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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How To Make A Vision Board That Works

How To Make A Vision Board That Works

When you start talking about goals, one method that comes up in some conversations is vision boards. It’s a method that thrown around in network marketing groups, and many people stand behind this method.

Vision boards can be fascinating. However, while there is a lot of support for it, there’s also a lot against organizing ideas in this way.

Either way, this divide is a blessing. Because of the varying opinions on the topic, we can uncover how to make a vision board properly. We can explore why many often fail and the various drawbacks, and how you can make a vision board properly to achieve your goals and visions.

Why Do Vision Boards Fail?

Before you learn how to make a vision board, it’s important to cover why many fail in this area. After all, this method is talked about a lot, and there are lessons to be learned from both success and failure.

Overall, the reason vision boards fail often comes down to your own mindset[1]. For example, say you’re checking Facebook and see some of your friends taking vacations, and you feel that urge to add that to your vision board.

While that’s great, that may not be the best desire for you to have. Even though a vacation is nice, it doesn’t always mean this is what you want out of life.

In other cases, it might be you’re not putting in enough effort to achieve your goals. Or perhaps deep down you don’t think you can achieve what you’re putting on your board in the first place.

These are all similar aspects to setting goals and writing them down. However, that similarity is where you’ll be able to thrive when making a vision board now and in the future.

How to Make a Vision Board

Making a vision board is simple[2]. You’ll need a few materials, as well as a working space to do it. Here is what you’ll need:

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A Board

Naturally, this is the first thing you’ll need. This board can take on any shape. Whether it’s a physical board, a cork or poster board, or even a virtual board is up to you.

Craft Items

If you’re not going digital, you’ll need items that allow you to place things on your board. This includes scissors, pins, glue-sticks, tape, etc.

For the more artistic people, you can also get markers and stickers to add some flare to your vision board, too.

Images

You can use magazines if want to cut out images or quotes. For those going digital, you can simply find relevant images online to copy and paste.

Time

You’ll be at this for about an hour or two, so make sure you have space where you can do this with no interruptions.

When it comes to the work environment, any will do. However, it’s smart if you mitigate distractions so set up some calm and relaxing music while working.

Making Vision Boards Work for You

While making a vision board is simple, what really matters is ensuring that it works. If you’re sinking an hour or two into this, you want to make sure that it was worth your time and effort.

With this in mind, I would encourage you to consider these pieces of advice before and after you make a vision board.

1. Think About What You’ve Achieved Recently

The first piece of advice is to consider everything that you have achieved over the past few years. Even though days and years are going by quickly, you’d be surprised what you have achieved over the course of a year.

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Make sure you pause and consider what you have accomplished thus far in your life. Remember the things that made you proud.

Going in with this sort of mindset allows you to focus on what you can improve in your life moving forward. That way, you won’t focus on adding desires you’ve seen from other people but rather focusing on your own.

The next piece of advice will add another layer to this.

2. Look at the Direction of Your Life

It’s the dreaded question of “Where do you see yourself in five years?” However, outside of an interview, this is a good question to be asking yourself.

Look at the direction that you’re facing in your life and ask yourself if you are happy with it. This is important because we all have the ability to change our lives. So often we forget that we can gain control of our lives at any time.

Keep in mind that with a vision board, you do not want to be changing goals constantly. However,asking this question can influence how you build your vision board.

Again, you’re putting your own desires and goals on the board rather than letting other actions or opinions seep into your goal-setting.

If you’re not sure how to find the right direction for your life, this article may help.

3. Consider What You Want To Change

Goals should be a stage that fulfills something that we lack in life. Maybe you struggle with moving around much. Or maybe you’ve got a business idea you’ve been sitting on for a long time. From desires to improve your marriage to having more vacations, you want to be looking at what you are lacking and how to make that abundant in your life.

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The previous pieces of advice allow you to narrow down precisely what your vision is and what sort of change you want to see in your life.

When paired with this, you can focus on what you really want to change right now in your life.

4. Don’t Overstuff Your Vision Board With Goals

Now that you have an idea of what goals you have, the next thing is turning them into visions. While you may be excited to place all of these goals onto your board, it might not be the best idea.

Unless you are someone who is able to focus on one goal at a time, most people will find the influx of goals to be overwhelming. While we all feel excited about it, a lot of that stems from the dopamine high we’re on.

It’s a feel-good drug, and it’s an addictive one. It also clouds our judgement so much that once reality sinks back in, we tend to feel stressed or overwhelmed.

So while you are making your vision board, try to consider alternatives. Here are some ideas:

  • Introduce quotes or phrases that excite you and energize you.
  • Consider post-it notes and writing down the steps to take to achieve a particular vision.
  • Consider having a smaller board or increasing the size of the pictures you’re posting on the board. This forces you to put fewer things and to focus on the visions that matter more to you.

5. Make Your Visions Emotional

There has been an emphasis on caring about these goals and working on your overall mindset, and it’s there for a reason. When working on goals in any way, there is always a mental component to it.

To place more emphasis on it, you want to make sure that every action you do has emotion attached to it.

After you’ve set up your vision board and are looking it over, it pays to ask some questions to draw those emotions out.

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There are many great questions to consider[3], but one to ask yourself is:

Why do I want to achieve this goal?

The idea with this question is to look for a deep personal reason. Some examples could include:

  • You want to spend time with your partner because you love them and recently you’ve been drifting apart.
  • You want to lose weight and improve your posture because of back pain.
  • You want to build a business because you lacked the ambition to start it when you were younger.

It’s important that you find a reason for why you are working towards this goal. Not only that, but you want to use it as a reminder for your work.

This is so important because it gives us an overall purpose. When you have a purpose, you will begin to care more about the process and to hone your skills.

If you’re looking for some concrete examples for making a vision board, don’t miss this article: 6 Amazing Vision Board Ideas To Help You Achieve Your Goals

The Bottom Line

Vision boards are a large mental exercise that demand deep self-reflection and plenty of emotion. If your heart isn’t it, then it’s likely that a vision board isn’t going to help you much.

It often happens that vision boards slowly devolve into collages and mere artwork. Instead, take this advice to heart and work to develop your own mindset. Once it’s stronger, you’ll find that a vision board can be a very helpful tool for you to achieve your goals.

More Goals Setting Tips

Featured photo credit: Jo Szczepanska via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

As a track and field runner in school, every year I would sit down with my coach and set a series of goals for the season. Once we had set my goals for the year, we would create a training plan so I could achieve those targets. This helped me answer the main question here: “What are SMART goals?”

Before I got a coach, I used to run aimlessly with no plan, no target races. More often than not, I would end up injured and find my season ending after achieving very little.

Once I got a coach, though, I started winning races that mattered and began enjoying my sport. This annual process taught me from a very early age that goals are important if I want to achieve the things that are important to me.

So what exactly are SMART goals? This article will talk about why goals matter, how to use SMART goals effectively with your time and resources, and how these goals give you a clear, specific plan that works time and time again.

Why Do People Fail to Reach Their Goals?

Setting SMART goals and achieving them

is not easy, and many people fail. A study by Scranton University found that only 8% of those who set New Year goals actually achieve them, meaning 92% who set new year goals fail[1].

The problem is that many people see goals, such as New Year resolutions, as hopes and wishes. They hope they will lose some weight, they wish to start their own business, or they hope to get a better job. The problem with “hoping” and “wishing” for something is that there is no plan, no purpose, and no time frame set for achieving the goals.

Once these hopes and wishes come face-to-face with the realities of daily life, they soon dissolve into lost hopes and wishful thinking.

Therefore, in order to really achieve something, you need a concrete goal: a SMART goal.

What Are SMART Goals?

The foundation of all successfully accomplished goals is the SMART goal.

Originally conceived by George T. Doran in a 1981 paper[2], this formula has been used in various forms ever since.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. It has been used by corporations and individuals to achieve their goals and objectives and is a formula that, on the whole, works well.

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Use SMART goals to help you achieve more.

    The strength of SMART goals is that they set a clear path to achieving goals, and they have a clear time frame in which to achieve them. Let’s look at the SMART criteria in a little more detail:

    Specific

    For a goal to be achievable, it needs to have a very clear outcome. What you are asking is, “What exactly do I want to achieve?” The clearer the goal, the more likely it is you will achieve it.

    For example, if you just say “I want to lose weight,” then technically you could achieve your goal just by not eating dinner for one day—you would lose weight that way, even if it were temporary.

    You need to have a more specific goal: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

    Measurable

    To achieve anything, it’s important to have measurable goals. T

    ake the example above: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

    It’s measurable, as all you need do is weigh yourself on 1 January, then deduct twenty-pounds from that and set that weight as the target for 31 July. Then, each week you weigh yourself to measure progress.

    Attainable

    Being attainable means that SMART goals are realistic and that you have what you need in order to achieve them.

    In our example of losing weight, 20 pounds in six months is certainly doable. Your resources could include a gym membership, some at-home weights, or simply motivation to get outside and run everyday.

    If motivation is an area where you struggle, you can check out Lifehack’s Ultimate Worksheet for Instant Motivation Boost.

    Relevant

    For any goal to be achieved, you need to set relevant goals for your unique life.

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    If losing weight is doable with the lifestyle you have, and if you believe it will lead to a happier, healthier life, then it is certainly relevant to you. It’s even more relevant if your doctor has pointed out that you need to lose weight to prevent health issues.

    Time-based

    Finally, you need a timeline. All your goals need to have an end date because it creates a sense of urgency and gives you a deadline.

    In our example of losing twenty-pounds, a timeline of six months would be specific, measurable, relevant, and would have a timeline. Furthermore, as you have what you need to achieve that goal, it is attainable—all elements of the formula for SMART goals are included.

    How to Reach a SMART Goal

    The problem I have always found with the SMART goal formula is it does not take into account the human factor. We need motivation and a reason for achieving these goals.

    If you decide to lose twenty-pounds, for example, you are going to spend many months feeling hungry, and unless you possess superhuman mental strength, you are going to give in to the food temptations.

    All SMART goals can be distilled down to three words:

    • What do you want to achieve?
    • Why do you want to achieve it?
    • How are you going to achieve it?

    When you simplify your goal in this way, achieving it becomes much easier.

    1. Visualize What You Want

    One way to make your goals achievable is to visualize the end result. When you write out your mission statement, you should be imagining what it will be like once you have achieved the goal.

    In our weight loss example, you would close your eyes and imagine walking down from your hotel room in Ibiza in July with your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimwear on. You would imagine walking past all the other sunbathers and the feeling you have, the pride in the way you look and feel.

    Try to invoke as many of the five senses as you possibly can[3].

    2. Identify Your “Why”

    If you take losing twenty-pounds as an example, once you have made the decision that you want to do this, the next question to ask yourself is, “Why?” The more personal your why, the better.

    Your why could be, “Because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza this summer.” That is a strong why.

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    If your why is, “Because my doctor told me to lose some weight,” that is not a good why because it’s your doctor’s, not yours.

    One way to identify your “why” is to write your mission statement.

    To help with setting achievable SMART goals, when working with my clients, I always ask them to complete the following mission statement:

    I will [STATE GOAL CLEARLY] by [DATE YOU WANT TO COMPLETE THE GOAL] because [YOUR WHY].

    If you want to write a SMART goal for the weight loss example, your mission statement would be written: “I will lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza.”

    Never write a mission statement that is full of vague words. The words you use should be simple, direct, and clear.

    3. Figure out Your “How”

    Before you can begin achieving your goal, you need to create a list of steps you can take to make it happen.

    Write down everything you can think of that will help achieve your goal. It doesn’t matter what order you write these tasks down; what matters is that you write down as many action steps you can think of.

    I always aim for around one hundred small steps. This makes it much easier to assign tasks for each day that not only moves you forward on your goal, but also keeps you focused every day on achieving it.

    Once you have your list, you can create a to-do list for the goal and allocate the steps to different days so you create momentum towards a successful outcome.

    You can learn more about how to use SMART goals to achieve success and lasting change in this video:

    Bonus: Make a PACT

    There is one more part needed to really make sure you achieve the SMART goals you set for yourself, and that is something I call PACT. PACT is another acronym meaning Patience, Action, Consistency, and Time. You need all four of these to achieve goals.

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    Patience

    Without patience, you will give up. To achieve anything worthwhile requires patience. Success does not happen overnight. Be patient and enjoy the process of stepping a little closer towards achieving your goal each day.

    Action

    If you do not take action on any goal, then even SMART goals won’t be achieved. You need to make sure you remind yourself of your goal and why you want to achieve it each day. Read your mission statement, make an action plan, and then take the necessary action to make sure you move a step closer each day.

    Consistency

    The action you take each day towards achieving your goal needs to be consistent. You can’t follow your diet program for a week and then have three weeks off. Jim Rohn said it perfectly when he said:

    “Success is a few simple disciplines practised every day.”

    Time

    Of course, you need to allow enough time between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Be realistic about time, and don’t get disheartened if you miss your deadline. Readjust your timeline if necessary.

    The Bottom Line

    The key to success is to put everything together. When you connect all of these elements, you create an environment where achieving SMART goals becomes much more attainable.

    Whether it’s personal or business goals, when you have a strong personal “why” for your goal, your motivation to keep going stays strong.

    Start with your “why,” and then get started on the action steps that will take you all the way to the end.

    More Tips on Reaching Your Goals

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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