As we near October, we are getting close to those New Years Resolutions. I typically start thinking about resolutions on January 2nd because I am too busy November and December to spend time on it. I halfheartedly make a few resolutions that are not well thought out and not very specific, leading to an unclear path of how to even reach that resolution. These are definitely not SMART goals that lead to great results and not recommended (see prior blog post – How to Move Forward With Your Goals).
Rather than wait until the last minute, I decided to do things differently and I wanted to invite you to start taking some time now to work on your 2023 goals before the whirlwind of holidays gets underway. Because visualization is so powerful in helping us see where we want to be, I thought a vision board may be a great way to get those goals out on paper in a creative way.
You may be familiar with vision boards or some form of them. Perhaps, as a teen, you used to do a version using old magazines, cutting out things you liked and pasting it on a poster board (I cannot lie, there may have been a few pictures of Kirk Cameron on my board). Today you have the option of going either old school with a physical vision board or more high tech using the various apps, websites and/or software available. I personally love to use Canva and their free version is a great option for beginners and very user friendly. There are also apps that allow you to create vision boards (Corkulous for the apple lovers is a popular app).
decide what to focus on
When thinking of your vision board, decide the categories you want to focus on. Just to get you started, here are some suggestions of categories: physical health, mental health, family, travel, career, relationships, self-growth, finances, talents, education, hobbies and self-care. You can pick and choose the ones that resonate most with you or add your own to this list.
what is the result of your result?
Next, get started on thinking about what your goals are for the upcoming year related to each of these categories. Be as specific as you can so instead of “lose weight” figure out how much weight, how many inches or your goal size. Take it a step further and figure out what makes this important to you. Why do you want to lose the weight? Is it to have more energy in order to chase after your grandkids, hike that trail you have always wanted to tackle, maybe it’s to prevent a genetic health issue that is prevalent in your family. Notice how focusing on the result of your result gives you much more clarity on the reason behind the goal and helps you paint that visual picture.
create a plan
Determine how you intend to get there through daily, weekly and monthly steps. Using the weight loss goal from above, your actionable items may include: starting to walk 20 minutes 3 days a week, cutting out your soda, or starting each meal with a salad. Remember these action items need to be a little challenging but also attainable so if you are typically sedentary, setting a goal such as working out an hour a day 6 days a week may be difficult to maintain when you first start. As you progress, that may become much more doable but start out small and gradually increase as you go.
create your vision
Now that you have all these goals and actionable items in your mind, you can begin the fun part! Take these visions of yourself and your goals and begin to pull (or cut) words, phrases, quotes, stickers and pictures that describe your vision in a collage style. Make sure you have something that represents each of your categories and reminds you of your why. You may want to include inspirational quotes that provide you with added motivation. When you have completed this board, post it in a place where you will see it daily. If you have done an electronic board, you can save it on your desktop or phone wallpaper. This will help to keep it at the forefront of your mind, reminding you of the amazing map you created for the upcoming year.
Although it is so easy to focus on the goals, make sure to enjoy the ride along the way. And on those days when it seems extra hard, I like to remind myself that the harder it is, the sweeter the reward.