Like a lot of people, at the start of this year, I had a long think about the year ahead – what I want to happen and what I want to achieve. As I mentioned in my last post, this year I’ve decided to set myself a small amount of achievable goals that I can control. If the last year has taught me anything, it’s that life is unpredictable! I made so many plans for last year, and for this year for that matter, that couldn’t go ahead because of things completely out of my control. There were lots of things I wanted to do or achieve that I just couldn’t, for obvious reasons. So, this year I made sure that my goals are in my control. They’re not numerical or material but they’re something I can work towards.
I also just want to add – if you haven’t set any goals this year, or your main goal is just to get through the year, that’s great. That’s actually more than great. There’s so much other stuff to think about that sometimes personal goals, no matter how big or small, are just not the most important. And if you are feeling like that, that’s absolutely fine.
When I was setting my goals at the start of the month, I tried to think of a couple of ways I could keep these goals in the forefront of my mind to make sure I was working towards them. I wrote them down in my journal, wrote a blog post, spoke them aloud to my boyfriend. But it still didn’t feel like enough. I felt like I needed a visual reminder. Something to put up in my room for my eye to catch and keep in my peripheral throughout the year. Cue an afternoon of finding images, printing them out, positioning and repositioning over and over again until eventually, a lot Pritt Stick and colouring later, my vision board was ready!
I did a quick Google of ways to keep track of your goals and a vision board came up a lot. It seems like a really popular choice! I’ve recently been looking into manifesting your life and although I’ve still got a lot of reading to do, I’ve learnt that visualising what you want can be really powerful. Actually seeing something in front of you makes it more real, as does actively finding things or images to represent the things you want, touching them, looking at them, organising them and then sticking them down. It feels real.
So, I thought I’d put together a little how-to! I really enjoyed making my vision board – it was a great way to kill an afternoon when you can’t go out! – and it felt very therapeutic. It didn’t take too long and even if you make one and don’t look at it again (which really isn’t the point but bear with me…) you’ve still spent the time thinking about what you really want and put those thoughts out into the universe anyway!
One of the main things you need to do before you start to make your vision board is to really think about what you want. The way I went about this was to first think about what I didn’t like about last year and would want to change for this year. Obviously Covid was one, and wanting to travel more was another, but like I said, I’m focusing on things I can control, and I definitely can’t control those things! I decided to focus more on feelings, and they’re something I can work towards controlling. One of the main things for me was negative thoughts, things and people. I spent a lot of last year complaining, or comparing, surrounded by negative things. I don’t want that this year. It’s exhausting. And it does absolutely no good for anyone. So, my biggest goal of the year is to do the opposite of that and focus on positivity. Positive thoughts, things and people.
I also thought about what I liked about last year and how I could get more of that. I loved learning. Reading about feminism, enlightening myself on matters that don’t directly concern me, but are important nonetheless. I loved reading and I adored writing. So, I decided that I could learn, read and write more. So they went on the vision board. Thinking about what you want more of and working towards that is something you can control, and something that will make you happy.
I tried so hard to avoid material things or numerical goals as I feel like they just set me up for failure. I’d love to have tickets to a Harry Styles concert or thousands of blog views, but I know that’s not really in my control. I also really really want to buy my own house this year but I know that so much of that is out of my control and anything could throw a spanner in the works. So, I’ve put ‘house’ on my vision board (and a picture of Harry Styles, lol), but I’ve included images that represent anything that gets the ball rolling – buying towels, a cheese grater or a plant pot, or even just speaking to someone who knows more than me about mortgages (probably everyone). It’s something to work towards that goal but it’s achievable and I don’t have an overwhelming fear of failing at them.
Once all the thinking is over, you need to get into the creating! For me, Pinterest was the place to go. I wanted to find images that represented what I want and sparked joy and inspiration when I looked at them. I wasn’t too bothered about a colour theme but that’s something you can consider if you want to! I would say don’t limit yourself! Get as many images as you want and save them. Anything that makes you feel happy and motivated. Once you’ve collated them all, you can go back through and whittle them down if you want, to make it even move focused, or just use them all and make a giant vision board!
Once I had the images ready, I then thought about how I wanted to present them. I prefer having a physical thing to hold so I used a sheet of card and printed out my pictures, but if you don’t have the supplies or just don’t want to physically create a vision board, you can make a virtual one. I would use Canva, or something similar. You could even set your creation as your computer background when you’re done so you see it all the time! I chose the old-fashioned printer, paper and Pritt Stick, stick up on your bedroom wall route.
After I’d decided how I wanted to make and consume my vision board, I got on to actually putting it together. Arrange your images on your paper or screen however looks best to you. Think about colours if that’s what you like, or themes, or flow. I categorised mine a bit, making my main goal (positivity) the biggest and most prominent (top left corner as I read from left to right) and group things like reading and writing together as they’re things I want to do more of. I put the more material things – house – at the bottom, more tucked away, as I don’t want it to be my main focus. The placement was really important to me, and it’s really helped what I look at first when I look at my board. When you’ve played around, found what looks best to you and you’re happy with you layout, stick it all down, or save it if you’re doing it on a computer.
Perhaps one of the most important step is to decide where you’re going to put it. If you made one for a screen, perhaps your laptop background or phone background is best as that’s where you’re most likely to see it most often. I contemplated a few different options. I wanted it in a place I would look regularly, but not right in my face – there’s nothing worse than having a down day and all the things you’re perhaps not achieving right not being thrust into your eye line. I decided to put mine in the inside door of my wardrobe. I open it every day and so my vision board is there for me to see, even if only for a brief period, each day. I’m reminded of my goals and see my inspiration, but it’s not overwhelming.
And there you have it, a vision board full of your goals, inspiration and motivation for the year!
What are your goals for this year?