Create A Goal+Dream Board
As we round out the end of the year with eggnog, crazy family and all things covered in glitter, I'd like to encourage you to take some time out to inspire yourself and get excited for the New Year. Get excited for all the glitter you will find until sometime in June.
Instead of setting New Year's Resolutions that leave us uninspired and feeling not quite good enough, lets set some dreams, some goals and get excited to make a change this next year. Why set goals? Studies have shown that committing goals to paper and reviewing them regularly gives you a 95% higher chance of achieving your desired outcomes, and that only three to five percent of people in the world have written goals – the same three to five percent who have achieve success in business and earn considerable wealth.
And why create a visual board instead of just making a list or writing it out? Our subconscious speaks in images and responds more effectively to images that we view regularly with positive emotions. You are more likely to remember and stay focused on goals that you have imagined, and envisioned with great detail.
I'm creating a Goal Board instead of a Vision Board or Dream Board that you have probably heard of or created before. The difference is the level of believability and a timeline (next year). I want this to be something that stretches and excites but doesn't feel out of touch with reality. I’m probably not going to meet Oprah next year or own a castle so I will tone it down a bit. I want to dream big of course, but I have to believe in it too. Also, I want to be able to set some actions in place with my goals and vision. I don't really know what the first step to owning a castle would be, maybe clipping coupons?
A Goal + Dream Board should be exciting, stretching, a little pie in the sky, but with a clear path showing the way. The real power behind the goal writing in these studies is in the action plan. Dream it. Act on it. Just like in art the power is in the doing.
So lets get started:
- Gather Supplies and Images
Flip through old magazines to find images of something you want, represent a feeling or something you want to do. (I went to the local library for free old magazines but try used book stores or goodwill stores.) The magazine method is great as random things will come to you without you having to come up goals before hand. The images should inspire something you may have forgotten you wanted or reminds you of the feeling achieving the goal would bring more than the actual physical object or goal itself.
If you don’t want to go out hunting for magazines use pinterest or internet images and print them out - makes it easier to search for images by theme. Pull from your pinterest boards you already have.
For supplies I used a 11x17 bristol board paper, glue stick, scissors, and colored pencils. But add in all kinds of other supplies that inspire you or you want to play around with around the images.
- Trim and Group
After you clean up the edges to your liking you can start putting them in piles that feel right to you. I ended up putting them in piles for work goals, creative goals, personal or body, and things or places. Works out to be 3 basic categories of Do + Be + Have.
- Lay them all out to arrange and identify
As I went through my images I identified what the feeling or thing was that each represented for me and made a list under Be + Do + Have. There is plenty of crossover. (My garden picture was under all three, Do = gardening, Be = healthy eater, Have = a fresh garden and flowers.) Again, this is just to help in simplifying the goals and taking our vision board from dreaming to action.
- Glue that stuff down
After you have found an arrangement that feels right or just works go ahead and glue them down. If new ideas about what the image means to you pop up while working jot them down on your list
Paint, draw, write, doodle, glitter or do whatever you want to add to it and make it a fun process for you. I didn’t do that much to mine yet, but I intend to later.
- Define the Intentions behind the images
After all the images are chosen and laid out determine the categories that really matter this year. They can be different for everyone and change each time you view your Goal Board, so be determined in what you want but flexible in what they mean.
I used these categories and wrote one sentence intention for each one.
Creative goals for art/expression:
Actions/habits for the better:
Be and feel:
Work or Business Goals:
Write your intentions as statements that are set in the present, are statements about who you are, not I wish, I want, or I hope to… You want them to be affirmation statements, present tense and positive not things you don't want. So they might start with I am or I have.
A sample intention-setting sentence was, “I am actively creating the things that come to me without delay or fear.”
- Write the specific Goals and identify 1-3 steps or actions
Reviewing your list of intentions come up with no more than 5 goals. Do less if you start feeling overwhelmed by it all. Pick one that is most important and focus there. Determine what the overall outcome you want is for each category. For example, under Actions and Habits the goal was “Healthy weight and self acceptance”
Then determine 1-3 small actions you can take toward that goal. For my example above my actions were A. Yoga/meditation B. Eat healthier C. Start a garden
- Review and determine blocks or resistance
I made my lists of goals, my action steps and then thought “Crap, this is too intense and hard. I can’t do all this, I barely get myself showered and dressed each day. This will never happen.” I know to catch these critical negative thoughts and do something about them before they carry me away and undo all the work I just did. Here is how to put a stop to it and switch your brain…
Self-coach your way through these thoughts while you view your Goal Board.
Ask yourself these questions and journal the response like you are talking to a life coach or good friend. Be honest and dig deep to find where you are blocking yourself.
How do you feel about your goals + dreams?
What feels impossible? Why?
How can you make it different this year?
What is a small step you can take to make it different?
What feels doable or gets you excited to try?
After each response to the question become your coach and friend and give yourself some advice. Here is an example of what I wrote.
How do you feel about your goals + dreams?
Answer: I want to believe it can happen but my brain keeps thinking its all just dreaming and too outside my real life. I don’t have the time or motivation to make it happen and I don’t have that level of believability I wish I had.
Advice: Focus only on the positive feelings and play pretend or imagine the feeling of it coming true. Practice the imagining or visualizing until it feels more believable. Use the pictures as a way to jump from this current life into that other life, but put in your face, your body, or your bank account. The images are there to help you imagine.
Let some things be a dream for now and see how they evolve. Take one small step or action toward only one of the goals and let the rest go. Take notice of the progress you make over time with just small actions and let that be what motivates you to do more or take on another goal. It doesn’t all have to be done at once.
This is a lot to do in one day so break it up and do as much as feels good. This is meant to be a fun exercise and not overwhelming. The list is long but really the steps go quick. They are just mental decisions you are making.
I’d recommend revisiting your Goal Board weekly or monthly and doodle around it, decorate it more, add to it. Focus on what comes up for you in thoughts or emotions while you are viewing it. Do more negative thoughts and beliefs come up? Time to work through them. We want to get to a place of positive emotions and excitement when we view this Goal Board so keep working with it until you feel inspired by the images.
I hope that you have fun with this and it inspires you into action for the upcoming months.