In the beginning of the year, many of my clients create vision boards before writing out their long-term and seasonal goals. They then set up some great new habits such as weekly planning, rewriting their goals on a daily basis, and completing morning journaling pages (a technique I borrow from Julia Cameron’s work, which I share with my coaching clients).
I also ask my clients to write their top 5 values, and then we co-create a personal mission statement, setting the stage for a fabulous action plan. In this piece, we’ll look at some ways to work on developing your own mission statement, setting the tone for how you will go about accomplishing your goals in 2017.
To come up with your mission, first think of a time when you were proud of an accomplishment. Then, consider how you would teach that skill to someone who had no idea where to start. This successful process then becomes a map to achieving other goals in your life.
Success leaves clues. By looking at achievements in your past, you create a recipe for success in the future. Remember that the best predictor of future performance is past performance—you’ve already done so much, so be confident that you can continue achieving into the future!
Let’s say I was really proud of how I organized a pre-Marine Ball icebreaker that grew my list of volunteers. I could think about teaching a new military spouse how I did that, what resources I used, and how I was able to build upon a pre-existing event.
I could also use this same technique in my business today. I could figure out what the big military spouse events are and ask the coordinator of an event if I could do a pre-event icebreaker again, even citing my past success as an example. I might even offer to create vision boards with spouses and then let everyone at the event know about my new podcast.
This process will likely work well for me because it’s essentially replicating a process that I am familiar with and that builds upon my strengths. I am more of a live networker than an online networker, so creating opportunities for myself that align with who I am help me to be more authentic.
Really Believe in Your Vision
Ever heard of a vision board (if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then that’s a resounding “YES!”)? Making such visual projections for one’s future is an activity that I do with all my new coaching clients. This project offers a way for me to get to know them and for them to get to know both themselves and what they want to accomplish over the next year.
It’s also fun to make goals visual, allowing people to hopefully unlock some of how it would feel to really be successful, using their definitions of success.
Build your own vision board with these easy steps:
- Buy a big piece of poster board and then go get a bunch of magazines that resonate with you, such as gardening, success, female entrepreneurs, photography, etc.
- Cut out and post up on the board pictures of things that you would like to attract into your life.
Example: I put a tennis racket on my board almost haphazardly and, several weeks later, my children’s tennis teacher asked me if I was interested in playing in an adult beginner’s clinic. Because it was on my radar, I agreed. There is still a little part of me that feels that this is why vision boards work—this bias scanning helps us attract the things we want into our lives.
- By being clear about your dreams, you will begin to attract them toward yourself more naturally.
Example: I drew a Jack and Jill-themed bathroom on one of my vision boards and then, several years later, moved into a new home. There, I found two of the bathrooms that I had “dreamed about” for my children already in place!
Perhaps one of the less common but inspirational examples of how this attraction works comes from my husband.
One day he said that he wanted to get a new job without interviewing. If a client said this to me, I would say, “That’s great! You’re so clear with what you want” but, because this was my husband, I tried to be more realistic. “I’m not sure you can get a new job without interviewing,” I told him skeptically.
Well, as you can imagine, about six months later he came to me and said he had received a new job as a professor. I was so surprised and pleased for him, saying, “Oh my gosh, that’s great! I didn’t even know that you had applied!”
He simply smirked and replied, “I didn’t!”
Apparently, one of his old professors had reached out to him via email and, when he expressed an interest, she just offered him the job. Now, he very much enjoys teaching—and as a result of his experience, I am letting go of some of my skepticism.
While I previously believed in the power of vision boards, I’d only allowed myself to accept what was in my comfort zone. Now I’m reaching for even bigger and brighter stars, and I want you to do the same!
If you haven’t done a vision board, go have fun and make one. And, if you did make one but still have a tiny little bit of doubt, create a new, bigger one. Make sure to include the word “believe” in the middle of your board to remind yourself to believe in the possibility of the unlikely and your potential to fulfill your dreams.
For More Help
I highly encourage you to get your personal mission statement down in writing. You can then put your personal mission statement on an index card and post it on your desk. Then, just allow this statement to be a constant reminder of the lens that you want to produce your work through!
My February teleclass, held at just about the time when the average person gives up on New Year’s Resolutions, will walk you through all of the steps for preparing to face 2017 head on. I will also be doing a podcast on this topic where I walk my co-host Wendy Poling through the process of writing her personal mission statement, available later this month.
For more help, you can also visit www.militaryspousecoach.com/clients and download the values clarification exercises. These are available cost free and will get you started on your path to living the life of your dreams.