Writing, & Executing a Vision: 5 Steps

Vision is extraordinarily important in order to reach ambitious goals & milestones. A vision creates an expectation of what you want your life to be like, and therefore a context, from which you can identify key numbers, and reverse engineer steps in order to make it a reality.

I’ve defined 5 steps to making it happen.

Singapore skyline
The view of the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, from 60 floors up in the sky.

Singapore ex-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, along with the rest of Singaporean government, in 1984, came up with a plan known as Vision 1999, aiming to reach the Swiss standard of living at the time, primarily based on matching their GDP per capita, but also lifestyle. Check out this interview here.

They ultimately reached their goal, albeit a year later than planned, in 200 (because of a global economic meltdown that left most Asian nations crippled.) Singapore, today, is punching far above its weight in size and wouldn’t be the modern Asian business hub & powerhouse it is without the establishment of a vision during its earlier days, when its economy still ran on bumboats.

I’ve written this little piece to try and make a little roadmap for people who feel they’re having trouble or just feel a bit lost. The most important part is to keep things simple, not over-complicate, and focus on executing things one by one.

🗺 Step 1: Create a Vision. Find Terms of Comparison

Firstly, it’s obviously very important to establish the foundation of the vision itself. The aim here, is to use your imagination to design your ideal state of life, and standard of living. In fact, you can apply this to yourself, or a larger collective, like your team or your company.

It’s also really important here to try and find terms of comparison. For example, in Singapore’s case, they used Switzerland. They wanted the Swiss standard of living.

🔍 Step 2: Focus on Context. List Your Lifestyle

With your vision in hand, or rather in mind, you then must start to draw out a more detailed picture and focus on the edges of your vision. Use your terms of comparison, obviously in tandem with your imagination & intentions, to put together a really detailed picture of what and where you want to be, and think of things that weren’t immediately obvious in your initial vision.

For example, in Singapore’s case, not only did they want the Swiss standard of living, but they painted a very detailed vision and kept a drew a few concepts from the wider ideas into their plans. For example, they weren’t just after reaching the Swiss GDP per Capita, but also realised a modern nation would have things like a highly developed & reliable public transportation network. (Singapore now has arguably one of the public transport systems in the world.)

In your case, this might look like thinking about what kind of relationship you want to be in, the kind of hobbies you might be doing, the content you’re consuming, etc. Make a list of these kinds of things that would be a part of your lifestyle.

📊 Step 3: Isolate Key Metrics. Create a Trackable Priority

From here, with the high level concepts in mind, you should start to pick out a few key metrics that are most tied to the standard of living & vision you have, that you want to replicate. You want to limit yourself to 1 or 2, maybe 3. Too many though and it starts to increase complexity unnecessarily (unless those metrics are very closely tied together.) Singapore chose GDP per Capita as their priority metric, and set a specific number they wanted to reach: the GDP per capita of Switzerland in 1984.

In your case, if you’re leaning toward the economics of your vision, it might be your annual income. (The numbers don’t have to be money related though.)

📑 Step 4: Reverse Engineer the Vision. Breakdown Metrics

Once you’ve got your priority metric(s), take that number and break it down into its constituents. What does it take for that number to exist? What possible situations (there’s often various options) make that number a reality?

So using Singapore’s case, it might involve thinking about what the average company size must be, etc. In the case of annual income, say you want to do 240k a year — that means 20k a month, or around ~4.6k a week.

Continue to think of other smaller numerical targets that you can derive from your primary metric objective.

🛠 Step 5: Set Timelines. Plan Near Future, & Execute

Once you’ve got a good level of granularity, you can start to focus on how exactly to achieve those numbers, and ultimately make the vision a reality. For example, if you want to make 20k a month, and you have a job paying you 8k a month, you’ll need a remaining 12k. That might mean selling a 1k product/service 12 times, or a $100 product/service 120 times. Might mean writing more blog posts or uploading more videos.

Define exactly the kind of output day to day you need to reach those numbers, and/or how to reach them over time (because visions take time to execute!)

Meanwhile, don’t forget about the wider lifestyle. Life isn’t all about numbers, so also continue to implement the lifestyle choices you would if you were in that state. For example, you want to be making 240k in a clean house, and feel healthy, so beyond trying to reach 20k a month, also make sure to exercise, eat well & clean your house (and exercising & eating well will help you achieve your goal faster.)

Thanks for reading this. Hope it helped!

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