Welcome back! It’s been a while since Part I, I know…the Holiday Season definitely kept me running, but now that the new year is under way I’m getting back in Vision Mode. In part one of my series, we started investigating the use of Vision or Dream Boards as a creative way to broadcast to the universe what you want to invite into your life. In this section we’re going to tackle first things first: before you can start creating your vision board, you need to get in touch with a vision of the life you want to build for yourself.
An often-referenced Harvard University study states that a group of MBA graduates was polled in 1979 and asked just one question: Have you set written goals and made a plan for their attainment? The results of the study were that 84% didn’t have goals, 13% had goals but didn’t write them down, and 3% had written goals and a specific plan to attain them. When the Harvard pollsters checked in with these graduates 10 years down the road, they discovered that the second group that had goals was making twice as much money as the group without goals at all, and the third group that had written goals was making ten times as much as the first two groups combined. The lesson here: if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there.
And that’s where the concept of creating a Vision Board comes in. It’s like creating a map for your life so you’ll not only know where you’re heading, you can actively plan out the route. And for you crafty people out there, you can incorporate your artsy skills in the execution of your project. That’s one of my favorite parts; it’s a great excuse to break out the poster board and colored markers (not that I need one) and create a beautiful reminder of what you plan to do with your life this year.
Before you get started, make some notes regarding the most important areas of your life: Personal Development, Family, Career, Relationships, Education, Hobbies and Creative Pursuits are some categories to get you started; you may have others you want to concentrate on instead. This is your board, so it needs to reflect you and your priorities. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to approach this project. It needs to resonate with you on a deeply personal level or it won’t do what it’s intended to do, which is to help you shape a vision of your life and help you “make it so, number one.” (Sorry, I’m a Trekkie.)
Once you get your category or categories nailed down, start freestyling. Jot down your thoughts as they pertain to each area, not stopping to censor yourself (you can do that later, and Heaven knows, there are plenty of people around who will be more than happy to do that for you). What comes to your mind when you close your eyes and think about each of these items? Don’t be reasonable! This is your chance to dream the life you want for yourself. Don’t feel inhibited about what your significant other, family or friends are going to think of what your aims are, this list – and your Vision Board, when we get to that point in the process – are for you and you alone, nobody else has to see it or approve of it. Isn’t it great to feel free to create You? That’s one thing that holds us back from going full speed ahead on realizing our dreams and potential….sometimes the people around us have smaller goals for us than we do, for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t want to see us get hurt if we don’t succeed. Maybe they are afraid of being left behind if we really succeed in a big way. Maybe they just can’t see us as anything more than their friend-wife-husband-daughter-son-mother-father-sister-brother (I didn’t want to leave anyone out. This project isn’t exclusively a feminine domain – men can use these ideas to reach their potential just as effectively as we ladies can.).
Take some alone time every day to work on sorting out your goals. Sit down with your notepad or journal for a few minutes each day and let your thoughts flow. At the end of the week, go back and review your notes and determine which ones you want to incorporate into your goals for the year and add to your board. Don’t take the easy way out and go after only the low-hanging fruit; choose goals that will make you stretch farther than you think you’re capable of reaching. Just think how much more exciting it will be when these goals actually materialize!
That’s it for this time. Start visualizing your goals and getting them on paper, and next time we’re going to start getting busy on the fun part: creating our Vision Boards! Until we meet again, Happy Visions!