Goal setting

How to make a vision board that works for you: 2018 edition

Last year, I made a Vision Board as the cover for my agenda, so I would see it first thing every day.

To do so, I used the eight categories: Career, Finance, Health, Personal Growth, Self-care, Spirituality, Friends and Family, Romance. I created manageable mini goals for each category that fit the “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, Timely) criteria. Then I tried to find visual representations for each of them. Unfortunately, the images I found weren’t as inspiring. I was too literal, and settled for images that may have represented my 2017 goals, but did not inspire motivation within me every time I viewed them.

2017 Vision Board

I positioned my mantra for the year in the center of the board as a focal point and touch-point for each of the other goals. All things considered, my 2017 vision board was… a good attempt for a beginner.

The most important part of a vision board is that it works for you. Writing down and visualizing your goals can be powerful! But the pressure to make something that conforms to Pinterest-perfect vision boards can also be powerful. Whatever you create has to work for you. It has to inspire you. It has to have meaning for you.

With the beginning of 2018, I was ready to revisit both my goals and the very literal interpretation of them, as represented in my dream board/vision board. The literal interpretation of goals resulted in images that didn’t inspire me conceptually. They were too exact. I needed a vision board that was more big picture. As a literary person at heart, I need words. Visuals can move me and inspire me, but words tend to be the things that help me create action.

This year, I went for a cohesive color scheme that was a little more aesthetically pleasing. I also focused on key phrases or ideas that I’m focusing on, rather than very literal interpretations of more high-concept goals. If your goal is to move to Paris, a photo of Paris is great. If your goal is to move up in your career, there’s not a very simple visual representation of that. Ladders? Pencil skirts? Shattered glass ceilings?

My theme for the year is “Hustle.” Different quotes are targeted at different goals I have for the year–health, career, personal growth. I found images that spoke to some of my other goals–travel, photography, language, finance, etc.

Vision Board 2018

While I’m pleased with the visual look of my yearly vision board, the biggest aspect of it, is the back side. I list out the goals for each category and the actual strategies and measurements I’m going to use to achieve those goals. “Financial freedom” is a goal. “Saving $XYZ per month” is a strategy. “Getting fit” is a goal. “Working out with weights three times a week in conjunction with regular cardio and monitoring my diet” is a strategy.

Vision Board BackStay tuned for more on creating SMART goals. I don’t always share my minute goals explicitly with people. Studies have shown that people get the same sense of accomplishment from talking about their goals as they do from achieving them, so there can be something to be said for keeping your goals to yourself. That is just my take and what works for me. If sharing your goals helps you stay accountable to them, please yell them from the rooftops! Or share with me in the comment section.

Happy vision boarding!

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