By Dawn Onley
It’s that time of year again. It’s time to think of our New Year’s Resolutions and to plan how we will go about achieving these goals in 2016.
We believe in ourselves when we make resolutions. No one sets out to fail. We believe we will finally start taking our health seriously, get out of debt, quit smoking, and/or spend more time with family. We invest in gym memberships, new workout gear, and smoking cessation programs. We open new savings accounts that we vow to use each pay period to save for vacations and a 6-month rainy day fund. We hope for the best, earnestly giving it a strong go the first month or so before interest and enthusiasm wanes.
We lose momentum for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s hard work to change. When we’ve been doing things a certain way for months/years, mentally it’s hard to shift gears and go in a different direction, even if it’s for our own good. It’s also tough to go at it alone, without asking someone to hold us accountable to keep our resolutions. But for me, resolutions have always been tough to keep for a third reason: it was hard for me to “see” the results. I’m a visual person and there was no visual reminder of what I said I would do – outside of beating myself up in my own mind, and we all know that we can reprogram our minds to a new station when we try to hold ourselves accountable. Additionally, I not only needed to see my vision, but I needed to set short-term goals to help me reach it. Just telling myself I would do it was simply not enough.
About eight years ago, I began creating an annual “Vision Board” to help motivate and guide me to accomplish my goals. I cut out pictures and words, from magazines mostly, and glued them to my board. If I couldn’t find a particular image or word to fit one of my goals, I’ve been known to type out the word in a Word document, print it and affix it to my board.
It’s that serious for me. I need exact words to align with my vision.
Then I hang the board in a prominent place in my house (usually my bedroom) so that I can see it daily. Next, I make it a point to incorporate some actionable steps I can take towards achieving my vision by placing weekly “to do” items on a list.
Even with this, I still fail to accomplish everything I set out to accomplish. I’ve not always made the mark. However, since I’ve been keeping my vision board, remarkably, my success rate is pretty darn good!
One year when I focused my words and photos on training to run a few races, I completed a marathon.
Another year, when I wanted to start taking steps to grow my family, I received a call that would change my life forever. Not quite a year later, I adopted my son.
This year, I placed a picture of a diamond ring on my board. Apparently my boyfriend saw the same vision as me (smiles) and proposed in March. We were married in November.
I’ve traveled to places that I envisioned a year prior. I put African safari on my vision board in 2014 and in December of last year, me and my (now) husband were on a guided trip in search of the Big 5 at Kruger National Park.
I longed to live near the sea so I envisioned it one year on my board, and later that year, me and my hubby were able to purchase a vacation home.
Creating and sustaining a vision board is a powerful process and I’ve become a true believer.
In 2016, I’m wishing for more time spent with my friends and family, growing this blog, a new home where my family can flourish, and to delve deeper into the Bible and my spirituality. I’m also wishing that you achieve all of your goals and that each of you have a beautiful year overflowing with God’s bounty.
Happy New Year, beauties. Happy New YOU!