Set Your Vision and Define Your Plan – GradPlan


Set Your Vision and Define Your Plan

Explore your values and get clear on your goals.

One Step at a Time

This world is made for you and you deserve greatness, but sometimes knowing what the right path is can be tricky or hard to see. That’s why it is important to take time to reflect on what values matter to you and to identify the impact you want to have on the world. This process is called “vision setting”, and the more clear you are about the vision you have for your future, the more likely you are to make it a reality.

To help you, we have established a three-part vision setting process that starts with this resource page and which continues with Discovering Your Purpose and concludes with Finding Your Fit. We hope that you will complete each step of this process and gain the clarity you need in order to move forward with confidence.

Setting Your Vision

Complete each step below or use this interactive worksheet to assist you in designing some clear goals that are tied to your personal values.

Step 1: Identify Your Values

Values are ways of being that matter most to you. Words like honesty, independence, or loyalty may come to mind. But values can be much deeper than just words. When identified clearly, values can become a code to live by.

Write down 5 values that are most important to you.
If you’d like, you can choose from these examples

Step 2: Prioritize Your Values

Now, go back through your list of values and number them 1 through 5
(1 being the value that is most important to you and 5, being 5th most important.)

Step 3: Define Your Values

Write a brief explanation of what your top 3 values look like to you.


Your answer will be unique to you, but here are some examples to get you thinking:

Family Looks like making time to eat dinner each night with my people.

SecurityLooks like having enough money to not have to worry about rent, food or bills, and feeling safe in my house.

ForgivenessLooks like letting go of the anger I have towards those who hurt me.

SolitudeLooks like separating myself from people I know who have negative energy.

Helping OthersLooks like helping my siblings with their homework, and volunteering at my church.

Step 4: Set an Intention

Based on the values that you have identified, you are now going to create an intention for yourself.

An intention is a commitment you make to do something meaningful or change something that is holding you back.

An intention is different from hope or inspiration because in an intention you are creating a certainty to your choice – “This is going to happen.”

Tip! Before setting your intention, think carefully about your life right now and who you are. In what ways do you currently live out the values you identified? Think about who you are at your best and not so best.

A.  What do you spend your time doing?

B.  Who surrounds you? How do you interact with them?

Now, think about the future.

C.  What do you want to accomplish?

D.  How will you continue living by your values? Or, what do you want to stay the same?

E.  What would you like to change? Or, how can you start living by your values more closely?

Step 5: Write your Intention Down

Write an intention or goal for each of your top 3 values. Be honest with yourself and don’t worry what others will think. Say what’s true for you. Be specific and include a deadline of when you want to achieve each goal.

Here are some examples to help you get started:

“It is my intention to own my own house before I turn 30.” (Values might be money, security)

“It is my intention to become a graphic design artist in the next four years.” (creativity, fun, money)

 “It is my intention to start volunteering at my church by the end of this month.” (helping others, selflessness)

Tip! Research has shown that you are nearly 2x more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down!

You’re even more likely to accomplish your goals if you see them daily.

Post your intentions somewhere you can see them every day.
Push yourself to work toward your intentions.
Tell someone you trust about your intentions and ask them to help you stay on track.

Apply the values and goals you just created to possible career pathways that might interest you.

Recommended Resources


Explore Your Options
Set My Vision

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist