I must be transparent. I’ve never been a fan of vision boards or vision board parties. I’ve seen them grow in popularity over the years. I’ve never attended one except for the one I planned as part of my planning retreat for ladies. I was reluctant to include it because of my personal beliefs but I knew the ladies were expecting it to be a part of an event that supports planning for the new year.
So why my fondness of vision boards. I’ve seen a lot of pretty vision boards but no signs of the vision actually coming to pass. Even worse, it seems like people make the same boards every year as nothing changes. When I am able to have intimate knowledge of those who do fancy vision boards, I see that most are still in a wishing and hoping loop that they are unable to exit and execute.
I don’t like the fact vision board parties don’t include real strategies and resources to lead to real success. The idea of vision boards fuels the cycle of dreaming only to become disappointed when nothing happens.
A VISION BOARD WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST PICTURES ON A POSTER!
My fixation on how to improve the vision boarding experience led me to create a one-day productivity retreat. We end the first day with a vision board party, but the next day is filled with tactical planning to make sure we are establishing actionable goals to make strides towards our vision. We also talked about the unspeakable: what happens when life and human emotions threaten your vision. This is the part that is missing from many of the fun vision board parties: it’s the work that takes place to ensure the vision comes to pass. Sometimes it’s not fun. Definitely not a party. Reflection, self-evaluation, and deep thinking are difficult in the moment but leaves you gratified after. Likewise, coming to blows with fears, confronting procrastination is uncomfortable but necessary to get the life we want.
So I’m not telling you to not go to vision board parties. Go. I did enjoy the one that I attended (and it’s not just because I planned it). However, just follow it up with the real work to make sure you are able to execute, cross things off your vision board, and continue to positively re-imagine your future.
Here’s what you can do to support your vision coming to pass:
- Create a vision statement that represents your life. A vision statement provides a foundation for your whole life. It grounds and centers you. It is something that you can internalize and repeat to yourself when times are hard. Here is a worksheet to help you and here are some examples.
- Outline your priorities so you can identify what’s important to you. Refining your priorities helps you to make decisions about where you invest your time, efforts, and money. Identify no more than 5.
- For each priority, list 1-2 goals. Make sure they are SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Visit here for more on SMART goals.
- For each goal identify strategies, big steps, or broad actions, that will lead to achieving each goal. Try to establish at least 2 or 3 strategies per goal.
- For each strategy, identify small steps or tasks you need to take to support the strategy. These small steps should be the center of your daily, monthly, or quarterly to-do list.
Action Plan Example
Priority: Improve financial stability
Goal 1: Increase savings to 10K by February 2022.
Strategy 1: Monitor and Reduce discretionary spending.
Task 1. Download an app that monitors spending.
Task 2. Set Google alerts for articles on saving and budgeting.
Task 3. Follow influencers on Instagram that provide saving and budgeting advice.
Task 4. Revisit the budget and reallocate more to automatic savings deposits.
Task 5. Use cash for an entertaining and dining out budget.
Strategy 2: Create a savings account that is not easily accessible.
Task 1. Research banks with high-interest yields.
Task 2. Set up a bank account
Task 3. Save and make an initial deposit
Sounds difficult? It’s not. I’ve created a worksheet to help you organize and create your action plan to complement your vision board. Get it free here.