiving were not that bad.  It took some time, but I was able to have two- a boy and a girl.  I am also very proud that I have been able to acheive a bachelors degree and a masters degree.  I am the only one in my family who has achieved this.  I love to read, quilt, cross-stitch.  I still love to play video games at my age!  I am a fairly good writer and didn't really grasp that until a few years ago when my professors told me so.  I enjoy camping with my family.  I am glad that I am a sensitive person, but wish that I could hide it or turn it off at times. It helps to be sensitive to others and their needs.  I am creative in my every day life and with my job and hobbies.  I am proud  that my marriage has lasted for 21 years.  My husband and I have had a roller coaster of a relationship and I never wanted to be known as a divorced mom.  I held on during the turbulant times and worked things out with him.  We are stronger for it.  I am currently back in grad school working on an add-on to my license and I love school!  I really enjoy learning new things.  I love the person I am and wouldn't want to change into anything else or be anyone else. 

2) In 10 years I see myself with my PhD and a teaching position at a college or university.  My two children will have finished college and will be settling down to start their own families.  I am debt free (I almost am now not counting my mortgage!) and will live in a house that is paid off.  I will have a substantial amount of retirement saved.  My husband will have finally finished his degree and will be working at a job he enjoys.  We will be living in another state than the one I live in now (Because I really dislike the state I live in now).

3) My husband is the only one that needs to be on the same page as me and he already is.  My children are almost grown now and will be going in their own directions and sailing towards their own dreams.

4)  I am waiting til my youngest graduates from high school before moving and starting my PhD.  The school of my choice is in another state and I won't uproot my kids until they are all finished. I have just two years to go.  I will obviously need to sell my house to leave, but being debt free I will be able to go ahead and rent a temporary place if my husband needs to stay behind and get our house sold.  We have talked about every senerio that could happen.  But no matter what I should be able to start on my PhD the fall of 2015.  Our goal for 2013 is to pay off the remainder of our debt with the exception of the mortgage.  We should be able to acomplish this, but sometimes there are setbacks and I am hoping 2013 will be kind.  I also have a goal of losing weight.  I have been trying to lose the weight I gained being pregnant for almost 2 decades now.  I have lost some and then just gained it back.  I am hoping to get a better handle on it this year.  My goal when I got my masters degree was to move into a different job.  That was almost 4 years ago and I have been unable to move into a new position(the recession is to blame).  I keep trying and trying and it has been important for me to do this for a few reasons: the first is that I want some new experience under my belt before I begin my PhD and the second is that I work in a school that is very toxic and is not good for my mental or physical health.  I am hoping that I can move into something this summer because I will be finished with some classes that will add to my license and resume.  There are some people that try to drag me down and keep me from achieving my goals...they are a burden and I am working on getting away from them.  Luckily they are not in my immediate family, but unfortunatley some of  these people are in my extended family (luckily they live far far away) and some of these people are people I work with, including my boss!  (I told you I worked in a toxic school!)

Great questions!  They really got me thinking and I enjoy sharing my goals and thoughts with people who are understanding and supportive!  Smile

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006


Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 4:28am


I don't know anything about you except what you've written in this post. But your career plan worries me, and let me say why. According to your post, you're probably at least 40. A PhD program typically takes 5-10 years. You'll be almost 50 by the time you graduate. Most colleges discriminate against older job applicants, and you probably won't have a chance getting a job. The unspoken rationale is that a 50-year-old assistant professor will have only 15 years ahead of them until retirement, so why not hire a 30-year-old, with 35 years ahead, 20 of which (30-50) are regarded as the prime years for research productivity? But this is illegal, so no one would say this to you when they reject you. They'd probably say something like, "You have truly wonderful qualitifications, and we wish we had a position for you, too. But we have only one opening, and this other candidate is just such a perfect fit. He's not better than you are, mind you -- the fit is just better." Yeah, I've said stuff like that.

In case you wonder who I am to tell you this, I am a professor at a research university, and I have served on hiring committees. So I think I know something about academia. I constantly see universities exploit grad students for their labor, enticing the with the prospect of a professorial career even though it's virtually unattainable for them, and I'd like to do what I can to minimize that. I fear the grad school you want to go to will accept you, use you for your teaching labor (or if they don't give you TAship, they'll just take your money), all the while lying to you about your chances of getting a job. In the mean time, you will have uprooted your whole family and reshaped your life for school. 

I'd suggest that you check with the people in your particular field. Maybe it's different in one of the more practical disciplines where they hire clinical professors, but most fields discriminate against age. Ask your professors what they think your chances are, and whether they know a freshly-minted 50-year-old PhD who has managed to get a job. I know of only one, and she was an exception in many different ways. Maybe you can be an exception. I don't want to dash your hopes. But please walk in fully informed.