How often do we really think about our goals? For me, the answer has always been seldom. Sure, I had a loose idea in my head of what I wanted out of life. I even have a couple of big, lofty dreams - but was I taking steps to reach those goals? Not intentionally.
Intention. That's the key word here. Once I started taking the steps to start my business, I quickly realized that I needed to have specific goals. "To be successful" is too vague. It's assumed that everyone who starts a business wants to be successful. What does success look like for me? To find out, I wrote down answers to these questions:
What do I want my business and personal life to look like in one year?
What makes me truly happy? (These can be little things like chai tea lattes and bigger things like volunteering)
Based on the above answers, what goals do I want to accomplish and why?
Don't worry if you don't have all the answers right away. Take the time to really visualize and be intentional about your goals. You can always add to and take away from the list.
Now it's time to get crafty! The idea to make a vision board came to me from a friend who is an artist, photographer, teacher, entrepreneur and a newlywed. She has accomplished so much by taking intentional steps to reach her goals in all areas of her life. I loved the idea of the vision board because it's like a giant scrapbook page. So I gathered some cute scrapbook paper and got to work creating the background of my board.
I wanted to create a space where I could make short- and long-term goals, so I decided to divide the board into four sections - daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Next, my board was ready for some inspiration! This step was the most difficult, but ultimately the most fun part of the project.
A vision board is meant to inspire you to reach your goals, not just give you a huge to-do list. Before I pinned any of my goals to the board, I first went through magazines and found inspirational quotes and images. I tried to find or draw my own pictures that represented each goal. Putting in the effort to design my board and make it visually appealing already makes me more likely to reach my goals.
The best part about these boards is the flexibility. You didn't quite get one project done this month? No big deal! Just leave it for the next month. Or maybe it only took a couple months to accomplish your big goal for the year. Yay! You can take it down and make space for something new. Nothing is permanent. Life is always rotating. Sometimes the hardest part is finding that balance of holding yourself accountable, but also cutting yourself some slack when you need it. Make sure to add some "just for fun" goals, too! Things like - write a letter to a friend, try a new recipe, or take one bubble bath a week.
The last thing I want to mention is an Action Plan. This is a list of steps to take to actually reach the goals you've set. Every day or week, I like to pick a couple goals and write down an action plan for them. If something is time-sensitive, I can include a specific deadline in my action plan. For example, one of my goals is to save $500 by March 1st. My action plan would include making a budget of projected income for the next month, subtracting my bills, and seeing how much I can save. If it's less than my goal amount, the next step would be ideas for how to make/save some extra $$ - selling clothes on consignment, babysitting, eating ramen for a month, etc. Anything I can do to reach that goal! If I didn't make an action plan, I would probably pay little attention to my bankroll and end up spending too much on the aforementioned chai tea lattes. Goodbye spring vacation!
I'm excited to start this year with intention. I hope this inspires you to set goals and get what you want out of 2017! Once you've created your board, make sure you place it somewhere you will see it everyday. Don't hide from your goals. Let them reach out and inspire you every time you walk by. And never give up on yourself!