Do you set goals for yourself, either in your personal life or for your business? If not, how do you know you’re growing or making progress? When was the last time you allowed yourself to daydream about the type of life you want? What is your WHY, the reason behind all the long hours you spend on your business or on improving this or that?
Creating a vision board has become a popular activity over the years, but I encourage you to switch it up and take it one step further. Step 1, go ahead and create an amazing vision board – that is the easy part (Google vision boards to see how simple or elaborate they can be) BUT (and yes, there is always a next step) Step 2, requires you to move past the New Year’s Resolution approach. By acting and implementing a more structured approach. It can be much more productive if you work within a time frame concerning the various items you post on your board. Wait a minute … don’t put your hands up … believe me this step is effective and lessens the overwhelm of looking at all the amazing things you wish to accomplish and / or experience, but you have no plan on how to get there! I encourage you to utilize this vision board as a form of mapping as it is much more than a simple one-off tool that helps you visualize your dreams and your goals. How so, you ask? Let’s review …
- Vision boards make you focus on what’s important to you. Whether you combine a personal vision board with a professional one or keep them both separate, thinking about what you want in life or in business forces you to prioritize what’s important. You need to set aside time to reflect upon the past year, noting where you want to be and want you want. Reflection will enable you to gain clarity. Do you want to put an end to the 9-5 drag, start your own business, buy a new house or move to a warmer climate? If the answer is the latter, placing a photo of your dream location by the beach will inspire you to work harder and not undercut your worth. Placing a dollar amount of what you want to bring in each month will incentivize you to take some action. A vision board is much more than pretty pictures of beaches and sports cars, it is about your desire to switch things up! You deserve more.
- Visualization stimulates the creative side of your brain. Placing your vision board in sight of your desk or computer serves as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve. Some believe having a mini version at your bedside table helps stimulate your subconscious before you go to sleep, which in turn motivates you upon waking up. With your creativity soaring, keep a notebook handy to jot down any ideas or inspirations you may have. Capture the aha moment!
- Focusing on goals makes you recognize new resources or opportunities. Visualizing yourself making X amount of dollars, living or retiring in a warmer climate (or whatever your primary goal is) will motivate you to work towards that goal but you’ll also notice new opportunities or resources which can lead you to reaching your goal. These resources may have always been present but now that you’re focused on your goal, you will see them in a new light to help you reach that intended goal.
- Break out of your comfort zone by stating a big, scary goal. Are you stuck in a rut because you’re afraid to break out of your comfort zone? Acknowledging big goals – as scary and outrageous as they may be – will help you step out and take on new challenges, all in the name of reaching that scary goal. If your goal is to speak in front of an audience of 3,000 at your favorite conference, then you’ll start to see more opportunities for smaller speaking engagements. These smaller events will serve you well and build your name recognition so when your favorite conference advertises for speakers, you’ll be well prepared to submit your name.
- Seeing a big goal forces you out of the daydream and into action. Nothing happens without some action on your part. Vision boards are not magic tricks; they are instead a tool that spurs us into action because we finally know what we want out of life. In your mind, assign a timeframe to obtain each goal or assign a ‘due’ date or one step further; place a sticker on each photo with a target date and note one to two ‘take action’ steps for the dream to come to fruition. Visualize your ideal life then approach each day with action steps which will lead you toward that ideal life. This process will be most effective when you hold yourself accountable to reaching your said goals (or have a partner do so). Check in on your progress on a weekly or monthly basis and if necessary, adjust your steps and update your goals. Vision mapping is an essential method to bring your dreams to life! High Performers utilize vision maps daily.
Aside from these reasons, creating vision boards can be very relaxing and a fun activity. Sure, there are mapping methods online but if this process is solely your own, put some elbow grease into it, get creative and you’ll be inspired like no other! So yes, you can download and follow a generalized mapping method but how effective is another ‘fill in’ the blank online document going to be for you. Time to embrace your creative side – you won’t regret it. Grab a glue stick, some old magazines, stickies and start daydreaming! Or, if you are not a creative, attempt to construct an online version which is colourful, detailed and motivating. The vision board / map and step by step plan will be transformative.