Goals are an important part of getting what you want out of life. They can also be specific enough that we miss the forest for the to-do lists we made out of the trees. Money blog Finance Girl explains why it's important to draw a distinction between your goals and your vision.
Picture: Kate Ter Haar/Flickr
To put the concept very simply, goals are the "how" you achieve something. Exercise every day, develop a business plan, spend less time at work. Vision, on the other hand, is the "why". What do you want to get out of life? When you look back in a couple decades, what do you want to see? As Finance Girl puts it:
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're doing what you do, and you're happier doing it. The same process applies when you're creating a vision for any other aspect of your life, such as your career or business.
There's nothing wrong with having goals. In fact, a well-defined personal vision should naturally lead to a more focused goal set. However, setting arbitrary minor goals without a mind for where the stepping stones lead can sometimes make us feel more confident in where we're headed than we might feel once we get there.