11/11/2014 12:14 pm ET Updated Jan 11, 2015

Why You Need to Create Visions (Not Just Goals)

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Recently, I was listening to Andrew Ferebee's "Knowledge For Men" podcast (which, by the way, I just love), and Ferebee was interviewing Jordan Belfort, the man who The Wolf of Wall Street is based on. I was blown away by something Belfort said regarding goals versus visions. In part, Belfot said, "Too many people go around setting goals." [Insert me saying to myself -- "That's me!".] Further, he said (and now I'm paraphrasing) that people who go around setting goals and accomplishing them without having a vision are usually negative because they hit a goal and then move on to the next one without having a higher purpose, which is demotivating.

This was an "aha" moment for me. As a huge proponent of intentional living, I am constantly setting and achieving goals. However, I never thought about a concrete vision for the goals I set (for my life, business, or anything else). After searching around the web, I discovered there isn't much out there on this topic and felt compelled to write on the distinction between goals and vision to encourage you to create a vision for yourself (life, career, or whatever else) in hopes that it will leave you happier overall.

Goals: An Overview

A goal is a specific target to achieve something. It includes the strategies and tactics you use to move toward your vision. You should set and achieve goals only that promote and are in line with your vision. This is why, if you don't have a vision, goals alone can be defeating (i.e., without a vision, each goal is just something you've completed without a larger "why" in mind).

Examples of goals:

1. To lose 10 pounds
2. To save for a down payment on a house
3. To run your own company
4. To get out of credit card debt

Vision: An Overview

Vision is your why. Vision gives something direction. It's your desired future. Your vision includes what you believe in (your core values) and what you want in your future (what you want to be). It's the powerful reason why you want to do something; your overarching purpose. Your vision is your passion and keeps you excited and motivated. It's what inspires you to do whatever it is you want to do.

For money, business or career, your vision may be very specific. For your life and relationships, your vision may be broader. In either case, your vision should be clear because it is the foundation on which you build.

To create a vision, begin by identifying your core values, your passions, what you believe to be your purpose, and how you envision your life. From there, be more specific and remember to be clear. Your vision should embody your values and your view of the future without being too generic. Your vision can also change over time. The point is to have one so you know why you are doing what you do, and you are happier doing it. The same process applies when you are creating a vision for any other aspect of your life, such as your career or business.

Examples (that match the goals from above):

1. To live a healthy, well-balanced life
2. To provide a happy, loving home for your family in a safe community
3. To help people ________ (insert whatever problem your business is aimed at helping solve)
4. To be free from financial "slavery" and be an example to your children

Creating Goals and Visions

Creating a vision may seem awkward or difficult, but it is definitely worth it. After you know what your vision is, creating goals that are in line with your vision will come more naturally. Instead of feeling incomplete when you accomplish a goal, you will consider your higher purpose, which will leave you happier overall because you'll have your "why" in mind.

This content originally appeared here.