New Year Goals: How to Hold a Vision Setting Workshop with Friends

This year, go beyond New Year’s resolutions — here’s how to hold a vision setting workshop with friends that will help you align your goals for the coming year and create an action plan to help achieve those goals.

If you’re Type A like me, you probably live for setting goals and resolutions. I don’t need a New Year to inspire me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to create a roadmap for the upcoming 12 months. And, this past weekend, I sat down with three girlfriends to hold a vision setting workshop.

I’m lucky to have women in my life who are similarly focused on self-improvement, working towards goals, and realizing that we have the autonomy to create a life that leaves us feeling enriched and grateful. Taking the time to sit down and discuss our visions not only gives us a plan moving forward, but it helps us realize how much work we’ve done in getting to this point.


So, how do you go about holding a vision setting workshop with friends? Well, two years ago, my friend, Jen, and I attended a Vision Setting evening. We spent a few hours with other women in the beautiful class space at Take Care Shop DC discussing our visions for the upcoming year and goal-setting practices. We made our way through several worksheets that helped us think through what we wanted to achieve and how to get there.

When we decided to hold our own vision setting workshop this year with two other friends, Jen dug up the worksheets from this 2018 session. She printed off copies for each of us and we came together on a Sunday afternoon to work through the pages and discuss game plans for our goals.

We set a timer for each page, filled each out as best we could given our current goals, and then went one-by-one discussing our notes. Hearing everyone else’s responses was clutch — there were so many points that I may not have thought of until someone else mentioned it and it’s interesting hearing how we each interpret different prompts. This is where I would recommend not having more than 4-5 attendees. We spent over 3 hours going through the worksheets between 4 of us.

Below are details on each section we discussed, how much time was spent, and examples of what we came up with.



how to hold a vision setting workshop with friends



If you want to hold your own vision setting workshop with friends, here are the steps we took:

    1. 5 MINUTES: The first worksheet had us brainstorm words and concepts that come to mind in three key areas for goal setting: (1) Health, (2) Personal, (3) Career/Passion. Here are a few examples of some of the words and phrases I used:
      • Health: intentional meals, consistent exercise, staying active, finding my version of mindfulness, sleep, balance, waking up early, nourish, drink water, end my day with tea
      • Personal: savor each day, intentionally use my time, minimize, travel, quality time with Adam and friends, being present
      • Career/Passionfind success as I pursue a new job, increase freelance work, find purpose, stretch myself creatively, pursue hobbies without monetization, educate myself, increase blog revenue
    2. 5 MINUTES: The second worksheet is based on the law of attraction. We filled in a circle with things that we want and, outside the circle, we wrote the things that we don’t want. I thought about the three sections from the previous page and below are just a few of the items I wrote down (I wrote A LOT):
      • Inside the circledaily barre, early wake-up routine, evening routine, more veggies and protein, time for beauty maintenance and face masks, more savings, increased income, more blog partnerships, more freelance work, more essay writing, success in my new job, learning to manage a team, new portfolio pieces, international travel, taking creative classes, FUN, more plans with friends, hosting/entertaining, finish home projects, creating a happy home, new holiday traditions, productivity
      • Outside the circle: snoozing, sugar, alcohol, late nights, wasted time, STUFF
    3. 10 MINUTES: This worksheet was perhaps the most intimidating. It covered both our One Year Vision and our Ten Year Vision. Writing down how old you’re going to be in 10 years is an intimidating process, but it covers the same questions regarding both one year and ten years. It asks how you’ll feel, what you’ll be, how you’ll contribute, what your achievements are, what you’ve experienced, what you love, what you’re surrounded by, and more. This is where it was fascinating to see how many ways we could interpret, “I will have experienced ____.”
      • 10-year vision: Some of my answers included “I am…still curious, learning.” “My achievements include…being published in print.” “I feel…fulfilled, inspired, at ease.”
      • 1-year vision: “I am…traveling, thriving, positive.” “My achievements include…finding success at my new job, being published, taking on new clients.” “I feel…creatively challenged, balanced, well.”
    4. 15 MINUTES: Now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. This worksheet takes the three sections from Step One and breaks down your specific one-year goals and action steps. Here are a few examples:
      • Health: My one-year goal is to create am + pm routines that include working out and winding down. My action steps are to avoid excuses, set bedtime and wakeup alarms on my phone, register for workout classes ahead of time so there’s the loss of $ incentive to go, and to start now (I’ll discuss more later, but I’m starting a new job later this month that will have me fitting workout classes in at 6 am, rather than 6 PM — I’m adjusting my routine now.)
      • Personal: My one-year goal is to minimize. We live in a small space and need to make the most of our square footage. My action steps are to take 15-minutes whenever I have downtime to clean out a drawer or shelf. If there’s a bigger to-do, put it on the calendar and make it happen. Utilize Facebook Marketplace and the consignment shop near me to offload goods that may have value.
      • Career/Passion: My one-year plan is to network and meet more creatives in the DC area. My action steps include attending events including Tuesdays Together and Creative Morning, reach out to people who are doing awesome things via social media, and set up one coffee date per month.
    5. 10 MINUTES: Now that you have your bigger goals in place, the last step is to get into the most immediate steps you can take. Spend the last section writing down your 1-month and 1-week goals.
        • My 1-week goals include publishing my New Orleans travel guide, putting my new morning and evening routines into place, finishing a photo book, contacting clients re: 2020 plans, eating more veggies, researching accountants, and starting Radical Candor.
        • My 1-month goals include starting my new job, going to barre 5 times a week, cleaning out a closet, booking an international trip for summer or fall 2020, pitching 20 websites with articles, and finishing 1 home project.

After you’ve finished your way through these 5 sections and creating a realistic roadmap for 2020, make a plan to come back together quarterly to discuss progress. Keep these goals nearby so that you can refer back to them — it’s all too easy to go off course when you don’t have a firm plan to achieve and remember your goals.

But, don’t forget that goals can be fluid. The goals you have today may not be those that you’ll have in 6 months. Life changes happen. Professional opportunities arise. Moves come up. You never know what could change your course, so always, always be flexible and, remember, that progress isn’t black and white. You can always start over tomorrow.


how to hold a vision setting workshop with friends

how to hold a vision setting workshop with friends


1 Comment

  1. January 8, 2020 / 6:13 am

    This is so awesome! I kind of want to try to do this with some of my friends before the end of the month. I also love making goals and lists, but I feel like this could be super productive to do in a group!

    xoxo A

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