Something about staring at a snowstorm at the beginning of the year makes me contemplate my preferred future.  Perhaps it's the new rush of opportunities that seem to kick in after January 10th or maybe just the hypnotic effect of a powerful force of nature. Either way, here I am by the fire evaluating my destiny.

Some years it's hard to revise and align my thoughts around a clear vision. The lessons from the year past and the opportunities in front of me may not give me a readable glimpse of where I really want to go or what I am truly capable of.  This year is different. My world is aligning. This column has grown followers substantially and my new radio show has launched. The platform I started building six years ago is now big enough to generate its own opportunities and show me a very bright future, if I make the right decisions on the path ahead.

Whether you use a notebook or vision board, I believe the act of detailing your desired future into some sort of tangible document is key to keeping you on track to your preferred destiny. As I take advantage of my indoor time this winter, I will be considering several factors carefully and asking myself hard questions to create my powerful guide for the journey ahead. Below I am sharing the list I use to challenge my thinking, in case you want to do the same.

1. Specificity. So many visions are meaningless because they are blurry and vague. What exactly do you want? Wealth and riches is not specific. Visualize it in detail. What colors, shapes, emotions are associated with this car, house, company, opportunity?

2. Honesty. When you say you want something, why do you want it? How does it fit in the landscape of your life? What about it is appealing? Is it practical? Is it truly worth sacrificing time and resources? How will you actually feel when you get it?

3. Personality. Are the details of your vision coming from within you? Or do they form from outside pressure? Are they things you want for yourself, or that others want/have wanted for you to do and have? Do they reflect your own core values?  Do they represent the image that you choose to project?

4. Flexibility. Many struggle with the exercise of visioning because they know things change. The purpose of articulating a vision is not to bind you to a path; rather it should help you decide which path to take when you come to a fork. It exists to serve you, not the opposite. Does your vision have the openness to allow for change?

5. Ingenuity. Tangible items like cars and houses are nice, but they can become mundane and meaningless as well. Are you being lazy in choosing your desires? Visioning is a creative process. Give it the mind expansion it deserves. Are you stretching your mind to create a vision that is truly compelling?

6. Boldness. The whole point of visioning is to push past mediocrity and the daily ties that bind. Are you focusing on objectives that will challenge you and stretch you? Are they worthy of your potential? Will they leave a lasting impact once achieved?

7. Compatibility. For most successful people, their preferred future is not one of isolation. Rather it is a celebration of those who shared your journey. Who are the people who will guide you, teach you and support you at every milestone toward this vision? How will you benefit them and show them gratitude along the way?

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