“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes”
Charles Swindoll famously wrote the above in his poem, Attitude, and if there was ever a way to sum up the circus show of a year 2020 was from most all angles and perspectives, having the right attitude might be what got us all through it and to the other side.
When I began reflecting on last year and reviewing all of the goals I had wanted to accomplish – there were several that had to get scrapped because, well…the pandemic. As 2021 started and I looked to this new year as an opportunity to start fresh and accomplish the goals I set out to last year but couldn’t, I realized something. Not much has changed from last year to this one. We didn’t turn the corner of 2020 and magically fall into the world as we knew it pre-global crisis. In fact, most everything is still very much…the same.
Upon further journaling and reflecting, I kept being drawn back to the words of Charles Swindoll that my mother had framed for me when I was in middle school. I kept reminding myself that I actually have a lot of control over my goals. Regardless of what’s going on around me, I can still control the way I react, how I push through, and continue to strive to achieve my goals.
20|20 Vision for 2021
Confession: I love a good vision board.
Confession: I used to think they were the corniest, dumbest and most useless things ever.
Until I read that more than 65% of the population are visual learners (some studies even say as much as 80%) and that 76% of small business owners used some form of a vision board to chart their success. Crazy to think of a vision board in these terms, right? I’ve always known that visualization is a powerful tool that we have in our arsenal. Want to climb a mountain? Visualize yourself climbing that mountain and you’re much more likely to be able to make it happen. Our mind is such a powerful tool and we don’t tap into its ability nearly often enough.
Ask any successful business leader, entrepreneur, professional athlete or coach about their success and you’ll find that visualizing their desired success was a part of their winning equation. The company having a record-profit year, landing an investor to advance the efforts of the entrepreneurial startup, shattering records and breaking their own, swimming – becoming the most decorated Olympic medalist of all-time and the coach that got them there are just a few of the examples of how visualization has played such a critical role in the success of those who rise to the top of their fields and professions.
But here’s the thing…you don’t need to be a professional athlete to visualize a better future for yourself. All you have to do is have a willingness to do the work, walk yourself through the practice of putting together your vision board and then hold yourself accountable to the goals you want to accomplish, taking the time to make small steps and progress along the way. While there may be neuroscience to back up the importance of visualizing success, when it gets right down to it, it is a fun process that can help you stay focused and on track with where you want to go.
Word of the Year: Mindset
Every year I choose a word that will define, shape and provide some form of scope for what it is I am working to achieve. Last year that word was, Intentional. This year, my word is Mindset. I chose this word because of its powerful meaning and its ability to, by very definition, change the way in which I approach or view a particular goal. Having the right mindset about life in general is a practice we have to daily partake in as so much of it is repetition and a practice of gratitude that then puts us in the right mindset to start our day and achieve our goals.
Pairing your word of the year with your overall vision, and vision board, helps make them each a catalyst for the other. My goal to approach everything with the right mindset; a productive and positive way of thinking, lends itself to greater harmony when I am bringing together the other aspects of my vision board. Marrying the two: word of the year + vision board, creates a dynamic outcome and a really cool synchronization of concepts that both align to serve a similar purpose. Produce results.
5 Reasons Why a Vision Board Should be on Your List of Things To Do
1.) It’s proven to work. As I stated above – people who engage in visualization and vision board practices accomplish their goals at a higher percentage than those who do not. Simply put – if you don’t have a roadmap to where you’re going – you’re going to get lost.
2.) It focuses you on what’s most important to YOU. The desired goals and dreams you have, the vision for your future and what you want to achieve, is yours and yours alone. Want to travel more because it absolutely fills your cup and renews your soul? Then stick it on your vision board, mama! Want to read more books? Set a reasonable goal and search out topics and books that you want to read, find a cute picture of a stack of books and glue that sucker to your vision board. Whatever is most important yo YOU is what is going to make your ‘why’ mean even more to you when putting all of this together.
3.) It becomes a visual reminder of what you’re working towards. When people are trying to get out of debt or save up for a particular project, they’re advised to keep a visual reminder of the amount they’re working to eradicate or save up for so that they stay committed. The same goes for the vision board you’re creating. The pictures and words you adorn your board with are all meant to do one thing: be the visual reminder of what you made important enough to you that you put it on your board in the first place. For example, on my board is the word: Mindset, because I want to be reminded daily that my mindset will frame my day and the attitude I have for it whether that be positive or negative. I also have the words Paris, Resort and Europe on my board because these three words keep me focused on saving up for a trip to Paris, when it is safe, and that I am working towards making that dream a reality.
4.) It can be great quality time with your family or a group of friends. While my family is social media shy they do humor me when it comes to projects and items like this that I am working on. So, on a weekend night, the first of January, they allowed me to get everything set up and indulged me in my vision board planning explanation and efforts. Our four year old even got in on the action and it made this to-do list loving, aspiring organizational guru and eternal planner heart so full and overjoyed. We discussed our boards with each other and spoke about why we put what we did on our board; what was it that each of us was working to achieve this year and how could we now become a part of that as a support system. If you’re single, grab a group of your friends, have them each bring a few magazines and some additional construction paper if they’re inclined. Find some sturdy pieces of cardboard (which is easily available in our home right after the holidays) some glue sticks, a few pairs of scissors and a charcuterie spread and you’re on your way to making this a very memorable time for all involved.
5.) Looking back on your year in December is an invigorating experience. This is the neatest part of the whole vision board process and experience: knowing that for 365 days – give or take a few depending on when you assemble yours – you were faced with the goals and dreams you aspired to achieve at the onset of the New Year. Even neater? Being able to identify the goals and items on your vision board that you saw through to fruition. It makes the whole thing come together in a way that is, not only productive, but life altering. Sometimes seeing is believing, especially when it comes to the importance of watching your goals turn into reality.
If you’ve never done a vision board I challenge you to consider one, to approach it with an open mind, and to be open to the possibility that it might just become what you need every year to start off on the right path to success.
~ Confessions of a Corporate Mom