A Vision for Your Future

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My niece called me on Christmas Eve.

“We found one” she said with excitement. “We found a house that we have visualized as being our first home.” My niece and her husband had recently begun the search for a house to replace their cramped rental apartment. The excitement in her voice was a pleasure to hear, but one of her words stood out to me. They had visualized it.

“Do you have time to answer some financing questions for us?” she asked with the same level of joy.

“Of course I do!” I enthusiastically replied.

After getting married two years prior, she and her husband lived in a rural area where they rented a charming little cottage, but the employment opportunities there were limited. Although they both were employed and enjoyed the small-town feeling, they couldn’t picture their future there. Her husband had won awards for his growing career, but they both saw more for their lives to meet their personal growth and financial goals.

In fact, they did more than just see it. They drafted their goals as one of the steps to visualizing the full life they wanted together. And that visualizing paid off. It’s easier to achieve a plan when the plan is clear.

Much like the excited call I received this past Christmas Eve, at the beginning of last summer, I picked up the phone to hear, “We are moving to Richmond and want to buy a house.”

After looking in different areas to expand their career paths, her husband found a great opportunity in Richmond. They both believed this opportunity was a great step toward realizing their dreams and goals. We talked about a few options and respectfully agreed that they should wait for her to gain employment and get a few months under their belts with the new jobs before applying for a mortgage.

It didn’t take her long, and after they both had jobs that matched their talents, it was time to visualize the new home they wanted to buy. The hunt began by looking online and driving around different neighborhoods to find the house that would meet their needs and wants while also being affordable. They learned a lot about where they wanted to buy while also learning more about how the home-buying process works. They have since moved into the house they visualized and are making it their home.

Visualization can work differently for different people. It can require research. It can require brainstorms. It can require sketches or collages or nothing more than a solidified picture in your mind. But the key is determining exactly what it is that you want.

This reminded me of the process I went through in searching for, finding, and buying my own first house. I knew it would need to be a small house with a small price tag, so I would be able to afford it. I placed that picture of what I thought I could afford next to a couple of other “wants” on this list, like being close to family and having a yard to be able to maintain. I also knew I had to maintain my good credit and save enough for a down payment while maintaining my current expenses and debt obligations. I used the visualization method of putting my goals into pictures to help keep me focused on meeting my desired goal of owning my first house.

It’s no surprise that visualizing goals is far more effective than simply writing them down. Creating a picture-board collage may help us to identify and define what we would like to accomplish in our lives. I have found that pictures have helped me envision crystal-clear goals in ways that words cannot convey.

While a pretty picture may not make your dreams come true, it may help to clarify goals so you can develop an action plan to make those goals a reality. Visualizing our dreams keeps the passion of reaching these goals alive. It also helps with holding ourselves accountable to where we are going financially.

What does your picture look like?

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