Happy New Year everyone! We’ve finally made it, 2021 is here and we can put 2020 behind us. It was a rough year, with beautiful and powerful and necessary moments sprinkled in. We’re probably all more relieved than ever to welcome in a new year, if only for a metaphorical new beginning and a chance to take a deep breath and start the hell over. If you’re in need of a fresh, creative, and effective way to set new goals, vision boards are the perfect choice to keep yourself inspired every day of the year and may even become a new tradition for you!
I sat down to make my vision board the night before New Years Eve. I began by lighting a candle, relaxing, and journaling about the end of the year and what my goals for my board would be, but then I decided that I didn’t want to put that pressure on myself; because that’s one of many ways we run out of motivation for our new years goals by the end of January. Not only do we forget about them or get distracted; we push ourselves too far, too fast; we feel as though we’re running out of time to meet those goals, instead of reminding ourselves of the dreams we’ve envisioned, and taking the necessary daily steps to reach them, even if it’s not in a year. So I made a vision board with my biggest dreams included, and goals that will help me get to where I want to be in the future, not limited to 2021.
If you haven’t heard of them, vision or “dream” boards are a more creative and effective method to setting goals when compared to just writing them down. You can purchase a piece of poster board or just use a large piece of paper or cardboard at home, and the usual method is to print or cut pictures out of magazines that inspire you and remind you of your goals to decorate your board. By hanging this somewhere you’ll see everyday, you’ve created a thoughtful, beautiful reminder for yourself of what you’re capable of achieving and the things you’re working towards.
So whether you’re wanting to set your goals for 2021 or create a broader picture, I highly suggest you grab some scissors, some magazines or photos that inspire you, some glue or tape, and a “board” to layout your dreams on. That’s all you need! This can be done absolutely anytime, but what better time than this first week of January?
I find it helpful to journal about your vision for the new year or what you want your vision board to include; you can also just jot down some notes instead. I set up a calming space to do this in peace and quiet with some gentle music, so you can make this little ritual whatever you want it to be! Have fun. Creating a more memorable experience when setting these goals can help you feel more motivated to reach them in the long run.
(I found this cute little golden framed poster board at King Soopers for less than $2!)
After you have your goals organized and in mind, begin designing your board! It can be plain and simple or decked out and colorful. Whatever will make you feel inspired each time you look at it. The only important thing is it comes from a honest place within yourself. It’s all about intention and determination. I thought I’d be a little vulnerable here and share my board with you guys for inspiration. I got a little cheesy and wrote “Dream Big!” at the top; just to remind myself that those larger goals that might take some time are not out of reach. Having your goals written down can give you an idea for what kind of pictures to put on your board if you’re doing so. My journal said things like, “I want to travel the world as much as possible” and “I want to do more yoga and grow my practice“, so I instantly reached for my yoga and travel magazines to see what I could find. All I did was flip through and look for anything that really caught my eye, stood out, or just felt right. I cut out pictures of herbs to represent my desire to learn more about holistic health, and a pretty drawing of a buffalo to remind me to be creative and trust my instincts. You could always draw pictures, use photos you already have, or print things out. I even glued a dollar bill to my board to remind me to “save money and become financially stable.” (lol)
You don’t have to write your goals onto your board, but I find it better to have them written there so that I can read them aloud or use them to stay focused in moments of doubt. Some people really like to just usual visual elements on their boards! Important tips to remember: When you write your goals or dreams on your board, write “I WILL” instead of “I want.” You WILL see these things through to your best ability and it all starts with believing in yourself. And instead of writing “I will exercise this year,” give yourself a step to take towards achieving it, such as: “I will exercise this year by attending yoga class and jogging more often.”
After you finish your board, you could meditate on your goals and affirm them in your mind. Hang it somewhere you’ll see it in the morning or before bed at night, and take it as gentle reminder every day of what life will be if you put in the work to make your dreams a reality! It’s all within you!
I know this is a simple and popular idea, but I thought it was an important intention setting practice worth sharing. After the historic, whirlwind, life changing year of 2020, we all deserve a moment to reset, relax, and remember what we’re aiming for moving forward. Setting goals can be overwhelming or induce anxiety for some, and it’s always important to remember that whether you achieve a goal in a year, five years, or even if you never quite get there, it makes you no less worthy of a joyful and beautiful life. To quote a new friend who I’m very grateful for this year, what’s important is that “we keep playing the game, collecting the coins, and reaching the next level.”