One of the most incredible aspects of working with people is witnessing their personal transformation and ability to influence and impact the world around them. It’s truly a privilege to have a front-row seat to these journeys. What’s fascinating, though, is that many individuals underestimate their own capabilities until they are faced with challenges, crises, or adversities. These moments have a way of revealing our true potential.

Just a couple of years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped our perception of what’s possible—for ourselves, our families, our work, and society as a whole. We’ve experienced profound shifts that have forever changed the way we live. And in many ways, there’s no going back. However, there’s an even more powerful tool for recognising our capabilities: investing in developmental relationships. These relationships can take the form of mentors, coaches, accountability partners, and others who hold up a mirror for us. They help us see the good, the bad, the indifferent, and, most importantly, our untapped potential.

When I work with clients to define their goals, my first nudge is always to aim higher. As humans, we can be our worst critics, and unfortunately, some of us have carried the weight of others’ criticisms throughout our lives. Aiming higher stretches us beyond our comfort zones and lays the foundation for maximising our potential and seizing the endless horizons of possibility.

Today, I want to share my handy acronym for a thought framework that can guide you on your journey of vision building. That acronym is AIM.

Let’s break it down:

“A” stands for awareness—both self-awareness and social awareness. 

Many underlying factors drive our aspirations. Cultivating awareness allows us to engage with the world around us intentionally. By understanding ourselves better and recognising the dynamics at play in our environment, we gain the insights needed to shape our path forward.

“I” is for intent, influence, and impact.

Intent represents our big why—the purpose that drives us. But it’s important to recognise that sometimes we do not always have access or control over the resources and opportunities we need to bring our vision to life. In such cases, we must tap into our spheres of influence—building and leveraging strategic relationships that are mutually beneficial in service of our goals. These relationships allow us to expand our impact beyond what we can achieve alone. Intent and influence alone are not enough. We must also evaluate the impact we’re making. As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we may be misunderstood or fail to achieve the desired impact. Feedback becomes a valuable tool to help us clarify our intent and realign our focus.

“M” is for mindset, mission, and money.

Our mindset plays a crucial role in shaping our actions and outcomes. We must cultivate a growth mindset that embraces challenges, persists in facing obstacles, and sees failures as opportunities for learning and growth. One of the ways I do this is to ask, “What else might be possible”; both when I hit my target or encounter obstacles. Coupled with a clear mission—a purpose-driven direction—we can create a powerful synergy that propels us forward. This establishes a framework for determining and creating a plan to attain our goals. And, of course, let’s not forget the practical aspect—money. Understanding the financial implications of our vision and developing sound strategies to support its realisation is essential. As the saying goes, money makes the world go round! So, think about how you will access and maximise the resources you need to bring your vision to life. If you ever feel stuck, find a financial professional to help!

Pro Tip: Many free finance conversations happen with personal and business baking representatives; talking with an expert can help clarify your financial situation and give you greater confidence to tackle your goals.

So, there you have it—AIM: Awareness, Intent, Influence, and Impact, and Mindset, Mission, and Money. Integrating these elements into your vision-building process gives you a powerful framework to propel you toward your goals.

Aiming higher isn’t about setting unrealistic expectations or overwhelming yourself. It’s about acknowledging your untapped potential and having the courage to step outside your comfort zone. As you embark on your vision-building journey, embrace the possibilities, and believe in your ability to create a meaningful impact.

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