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Last Updated on August 10, 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

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life

How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life

Change begins with the hope of what’s possible in your life. Hope leads to a sense of expectancy Combine this with setting short-term goals, and the likelihood of being more happy and successful moves from possibility to reality.

Short-term goals, when created with well-formed criteria, offer incremental steps towards successfully achieving your bigger goals.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll discover the secret to creating short-term goals that will set you up for success and help you sail past challenges of staying motivated easily.

What Is a Short-Term Goal?

Short-term goals are ‘short’, meaning the time frame can be as short as 10 minutes, a day, or as long as a week or a few months. Well-formed short-term goals begin with the end in mind.

Quick tip:

Write down the specific result you want to achieve and the date when it should happen. Then, work backward from this date, describing what you’ll notice yourself doing (and achieving) until you take the first step.

A short-term goal is the smallest step you need for you to reach a bigger goal centered around achieving something you passionately desire.

Passionate desire‘ is the key.

As Tony Robbins says,

People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.[1]

Having passion when setting goals means getting your mind and body activated to fuel your energy and focus. Each time you achieve a short-term goal, your body celebrates by producing and releasing chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin oxytocin, and endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters).

Ian Robertson, a cognitive neuroscientist and author of The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure, says,

Success and failure shape us more powerfully than genetics and drugs.

The regular release of the body’s natural chemicals supports brain change at a neural level, building your confidence, and renewing your goal-oriented focus.

The Benefits of Setting Short-Term Goals

Regardless of the area in your life where you set your short-term goals, it will have a ripple effect across all your life domains.

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  • Improve your career prospects and your sense of identity also shifts.
  • Improve your body shape through managing food intake and your energy improves in a way that’s noticeable at work and home.
  • Improve your mindset and your attitude changes around how you engage with others.
  • Improve your health and your desire for self-improvement lifts.

6 Steps to Success With Short-Term Goals

Setting short-term goals will lead you closer to a happier and more successful life, but can you achieve that?

Take the following steps and you will start achieving your dreams:[2]

Step 1: Know Your Best Hopes

Try this process yourself by thinking of an area in your life that you’d like to improve.

For example:

  • What are your best hopes for your finances?
  • What are your best hopes for your relationship?
  • What are your best hopes for your career?
  • What are your best hopes for your health?

This process involves ‘chunking up’ your ideas to imagine the results more clearly. In this process, you try to achieve not only the goal and the outcome it gives you but also the changes in your behavior and mindset as a result of achieving your goal.

Step 2: Notice What’s Different

The next question to ask yourself is: “What would you notice that was different from the way you usually did things?”

‘Noticing’ helps you build a vision of what could be possible. The richer the description you can build around the tiny details, the more ‘real’ your preferred future becomes.

Step 3: Ask: ‘What Else?’

Most of us know there’s a hidden reason or a long-buried hope beneath why we want something.

Often, our ego gets a little defensive about it and protective of it. But if we dig and resurface the truth, then weight can be lifted, allowing you the freedom to move forward.

Step 4: Ask: ‘Who Will Notice the Difference?’

Relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and your partner are important. Seeing the change they’ll notice helps put another perspective on the differences they see in you.

Imagine what they will notice about you that would let them know something changed about you as a result of achieving this goal.

Step 5: Imagine a Miracle Happened Tonight

Imagine that if you went to bed tonight and a miracle happened; and you were the very best version of yourself and that you had achieved your best hopes.

When you woke up tomorrow morning after the miracle happened, what would you notice that would tell you you’ve achieved the change you’re seeking?

Step 6: Describe Your Day as If the Miracle Had Happened

Go through your day, moment by moment. Begin with what time you would wake up and then describe the differences you would notice in every tiny action you do.

Notice in detail what’s different about this day – a day when you are at your very best because you’re living your best hopes.

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How to Track Your Short Term Goals Success

When you set a short-term goal, establish a measurement system to track your progress:[3]

1. Create a Running Tally

One of the best devices to keep your short-term goal setting on track is to keep a running record or tally of the number of days in a row that you’ve sustained your goal.

For example, if improving your health is important to you and you plan to reduce your weight by 5 kilos by not eating any foods containing sugar, then set up a simple chart and track how many days in a row you can do this. Aim for 5 days, then 10, then 20 days in a row. If you have a small diversion and eat sugar one day, simply start again.

Once you feel confident that you can continue with this step, add another such as taking 5,000 steps per day. Again, set up a simple tally chart either in your diary or somewhere visible and enjoy marking up one more day that you’ve achieved your short-term goal. It won’t be long before your goal of losing 5 kilos is met.

2. Keep a Journal

Maintaining a journal will help you focus on identifying the things that are different because you’ve set a well-formed short-term goal.

Aim to complete the journal at the end of each day and recall in detail the things that you’re noticing. This helps keep you connected with your desired outcome and the transformation you’re experiencing in both your behavior and mindset.

Take a look at this guide if you’re starting out journaling: Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide).

3. Share Your Progress With a Trusted Friend or Coach

By voicing the change and expressing how far you’re noticing yourself move towards your goal, you’re reinforcing the power of change you’re experiencing.

And you’ll be activating the feel-good neurotransmitters that are so important for bringing your confidence, motivation, and positive changes to your brain to succeed.

Here’re more reasons why you should get yourself a life coach: 7 Reasons Why You Should Find a Life Coach to Reach Your Full Potential.

4. Visualize Your Progress

Before you go to sleep in the evening, visualize your tomorrow. See yourself continuing to do the things that support your change.

Walk yourself through the tiny details that add up to the changes you want to see yourself doing, including the time you’ll wake up. In the morning, re-activate the visualization and then ‘step into’ your day.

Short-Term Goal Example: A Career Short-Term Goal

How to advance your career with short-term goals? Specifically, you will need short-term goals to help with your career. This is also how many people want to utilize short-term goals.

Start by Planning Your Career Visually

Walt Disney was sacked for lacking imagination. Oprah Winfrey was told she’d never make it on television. Careers are destroyed by naysayers intent on keeping you small. The successful person designs a career goal and then creates incremental steps to ‘ladder up’ with short-term goals.

Justin Dry from VinoMofo, a successful Australian wine distribution company, always begins his goal-setting process with visual planning. He says,

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I need to see it all in front of me like a puzzle I’m putting together. It kind of looks like the workings of a madman with lots of weird and wonderful shapes and lines connecting the words.

Whether you use masses of post-it notes that cover a wall, large sheets of paper to spread your ideas on or a journal to map your path – messy planning gets your ideas out of your head so you see different possibilities and pathways available to you.

Begin this process by asking, “What are my best hopes for my career?”

Write them down and place them somewhere you’ll notice them every day.

Make You Think Like a Start-Up Entrepreneur

While successful career planning starts with a messy and random process to let those ‘idea gems’ – the embryos of well-formed short-term goals rise, the next step is taking these nuggets and using them to set your direction.

Think of yourself (and your career) as if you’re the CEO of your successful start-up – one with a clear vision of what you want and how you’ll get it. Rather than waiting for a boss to give you goals, be proactive, and set your own.

Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot says,

Set a vision, and be focused on the intent of these goals. Create actions which not only build on those of yesterday but also improve what you do tomorrow. Your pathways will need to be flexible, challenged, and accountable.

Begin by listing the bigger steps needed to achieve your goal. Then chunk these down into smaller steps with specific actions needed to achieve them. These action steps are the workhorses of your short-term goals.

Create a specific time frame to complete them and maintain accountability – as if you’re reporting to your ‘higher up’.

Begin this process by asking yourself: “What difference will I notice when I take these steps?” Then ask: “What difference will my boss/es notice when I take these steps?”

Establish ‘Triggers’ for Your Daily Habits

Twyla Tharp (born 1941) legendary dancer and choreographer, maintains an exacting routine designed to trick her mind into a daily exercise habit.

I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.

It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.[4]

To do this list, create a trigger point – the smallest step you’ll do that will catapult you into taking action as Twyla Tharp did. What will be your ritual of ‘getting in the cab’?

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Get You to Talk About the Future

Melanie Perkins CEO of Canva, a thriving design and publishing solution, is known for ‘frequently talking about the future’.

Orienting your thoughts towards a future-focus reinforces how important your vision and goals are to you. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “You are what you think.”

  • Make it a habit to read your goals daily.
  • Think about what you’ll notice that will be different in your life when you achieve them.
  • Express your goals to someone important in your life.
  • Whisper them to yourself throughout your day.

Future-focused conversations (both with yourself and others) establish a pattern of expectancy, which continue fueling not only your desire but also the expectation of achieving it.

Manage Mental Resistance

When you begin with ‘hope’, you activate a sense of ‘expectancy’. A belief that what you want is not only possible, it’s within reach. Hope and expectancy are two powerful motivators in propelling you forward to a successful life.

When you’re ‘moving forward‘ with hope, you’re orienting yourself towards your desired future. When ‘moving away from‘ something you perceive as painful you’re activating ‘fear’, which can also be a strong motivator helping you avoid pain; for example, losing your job if your quarterly performance scores don’t improve.

Sarah, a manager at a busy merchandising company saw her doctor because she was feeling tired. After a thorough examination, the doctor advised Sarah to lose 15 kilos as this was contributing to her tiredness. The news felt overwhelming as Sarah worked long hours and rarely found time to shop for fresh food, so she relied on fast food to keep her going.

For Sarah, the doctor activated her fear by describing what could happen (heart attack and/or diabetes) if she didn’t manage her weight by shedding 15 kilos.

While ‘moving away from’ motivation can be successful, a way of amplifying positive motivators that will see Sarah begin ‘moving towards’ her goal is by talking about what outcomes Sarah would notice by losing 15 kilos.

For example, managing her weight may see Sarah being more efficient at work, getting out more socially, or feeling more able to manage work pressures and deadlines.

To do this with your own goal setting, think about what’s important to you about achieving your goals. Write down your answers. Ask: “What will you notice that will be different in your life when these changes happen?”

Summing It Up

Change is possible. Short-term goals that build upon each other are the stepping stones to achieving your best hopes.

Using your creative imagination by noticing the small differences occurring daily offers a positive way to create practical change in an easy and doable way.

Above all, make sure your goal is powered by ‘passionate desire’ so you achieve your desired outcomes.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

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