Tag Archives: goals

How to Create a Vision Board: Just Picture It!

framing hands

I was recently re-inspired to tap into a practice that I’ve been a fan of for quite some time: making a vision board. This self-made collage of personalized photos, quotes, and plans is nothing new. Many people use them to energize their dreams and reach their goals. Here’s a reproduction of an article on vision boards by my good friend, Rita Emmett.  Be inspired and picture yourself Getting Good at Life!

Message from Rita Emmett (Used by Permission)
A friend recently told me that his goal has been to get a car better than his old beat-up clunker that needs new brakes. Last week, his brother gave him a car FOR FREE. It is one year newer than the clunker, has working brakes, but looks like a rust-bucket.
Instead of feeling happy, my friend is cranky. I asked him what kind of car was his goal? He said, “Anything but this one.”

When your goal is “anything” that’s what you get.

In two books I’m reading, they both touched on that exact same subject on the same day. (What?? You read only ONE book at a time?? Isn’t that boring? Wait-a-minute — hmmmm, maybe I DO have an attention problem) Anyway, they both wrote how important it is to be specific in our goals. What kind of car? What kind of new job & where? What are the qualities you want in a friend, spouse, new organization or place of worship? Give details.

Then, to truly crystallize that goal, both books suggested vision boards or scrap books with pictures showing that specific thing or lifestyle you want. Mike Dooley writes: “The power of a scrapbook lies in the fact that it’s filled with images of the END RESULTS you wish to possess or experience, completely side-stepping the HOWS.” Then you do something to work towards those end results.

You have to know that “side-stepping the HOWS” is not easy for me — the author of “how-to books” even though I’ve been working at it for years. However, the vision board helps me do that. On mine, I put a world map (love to travel) then lots of pictures and quotes such as Napoleon Hill’s “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

About two years ago, I read a fabulous story about the pyramids and have always wanted to see them and so I put up a pyramid picture. And deliberately told myself to stop dwelling on HOW I would get there. Then I continued giving talks and writing.  Exactly one year ago, Bruce and I cruised the Mediterranean for FREE because I was speaking on a cruise ship. They offered us this dream-come-true cruise without us even asking for it. Our trip included Spain, Italy, Greece and….(you guessed it) Egypt.. (For the gazillion of you who also want to do this, you will find tons of help to speak on cruise ships at http://www.speakerscruisefree.com/now )

When you make a vision board or “goal scrap book”, you don’t give “orders” of how it should come about, you don’t have to figure out the “how”. You find pictures and quotes that simply focus on the end result.
Not — “a car”, but the exact color, make & model you want. Not “a better job” but a picture of where you want to be and what you want to be doing.
Not — “make a certain person love or be kind” to you, instead focus on how you want to be and feel (peaceful? cherished? secure? happy? desirable?) and find a photo that looks like a picture you want to be in.

For a vision board, you need either poster board or something large (Mine is on the back of my office door). For a scrapbook, you can use a spiral notebook. Include photos, quotes, whatever has meaning. It sounds simplistic or childish, but it forces you to be specific in your goals, and then helps you visualize the end result — that is, YOU achieving those goals.
AND you might even have fun putting it together. With all those advantages, why would you not try it? Today? Yes!

Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018

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Can You Take It?

232362142_7d751664781Several years ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table chatting with one of my friends when she suddenly looked up at her 12-foot vaulted ceiling and exclaimed, “I can’t take it anymore!”  

I squeezed my eyes together and looked toward the ceiling to see what she was talking about.

“Take what?”  

“Take that,” pointing to the silk plants positioned on a lateral trellis below the ceiling. “Dust! Dust on the plants.  I can’t take it anymore.”  She got her ladder, climbed to the top and started handing me plants that needed to be cleaned.  

Later, I reflected on my friend’s awareness of the dust, the agitation that she felt, and her determination to do something about it.  I thought to myself, “Now that’s my problem.  I CAN take it.”  Unlike my friend, I have a lot of tolerance for dust on a 12-foot ceiling.  My discomfort threshold for dust is higher than hers; therefore, I don’t act on dusty objects until the situation becomes worse.

Isn’t that what often happens in our lives?  Situations deteriorate and the subsequent pain increases before we are motivated to action.  Pain and discomfort are powerful change agents.  We are driven to respond by our need to relieve our pain and rid ourselves of discomfort.  The problem is that if your discomfort threshold is high, then it may take you longer to act, get up, or do something about your situation.  

I talk to people all the time who want a better life.  They sincerely desire a better relationship with their spouse or children.  They want real financial stability, a healthy body, college education, or achievement of a dream. However, they lack the motivation to change and struggle to do anything about their circumstances.  In many cases, their struggle is directly linked to their high threshold for discomfort.  They have adapted to the anxiety of living pay check-to-pay check, to the pain of remaining in an abusive relationship, or to the discomfort of carrying a few extra pounds.  They have built a tolerance for things they don’t like and can “take” the situation they are in.  


If you struggle to get motivated, then one of the things you need to do is reset your pain threshold.  You need to get in touch with the painful feeling of remaining the same.  A strategy to help stir up agitation is to write down your life story and then project forward to the end.  If you don’t take action, what will your life be like in ten, fifteen, or twenty years?  How much will you grow in the next five years if you remain employed in the same organization? How will your current spending habits affect you when you reach retirement?  What will be the long-term impact on your self-esteem and that of your children, if you remain in an unhealthy relationship?  Write down your story and imagine what life will be like if you continue the path you are on.  


Write a second story.  This time, envision what your life can become, if you act now.  When will you reach your goals if you work on them now?  How will your family eulogize you if you take time to restore and develop your relationships now?  What opportunities will be available to you if you start on your educational pursuits now?  Where will your dreams lead you if you begin to realize them now?       

If you want to change, then you’ve gotta feel the need for it.  So, stir up the pain!  Stir up the discomfort! Lower your threshold till you just can’t take it anymore! 


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Break the Habit!

Have you ever begun the day with plans to eat healthy and drink eight glasses of water, but ended up devouring a cheesy, gooey, carb-loaded meal by lunch time with a dessert and a coke for your afternoon snack? When you got home for dinner and found your favorite treats nestled in your refrigerator, did you bypass them–insisting on getting back on track, or did you “blow off” the diet plan believing it’s too late to salvage your calorie count?  

How about the times you’ve started the year journaling your goals, but by November you realized you’ve forgotten where you placed it and what was on your list?  Did you search for the journal diligently so that you could pick up where you left off, or did you say, “forget it.  I’ll buy a new one and begin again in January!”    

Do you tend to blow off time and activities if you don’t begin or complete something as planned?  Then you need to break the “blow off” habit! 

Many of us are acutely aware of time we have already wasted.  However, we are not as sensitive to the time that can still be salvaged.  We are derailed by the need for perfection or are deceived by the belief that the “little” we can accomplish will not lead to much.  But it is the habit of blowing off rather than redeeming the time that is most harmful.  Blowing off time delays our start, slows down our momentum, and prolongs achievement of our goals.  A much better habit is to just start–restart–get going–get moving.   

Learn to capture the remainder of your day, week, month, or year and get the most out of the time that’s left. Begin by refocusing on what you want to accomplish, rewriting your goals and objectives and reactivating your plan.  Start right now and break the “blow off” habit!



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