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  • Writer's pictureCarli Rosencranz

Vision Setting Exercise 4 - Gratitude from the Future

If you have been following along in my process for vision setting, so far we have… looked back before looking forward, gotten clear on our core values, and made a dream list in seven life categories.  In today’s exercise, we will be doing a visualization exercise with a twist.  This is a simple exercise that you can spend a little or a lot of time on – it’s up to you.  You will need a journal, blank piece of paper, or your laptop, and ideally the output of the exercises you have completed over the past few days (but if you are just joining us, you can just start here).


Today we will be traveling 12 months into the future and writing the things we are grateful for.  Gratitude rewires our brains to look for the good, unlocks gifts in every situation, and frees us up to see things we would otherwise miss – and it is the perfect posture for this exercise.  Place yourself at the end of 2021, looking back at the amazing year you just had – a year full of love and growth and big accomplishment of things you once would never have dared to dream possible.  Now… you are ready!


For each of the dreams you circled or starred in yesterday’s exercise, jot a little note about how you are grateful for this accomplishment.  The more detail the better, but at least write down something like “I’m so grateful that this year I was able to…” and think about what it feels like, why you are grateful, how it happened, what relationships deepened or were created, what new possibilities were unlocked because of this accomplishment, etc.  Capture any of these thoughts on paper that are important to you, and then move onto the next one. 


This visualization from a point of gratitude, especially imagining the details surrounding it as though it were a memory rather than a goal, helps your brain begin to subconsciously work through the details of how to make it a reality.  You don’t have to know how you will accomplish it now, the power is in imagining in detail the accomplishment itself and “recalling” it as though it were a memory of something that actually happened.  It tricks your brain into trying to solve for the dissonance between what you can see with such clarity, and it knowing that it hasn’t happened yet.  Sit with it as though it actually has happened, and your brain will begin to bridge the two and will find potential paths from one to the other.


This is an IMAGINATION exercise – don’t get too caught up in self-regulating.  We are still dreaming and dreams are cheap – we still haven’t committed to actually DO anything yet.  You may have an inner cynic voice that tells you all the reasons this dream or that dream is not possible – set it aside for now.  We are making up a future for ourselves right now – and if you are going to make it up, make it good! 


If you didn’t do yesterday’s exercise, that’s okay.  Think of a dream or goal you have for 2021 and do this exercise – it will still be powerful.  Try to do at least one (preferably 3-5) in each of the following seven life categories: Physical; Mental; Spiritual; Family/Friends/Relationships; Career/Money; Adventure/Recreation; Service/Contribution.  This should be FUN so have fun with it! 


Tomorrow we will begin to set some goals and create a plan to accomplish them!

Download a free printable workbook with all six exercises here:

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