I have always loved setting goals, but what I love more is actually achieving them. I have said countless times that you can long for something, wish and hope, but without a plan, that goal is simply a Dream. I often wonder, how is it that some people are more successful at accomplishing the things they set out to than others?? I think the magic ingredient to success, is clarity. Clarity on exactly what it is you want, why you want it, what it will do for you if you do get it, and how exactly you plan to get it. If we don't know what we are after or where we are going, we may find ourselves way off track. Taking opportunities and chasing after "shinny objects" may ultimately just be distracting us from our happiest most fulfilling lives.
So, I guess the question we should start with is: How can we get clear on what it is we want??
To be frank, I go through waves of knowing exactly what I want and then freaking out 2 days later because I have absolutely no Eff-ing idea what I want. I think this is a completely normal thing for us "creative types" Why?? Well, I think it stems from 2 things: the first thing being fear. Fear to admit I want something bigger/better/new/different/challenging and of course, fear of failure. Second, because I am a sensitive and thoughtful person, I consider everything everyone else has ever said to me about the "thing". They said it was stupid/impossible/selfish/trivial/destined to be poor/dead end, etc... the list goes on! What I think happens is that I lose my clarity, not about what I want, but HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT!
It's easy for what we want, to get muddled by outside factors with all the clutter and noise made by others. So, how can we create clarity? We must visualize our goals and the life we are after.
step one: define YOUR DREAM LIFE
The first step to creating your dream life is DEFINING it. Remember, the perfect life, is according to YOUR OWN DEFINITION (no one else's). Now, think, if you were to wake up tomorrow in your dream life, where would you be, who would you be with, what would you be doing, what would you be wearing, what would you know, what would you eat??? Seriously, consider it all. Start this process by jotting down words, emotions, places, events, goals, anything that you want to have in your life for the coming year. You can even look through magazines or Pintrest and see what images jump out at you. Maybe you'll find the commonalities that you hadn't noticed earlier. Maybe you love everything French and you'll realize that this is the year you will finally study French or Visit a French-speaking city or maybe you keep a thousand old magazine clippings for pastry recipes and gosh darn it, you will learn to make croissants this year! (No matter how big or small- let yourself go there, to think about it, to dream about it and to picture it in your life.)
Step two: create the specific vision
A few years ago I created a board on Pintrest called "Dream Life Visionary Board" to house images that brought me joy or gave me a feeling of wistfulness. From time-to-time I would glance at it and think, "oh gosh, that looks nice". Looking back at what I pinned over the last few years, I have to say, several of the things came true! Pretty cool. There are a few however, that did not. These are the things that were too general. Things like images of Paris, loafs of bread, and beaches. Life is long, so maybe I'll make it to Paris again in 15 years, or I'll eat good bread and watch documentaries about the ocean. What was missing from these past boards was the intention behind the images and the specification of when and how I wanted them in my life.
Last week, at the prompting of a Mastermind group assignment, I made a vision board for 2016. What makes this board different than any of the ones on Pintrest? Well for starters it is my vision board for 2016. It's not a general board for LIFE, it's a specific board for a specified time period. I also gave a focal point to the board which is my phrase for the year "BE DARING". More than anything, I know that to make new things happen in my life, I MUST get out of my comfort zone. Next, it's a tactile board that hangs over my desk- where as of late I am sitting for at least 7 hours a day. Rather than having to go online and scroll through my boards, this board is prominent in my everyday REAL life. I can sit and take it in with conscious thought or let it chat with my subconscious while I get my work done. I had an absolute blast making it! And let me tell you it has made me feel so much more purposeful, clear headed and determined than ever!
how to make a successful vision board
SET THE MOOD:
It's so important that you give some real love and attention to your board. You don't need to rush it and you don't need to get it completed in one sitting. Also, make sure you don't have any stressors or distractors in the background. Pop on some nice music, pour yourself a glass of wine (or tea in my case), call a friend and make it a fun, supportive and somewhat romantic experience... after all you are creating a vision for your dream life (what is more romantic than the notion of living your dream life??)
WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR BOARD:
The most important part of this is that it's TRUE TO YOU. Just like in defining your OWN dream life, when creating the image to represent it, make sure to be extremely honest and specific. There are so many aspects to life- don't trap yourself by thinking too small. Consider all the things that make up one's life: relationships, career, finances, home life, travel, personal growth and health. Personal growth can be in spirituality, education, self confidence, social life, creativity, etc. Also, make sure to add how you want to FEEL. Relaxed, energized, calm, zen, adventurous?? Think about the emotion behind the desire and make sure that it's represented on your board.
Like I've said, several times, get specific with these goals.
WHAT'S ON MY BOARD:
Feeling: I have 3 different pictures of mountains, because to me, there is nothing as calming as being in nature and seeing the vastness of mountains. To me, it does not matter where I am or what mountains I am looking at, to be in nature I feel complete and calm.
Finances: I want to save more money this year. Rather than saying "save $", I listed a specific amount I want to save.
Education: On my board I pasted a picture of books (with a cup of tea) and I wrote- read 10 books. This year I want to read 10 books that inspire me to be a badass beech and make me feel more intelligent and worldly.
Style: Because Ev and I live on a farm and I have a home office, it is so easy for me to wear ratty old clothes and I often feel a bit blah. I have pictures of women in classic, pencil skirts and stunning heals and I wrote, "wear beautiful clothing". Let me tell you, each day that I have come in to my office and see these images, I have gotten up from my desk, gone back to my closet, properly dressed myself and added a touch of red lipstick and I feel AMAZING!
Home life: I have a picture of breakfast in bed, and I wrote "breakfast in bed once a month". I have a tendency as a new entrepreneur to think that if I am not working ALL the time, I am not doing enough. I wanted to remind myself that it's OK to relax and enjoy a quiet leisurely morning.
Travel: I have a picture of the Eiffel Tower that I look on my first night living in Paris in 2006. I have it on my board because I WILL go back to France this year!
Now get moving! visualize the life of your dreams
I encourage you to get creative and specific about what you want to do and feel in this coming year. Put your board in a place that requires you to interact with it regularly. Don't just make this board and never look at it again. If you want to run a marathon this year you can't simply tell yourself you want to do it and not do any of the things required to prepare for it... well I guess you could run a marathon without training, but I'm 99.99999% positive that it will suck! Like I said in the beginning of this post, if you have clarity about what you want for your life, you will also have an easier time making decisions. You will know what choices will bring you closer to that life and which choices, although maybe fun, may just bring you on a major detour.
Comment below, tell me what you want your 2016 to look like.
IN MY NEXT BLOG POST I WILL TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF TRUST AND HOW TO CULTIVATE IT.
Until next time, Chase your dreams and eat some greens.