Create a Vision Board to Stop Existing and Start Living

It’s a new year, and I resolved long ago to stop making resolutions. You know the ones I’m talking about. They sound something like, “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to make more money.” Godspeed if you’re one of the approximately 8% of people that sticks to your resolutions, but I was a part of the 92% that always fell flat on my face by February. I realized I didn’t need resolution; I needed direction. So, I decided to create a vision board for the first time in 2009 and haven’t stopped since. 

A vision board is a personal roadmap for how you want your year to look; it starts in your heart, gets transferred to paper, and then helps to guide how you live your life. Grab a glass of champagne and let’s look at how to set your sights on 20/20 vision for 2020.

Dream out Loud

Close your eyes. Think about something that puts a smile on your face. Write it down. 

What’s something that you’ve always wanted? Write it down. 

Think about something that scares the daylights out of you but would feel absolutely amazing to accomplish. Write it down. 

See where I’m going here? 

There are no limits and no restraints. There’s no “I’m not smart enough/talented enough/strong enough/diligent enough” to be seen. This is your heart speaking to your brain, and your brain speaking to your fingers. 

Focus those Thoughts

Now that your list of dreams is complete, pick a portion to focus on and turn into goals for the year. I recommend choosing one or two big goals and a handful of small goals. Find the things that really speak to you. Look at what is realistic and attainable for where you’re at today and where you want to be tomorrow. 

Life is full of seasons. Some years I’ve felt ready to pay off every single last penny of debt, read a book a month, and cook my way through Julia Childs’ cookbook. Other years I’ve simply felt like challenging myself to make sure my underwear was right-side out every day and increasing my water intake from 0 oz. to 16 oz. per day. No matter if you’re in a season of thriving or just surviving, achievement is possible. 

Create Your Vision

Here is my 2019 vision board as an example of putting goals to paper.

With your goals in hand, it’s time to get your craft on. Here’s your supply list:

  • Your list of goals
  • Poster board 
  • Magazines
  • Basic crafting supplies (glue sticks, scissors, markers, etc.)
  • The scrapbooking aisle at Michaels (optional)
  • All the snacks and comfy pants (clearly not optional)

Flip through magazines to find pictures and words that represent your goals. You can add some craft flair as you desire or keep it plain. This is your board; it can look however you want it to.  

As they say, there is strength in numbers. Get together with some friends and make a fun night out of it. This year marks my 12th year of hosting a vision board party. I love the energy in the room. Friends are your biggest cheerleaders. Let them know what you’re striving for, so they can get their pom poms ready. 

Side note: Can you make it digitally? Sure. I just think there’s something to be said about making it tangible to have displayed for the year. Hang it up in your home office. Or put it on a shelf in your closet, so you see it each morning as you’re getting ready for the day. Call me old-school, but there’s joy in creating with scissors, markers, and glue. 

Live on Purpose

Your vision board is a reflection of the love you have for yourself. Look at it as often as you need to throughout the next 12 months. When you’re head down in life, look up. Be inspired. Remember why you made it. 

If life throws you a few curveballs (OK, WHEN life throws you a few curveballs!), refocus your efforts and regroup. Slow down where you need to. Speed up when you need a swift kick in the pants. Don’t compare what you’re doing to what your BFF or your sister or your neighbor across the street is doing. This is about you. 

Show up for yourself. And celebrate every step you take.

Reflect with Grace

I have never once accomplished everything I put on my board in a year. Never. But, I have always accomplished at least one thing I put on my board in a year. Always. Does that mean I failed or I passed? Neither. I lived. I did my best, and that’s all anyone can ask of themselves.  

Take a moment to look at your board at the end of the year and give credit where credit is due. Celebrate all that you’ve accomplished! Just like a job allows you to roll over vacation days, you can always roll over leftover goals. Or maybe you decide that while some goals made sense then, they don’t make sense now. That’s OK! You have another blank canvas ready and waiting to be filled for the next year. 

There are 365 days of your life to be lived this year. You deserve to live them well with intention and purpose. When December 31st arrives, how do you want to feel? Let’s all make 2020 the year we’re brave enough and strong enough to put our goals out in the universe.


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