I didn’t commit to any resolutions this year. I thought about it - quite a bit, actually - and I realized that resolutions made within the typical new year constraints have never really added value for me over the long term. Most often, they’ve instead added expectations, stress, and personal pressure. The thing is, priorities change constantly - impacted by relationships, work, and other everyday demands - so the often grand gesture of the new year resolution feels, to me, precarious at best.
In lieu of the new year’s resolution, I’ve found a solution that is more flexible, thoughtful, and often beautiful - the vision board - essentially, a statement of desires, dreams and sensibilities expressed as a collage of images and words.
I created my first vision board in December 2014 during a tumultuous time that caused me to begin many aspects of my life anew - or, at least continue them differently than I’d originally imagined.
That original vision board says a lot about transformation, exploration, and moving into something different. It lived in my bedroom for over a year, and I saw it everyday - a reminder of who I am and what I believe my life is all about. And, during that time, I lived the vision - I traveled extensively, even taking my first solo (not for work) trips; I became an ultrarunner, completing 2 marathons & 4 ultramarathons; I committed to joy, and became more open to love and friendships as a result; I spent a lot of time outdoors. On the best days, it affirmed my goals and self perception; during low times, it reminded me of who I want to be and the experiences I am seeking.
Recently, I got the urge to create a new vision board. The vision board of 18 months ago, while beloved, had started to feel like a relic. A great thing about creating a new vision board is that you don’t really need a plan - just:
My vision board of May 2016 feels confident, hopeful and grounded. It also feels more focused - I’ve learned a lot about what I do (and don’t) want in my life, and how I most enjoy spending my time. I also know there’s much more to explore, and feel driven to do so, especially when it means coloring outside the lines of what’s standard or expected. I love coffee and naps in equal measure (some things never change). As soon as it was complete, I knew this vision board was exactly the update that had been begging for expression.
Here are a few tips from Huffington Post on the vision boarding process that seem worth consideration: