Many of us make resolutions and set goals at the beginning of the year. Actually, you may or may not have written them down. I recommend that you do. So, what’s next? What do you do with them for the rest of the year? How often do you revisit those goals that you were so excited about in January, but might have faded by the time you get to May?
But we were so excited that first week in January!
Well, here’s how you can feed your creativity, fast-track those resolutions and have fun with friends too!
Create a Vision Board
You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, a vision board is a visual image of your goals, hopes, dreams or desires for the year. It’s a physical production of what you want to have, do and be in this next year.
One of the greatest and motivational minds in a generation is Jack Canfield. His advice is sought ought every day by corporate executives, business owners, community leaders, developers, politicians, but mostly by everyday people just like us.
Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you. – Jack Canfield
Just like this picture, a vision board is really a sort of weather vane that helps you figure out what direction you want the breezes and winds of your life to blow in.
From Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres to author and motivational speaker Jack Canfield to business leaders like Spanx creator, Sara Blakely, or chart-topping singers Katy Perry and Beyonce, they have all used a vision board to create success in their lives.
So, if you’re feeling stagnant in life, amidst a transition (in work, love, health or money), simply know you can be/do/have more, or have previously set goals but lack follow-through, this is a great exercise that can help build vision and movement toward making changes in your life.
Need a little fun? Consider creating a vision board with friends! When you build a vision board with others, you can feed off each other’s ideas and positive energy as well as have accountability partners over the next year. It’s a great way to bond and spend time with each other.
3 Practical Reasons Why Vision Boards Work
Visualization has long been an important tool for athletes’ success. Billie Jean King was using visualization exercises in the 1960s and they are key to training for the Olympics. World Champion Golfer, Jack Nicklaus has said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”
Muhammad Ali, used different mental practices to enhance his performance in the ring with affirmations, visualizations, mental rehearsals and the most powerful statement of personal empowerment uttered, “I am the greatest!”
It’s important to create a practice around your vision board. It’s not just a cool thing that you did one Sunday with friends that now hangs on your wall and collects dust. You’ve got to use it to make it work. And just like athletes, performers and successful people, you’ve got to regularly practice and use your tools. We’ll talk more about this as you read on.
Research is on your side!
People who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t. Telling a friend increases this rate to 78%.
It’s common knowledge now that setting goals increase motivation. Behavioral psychology research has shown that giving people specific goals to achieve rather than telling them to do their best increases their motivation.
Furthermore, setting goals increases achievement. Hundreds of correlational and experimental studies show evidence that setting goals increase the success rate.
Even success expert Tony Robbins often says, “Keep your goals in front of you and your fears behind you.” With that in mind, seeing your goals every day in the form of a vision board is one way to keep goals in front of your face and at the top of mind.
More than pictures
Have you heard the sayings, “What you think about you bring about” or “What you focus on expands,” “Where your attention goes, the energy flows” or, in Buddha’s words, “What we think we become”?
Pictures alone aren’t going to move the needle. Spending time visualizing, looking at your board and creating emotional connections has you not only see it, but also feel it, and embody it. Emily Cook, a U.S. freestyle aerials Olympian, says for her training it goes beyond visualization. “You have to smell it,” she said. “You have to hear it. You have to feel it, everything.”
One key element in fast-tracking your resolution is to practice the feelings that these pictures represent. Use the full visualization (using all your senses and imagination) of these goals to get into the feelings. Think about and feel the sun and sand on vacation, embody how weighing 10 pounds lighter will be like, or get swept up by the butterflies of a new romance.
Deeply connecting to the emotions of these goals and visualizing them, triggers the creative capacity of your subconscious mind and activates your brain to notice available resources that are there but may have previously escaped your attention.
The more you can feel the goals and desires, the more it comes to life. Mental and emotional practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve performance, tap into your brain for success, and increase states of ease and flow – all relevant to creating momentum in your resolutions!
How To Make Your Vision Board
Before diving in full-tilt boogie. Take some time to reflect, sit quietly and ask yourself, “What do I really want this year?” “What do I want to accomplish?” “What would really light me up?” Consider all the different areas of your life: health, wealth, career, love, travel, family.
Gather your supplies. You will need:
• Posterboard, cork board or bulletin board
• Glue, tape, rubber cement, push pins or tacks
• A picture of yourself at your happiest
• Magazines, catalogs, brochures or if working digitally, a color printer
• Friends make it better
Create a space for all of this. Set the mood, light candles, eat your favorite food, drink your favorite drink, play music that makes you feel good while creating your board. Take some time to set your intention and meditate.
Just Do It – Steps to Creating Your Vision Board
Go through magazines and catalogs, find images that go along with your goals and cut them out. Go with the flow. Let your intuition be your guide.
However, a word of caution. Don’t use pictures that cause you to compare or despair. Go for feelings not just things. If it’s a relationship that you’re after, don’t just cut out a picture of a man with 6-pack abs, cut out pictures that ignite a feeling that you want from that relationship. So, go for images of hand-holding, arms around each other hugging, a passionate kiss, etc.
1. Arrange the board and narrow down the cuttings. Listen to your inner voice. This is the future you want to create. You may want to place the happy picture of you in the center. Other people write their power word of the year, a personal mantra or favorite quote in the center. Bottom line, do what feels right and good to you.
Consider how you arrange your pictures. For people that need to create simplicity and order in their lives, consider doing the same for your board. Other people like as many inspirational images as possible overlapping. This may mean chaos to one person, but for another, it may mean connection and closeness. Do what works for you, but be intentional about what you’re doing.
2. Get to securing your pictures. Glue sticks and rubber cement tend to work best. School glue tends to make the paper wavy. Some people like to use push pins or tacks on bulletin boards.
3. Share with others. Remember the reference above about sharing your goals with friends? It also helps create accountability.
4. Put your vision board where you will see it every day. Place it on your nightstand next to your bed, the bathroom next to the sink or above your desk.
5. Practice. Take a few moments each day to connect with the feeling that those images represent. Affirm, believe, internalize. Acknowledge what is working and give thanks for how each step moves you closer. This will create motivation and may open up opportunities that you may not have seen before (going back to what you think about you bring about).
I hope you take on this challenge to fast track your resolutions this year. I know many of my friends and clients say what a powerful exercise this is each year. If you ever need additional support in having more success or simply support in life, please don’t hesitate to contact me.