We are coming to the time of year where most people start planning their goals and “resolutions” for the next year. It’s the time of new beginnings for a lot of people. As you read this remember, this truly is an exercise for everyone, you may be at a point in your life that you don’t feel like you need goals, think again, everyone needs goals. Goals don’t have to be about a promotion at work, become a millionaire, or lose weight. Your goals can be to learn to be more patient, travel more, learn how to relieve anxiety, or how to relax more. The quote “you are either getting better or getting worst, you are not staying the same” is something I believe in, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. So let’s all keep more forward.
The December Joy Box was all about visualization which if you are not familiar with, it is when you use your thoughts to imagine what you want to achieve or what you want your life to be in the future. But you do it as if it is true today. It’s a practice you can do daily to attract what you want in your life. You are training your subconscious mind to focus on what you want. I started focusing more on visualization when I was doing Phase 1 of the Live Hard Program. Every day for 30 days I had to do 10 minutes of visualization practice and I really enjoyed it. Athletes use this practice regularly to focus on the end result they are working towards, they visualize what they need to do to win the championship, how it will feel, what it looks like down to the finest details.
If you haven’t heard of the practice of visualization, you have probably heard of vision boards. These boards are a great starting point to begin your goal setting and visualization practice. I have been creating visions boards for several years maybe even a decade and I am always amazed at what I have envisioned and what came to fruition. A vision board is just as it sounds it’s a visual representation of what you want to focus on.
Here are the steps to start creating your vision board for 2023:
- Take some time and think about your dreams and goals, who do YOU really want to be. Who is your authentic self? What do you want your life to look like- health, family, friends, career, hobbies, etc. Let yourself brain dump on to paper all of your thoughts. You can think about this in multiple ways what do you want your life to look like in a year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. It’s up to you.
- After you have journaled what you want your life to look like, think about the different areas and the feelings you would have if these were achieved. This is the part a lot of people overlook. A vision board and the practice of visualization needs to include your feelings, how does it feel when you achieve these goals, when your life looks exactly how you want it?
- Decide what areas you want to focus on for the next 12 months. For example, I always tend to focus on, overall health, career, finances, and family. Again, these are mine, but you get to pick what is important to you and what you want your future self to be.
- Now the fun begins. You can be as creative as you want when you create your board, you can use a posterboard or corkboard, which is what I used to do. I would buy a bunch of magazines and spend a few hours cutting out words, items, people that fit into the vision that I wanted and then clue them onto a poster board. But here is a cheaper, easier way…. Use Canva or PowerPoint and Google. You can find a picture of anything you want on Google, any word, feeling or vacation spot for free without buying a bunch of magazines. I also like to do it electronically, so I have multiple copies of it. I bought some cheap 10X8 picture frames that I put them in and one hangs in my closet, so I see it every morning and another copy is in my meditation area. Some people may have it in their office, saved as a picture in their phone, anywhere that you know you will actually spend time looking at it. Just another reminder, make sure you include the feelings that are associated with reaching these goals.
Now that your board is complete, what do you do with it?
This is where the intention and practice start. Now it’s time to intentionally focus on what you decided is important to you this year. Every day spend 5-10 mins (you will want to do it longer as you get used to doing) looking at your board and envisioning your life as if you have already accomplished the goals you are focused on. I like to put on meditation music and set a 10 min timer and look at each section and imagine how I would feel, what it would look like, with as many details as possible to truly envision reaching each of my goals. I have heard it’s a great exercise to do before you fall asleep because your unconscious mind continues to focus on what you were visualizing as you sleep.
There is scientific evidence…Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart explains: "Looking at images on a vision board primes the brain to grasp opportunities that may otherwise gone unnoticed. That’s because the brain has a process called ‘value-tagging’ which imprints important things onto your subconscious and filters out unnecessary information.”
“The brain assigns a higher ‘value’ to images than written words on a ‘to-do’ list,” says Swart, “And the more you look at those images, the more those images move up in importance.”
This is a perfect time of year to start pulling your thoughts together and start planning for 2023. This should be a fun, exciting project. So pull out a journal and let’s start creating the life you want.