2019 – Brought to you by the letter E
Did you know that the second Saturday in January is National Vision Board Day (at least in the United States)? No? Don’t fret; nor did I, and I bet many others didn’t either. It’s not exactly up there with Christmas, New Year’s, or even International Coffee Day. (Okay, that might also be somewhat obscure and even irrelevant for some, but not me…and, by the way, it’s October 1 this year if you’re keeping track).
It’s no surprise that Vision Board Day (let’s just acronymize that to VBD, shall we) comes so soon after the first of the new year. Vision boards are a fun way to help you further reflect on your personal goals, which, for some, means New Year’s Resolutions (we can shorten that one, too, to NYRs).
Now, many people pooh-pooh the whole NYR thing (fewer than half of the population make NYRs, and, of that, only about 10% follow through). But for those who do NYRs – and I’m one of them – vision boards encourage you to go a bit further, allowing you to create a visual summary of the areas you’d like to concentrate on. When completed and displayed in a place where you will see it everyday, your vision board becomes a touchstone, even a mirror, reflecting back to you your priorities for the upcoming year. The logic is that this daily, visual cue will then encourage you to commit – daily – to working on your goals.
As a consultant, I worked with numerous organizations to help them identify a vision – an optimistic AND realistic description of their ideal future. In other words, if things went well for them, what would that ideal future look like. I use the same approach when creating a vision board. I’m interested in words and images that reflect realistic outcomes and, more important, states of well being. You’re not going to find pictures of a new, flashy vehicle on my vision board, but you will find the words “Road Trip Essentials” which denotes my desire for increased travel and adventure.
However, the great and fun thing about vision boards is that – in my opinion – there’s no one way of doing them. My simple and very fluid guideline is that I look for images and words that reflect what important themes I would like to see as part of my upcoming year. So, for me in 2019, key elements to focus on include: family, travel/adventure, household redesign and organization, pushing myself physically, nutritional exploration, increased commitment to protecting the environment, social engagement and, of course, my dogs (which ties in nicely with travel/adventure).
I also like adding key words that become almost like a mantra. These words – all verbs – reflect and complement my goals and serve as reminders of the process elements required to reach those goals. For me, key words that bubbled to the surface while doing this are:
If this might be your thing, I encourage you to grab a piece of bristle board, some magazines, scissors, a glue stick, some markers…and maybe something hot, warm or cold to help you relax and get into the VBD vibe.
And if you’ve done this before and have some observations to share, please do that, too!
Happy Trails and here’s to the future – let being present help us get there!