How Vision Boards Help You Achieve Your Goals

With a new year, we vow to eat better, exercise more and obtain our dream job. For many of us, somewhere around mid-February, we abandon our yoga class for another Netflix marathon, give up fruits and vegetables for chocolate and ice cream and forgo plans to find a better job.

Resolutions are great, but many of us need an extra incentive to stay on track. That’s why I choose to create a vision board to visually represent my personal and professional goals. It’s the simplest way to capture your vision and strategy at a glance.

Where to begin?

Instead of going digital, find a large board, something that will catch your attention. Post it notes on a wall or window will also do the trick. Whatever you choose to use, keep it handy and in a location where you will see it every day because visualization is a powerful mind tool.

How to Start

1.   Write down the scope of your vision board. Although, computers are great for storing documents, handwriting your goals help you embrace and retain them. Consider this to be a long term exercise, such as writing down your goals for the next five years. These goals should focus on what you want and what you want to improve upon.

2.   Determine who you want to become or be known/recognized for. Example: I want to be a manager who empowers people to take action and challenge their abilities. 

3. Consider up to 5 main categories you want to focus on. These categories will help you establish your goal statement. Example: Categories could be self-development, education, photography, managing a team, developing a new business or business unit, or creating a new product or service. Write them across your vision board. Think about how you want your week to be and activities that fall under your five categories. To stay on track assign them a priority number and a day of the week to achieve them.

4. Continue writing down what you need to do in that specific category. For instance, creating a monthly podcast, writing a gratitude journal, taking an online course, or searching for new clients. To effectively do this, consider using a tree diagram to break down each major headline into tasks. Mind mapping is also a great tool that requires writing the subject title in the center of a page, drawing a circle around it, and drawing lines out from this circle to connect with the subheading, and so on. If you prefer, use stickers, post-it notes or images to visually represent your categories and tasks for inspiration. Everything needs to connect for everything to make sense and achievable. Avoid random tasks that don’t relate to your main goal. Branch out no further than three levels of detail on your board, or too much detail will be difficult to visualize.

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