Setting a Vision of Your Future Me

By on January 2, 2019
Future me planning

As the New Year approaches, people say things like, “My resolution is to be better at everything in this New Year.” “I’ll lose weight.” “I’ll go to the gym three times a week.” “I’ll network more.” Such New Year’s resolutions, while well-intended, don’t seem to be very effective and are often quickly abandoned.There’s a different approach to making resolutions that I have found to be extremely effective. I recommend starting with a vision of your “ Future Me ” – a vision you can then use to develop this year’s New Year’s resolutions.

Think 5, 10, even 25 years out. What would you like your life to look like then? Do you see yourself moving up the corporate ladder in your company, changing employers or locations, moving onto a totally different career path in a new function or industry, or perhaps starting your own business? 

You’ll likely find there are many steps you need to take to make your “future me” a reality. Here are two important things to consider: 

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  • What additional degrees or skills will you need?
  • In addition to new skills, you’ll need people to help you accomplish your vision. Do you know any people who are living your vision now?  Perhaps they’ll be willing to share the process they followed. This might be a good year to begin to identify new networks to cultivate or new ways to volunteer that will help you develop relationships with people in your future world. You might even begin to identify mentors or sponsors who can help you achieve your vision.

Once you have a vision of your “future me” and have identified the major gaps between “current me” and “future me,” it’s then time to develop your New Year’s resolutions, your first year’s action plans and your first steps towards achieving your emerging vision. How will you begin to fill one of the skill gaps you identified?  How will you begin to cultivate new relationships?  As you consider your resolutions and as you make decisions throughout the year, consciously ask yourself “Will this action help me accomplish my vision?” If not, decide no, unless there is another very powerful reason for deciding otherwise.

By Dr. Devnew

Lynne E. Devnew is an associate faculty member within the University of Phoenix doctoral program, is a distinguished research fellow, and chairs the Women and Leadership Research Group at University of Phoenix. A former senior middle manager at IBM, she has a DBA in strategy from the Questrom School, Boston University, and is a graduate of Columbia University’s Master Degree Program for Executives in New York City and Simmons College in Boston. Dr. Devnew’s research work and publications are focused on women’s leadership aspirations and leader identity development and women on boards of directors. She lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts and serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.


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Setting a Vision of Your Future Me