2020 is here and we are already halfway through January, how did that happen?! The new year is a common time to reflect and set goals, and with the start of a new decade, the new year craze is bigger than ever! I feel like society is pretty split on New Year’s resolutions – those who set them and those who mock them. I have always been a goal setter, so I personally love them. In my opinion, even if you don’t accomplish all or even any of your New Years resolutions, your desire and attempt to become a better you is better than you doing nothing. Even if you accomplish 1 of the 5 goals you set, that’s a win. Being a highly visual person, I am a big fan of vision boards and made sure to make a new one to celebrate the new decade. Traditionally, I have made vision boards that are a little broader in terms of timeline, but I decided this time to focus more on things that I want to accomplish in 2020. Because as much as I would love a cabin on a lake or the most beautiful backyard wedding, these are not things that I foresee happening in the immediate future and don’t really have any way to actively work on those goals at this time.
If you’ve never made a vision board, I highly recommend it. People who document their goals are far more likely to achieve them. Plus, having something pretty to look at doesn’t hurt! If you are new to the vision board game, here are my five tips to making a great vision board.
- Utilize technology to get specific. When I first started making vision boards, I was so stuck on the idea of grabbing a bunch of magazines, flipping through them and gluing together this esthetic collage on a poster board to hang on my wall. But realistically, the chances of me finding an image in Shape Magazine that properly represents my personal health goals are rare. I feel like you end up making goals based on the images you find. Use Mr. Google to find images that really encapsulate your dreams and goals, strike a chord with you, and remind you of that desire to make that specific dream come true. Then, you can either print these images out and glue them on a board, or take the route I did and put together a collage on the computer. I personally made mine in Photoshop, but it could have easily been created on PowerPoint or Publisher if you are not familiar with Adobe. I made my dream board as a 18x24 poster that I got printed at OfficeMax for less than $15, but you can print off an 11x17 at FedEx for less than $2.00. The bigger the board, the better in my opinion though! Plus, investing a little more in the actual board makes me a little more invested in the actual goals.
- Hang your vision board somewhere where you will see it daily. I used to be so embarrassed by my vision board so I would hang it in my closet behind my clothes so no one would be able to see it. But then I didn’t see it and wasn’t continuously reminded of what I wanted to achieve! My dream board is currently on the wall directly in front of my bed and because of this, multiple times a week when I am lying in bed, I look it over and think about what I am doing to achieve each item. And if someone sees it on the wall, who cares! Anyone who would be in my home is close enough to me that I can be vulnerable and show them the things I desire, and if they make fun of it, maybe I need to relook at that relationship anyway. If you aren’t ready to hang it loud and proud in your home, at least put it somewhere that is easily accessible, like the back of your closet door or the linen closet. You can also take a photo and make it your phone wallpaper!
- Set a variety of goals in different areas of your life. Before I started my physical board, I wrote down eight areas of life that I wanted to set goals. Examples of these are Finances, Career, Experiences, Relationships, Parenting, Health, Spiritual, Personal Development, etc. Breaking it down in this way made me set goals in areas I wouldn’t necessarily think of without breaking it down. I think it is also important to note that not all items on your dream board need to be quantifiable. Some items on my dream board are very “do this, cross that off”, but more of them are more mindful goals that I want to be continuously work on.
- Keep it simple. To go in the complete opposite direction of my last point, don’t go too crazy on the goal setting. I originally had 8 sections for goal setting, but once I had it all designed out, I got overwhelmed will all the I wanted to work on and nixed a good handful of things I had added so that I could better focus on those things that were really important to me. Maybe your dream board only has four pictures, or one! Work to find a good middle ground between setting attainable goals, but also reaching for the stars a bit and adding a few goals that make you a little uncomfortable.
- Understand your dream board is not a contract. Dreams change and plans change. Don’t beat yourself up if at the end of the year you haven’t crossed everything off your board. Sometimes I look back at my vision boards and giggle at some of the things I thought I wanted and never achieved. The fear of failure keeps far too many people from dreaming, crossing one thing off the list is a great accomplishment and is better than not doing anything at all.
Want a little more inspiration? Here’s a breakdown of my 2020 vision board, feel free to draw inspiration! This is also partly for me to look back on in a year and see where I’m at! I will break it down by section because I am a very type A person and my vision board has sections…
A) Save for Retirement. I want to cap my Roth IRA for both 2019 and 2020. Fun Fact, you can fund your Roth IRA to the yearly cap until April 15th of the following year. Another fun fact, I have contributed zero dollars for 2019 and 2020 so far.
B) Give Generously. This past year, one question that has continuously been on my mind is “what do you want to be known for?” Like if I were to die tomorrow, what would I want people to say about me at my funeral that was actually accurate. And the one word that has continuously been the top answer is generous. So I want to continue this desire into 2020 and be generous to those organizations that hold a special place in my heart, but also on an everyday level, which is honestly my favorite. Surprising someone with a gift, randomly paying for a strangers lunch, etc. – those are the things that really fill my cup.
C) Save an Emergency Fund. I follow Dave Ramsey’s general principals for finances, but last year when I purchased our house, I dug into my emergency fund savings to make it a home. Which I honestly don’t regret because I LOVE my house and having it look exactly as I envisioned has been great for my mental health. But I do want to get that savings back up to 6-months of expenses saved because I feel so much more secure when that is in place, especially being a single mom and small business owner. This is the most immediate quantifiable goal on my entire vision board.
D) Cash Flow a Hot Tub. I just really want a hot tub. That’s all.
A) Be Content in my Career. This picture represents a feeling more than anything. I am honestly not sure where this year is going to take me career wise, but that’s been my mentality for the past four years of being an entrepreneur. I never assume that I am set and I’m always unsure if this is what I’m going to be doing in six months, because nothing is guaranteed. So this photo just represents being confident and happy in whatever I am doing.
B) Explore Product Design. One thing that I always thought would be so cool to get into is product design. So that’s what this picture represents. But again, don’t really have any solid plans one way or another – just going to keep doing what makes me happy until it doesn’t!
C) Start Modeling. I want to be a model. There, I said it! After modeling for Curvig for the past two years, I really do find it a lot of fun and have always thought it would be cool to model for larger brands. So I am hoping 2020 is the year I can finally put myself out there and make that dream come true.
A) Whale Watching. This has been #1 on my experience list for years! I went to San Francisco in 2018 and signed up for a whale watching tour so I could finally cross this off my list, but the tour got cancelled the day of and I didn’t have time to reschedule before leaving. I was devastated! My friend and I are going to Taylor Swift’s Loverfest East in Massachusetts in July, so we are going to hit up a tour while we are there. But if for some reason that doesn’t happen, I will plan another trip because THIS WILL GET DONE in 2020.
B) Skydiving! I used to really want to go skydiving when I was young and free, I even went to a skydiving place but we were unable to jump due to weather conditions. However, once I had Alivia I didn’t want to do it anymore because I was all “I don’t want to die!” but I’m ready to stare fear in the face and cross this off this summer.
C) Pontoon Day with Friends. A few summers ago, I rented a pontoon on Lake Minnetonka for a group of friends and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Everyone had a blast and I would love to do it again this summer. This falls into both experience and finance because I want to foot the bill again – my friends are amazing and I want to treat them to a fun day!
D) Go on a Cruise. I want to cruise, I may even NEED to cruise! Going on a cruise is my vacation of choice because I have a short attention span when it comes to relaxing, so moving to a new place every time we hit land it perfect for me. I haven’t been on a cruise since 2018, so I really want to get one on the books in 2020! However, this is the lowest priority in terms of the money and saving I want to do, so she may have to wait until 2021.
A) Be an Intentional Friend. Not that I necessarily think I am a bad friend, but I do think as you get older, it’s easy for friendships to turn really surface level. To meet up every few months and catch up on what is new. But I want to make an effort to love my core group of friends harder than ever. Be really invested in their lives and making an effort to check in with them at least weekly to see what is new and if there is any way I can support them. I actually made a commitment to start doing this at the end of 2019 and I have felt more fulfilled in the friendship category already!
B) Stand Tall. I wasn’t really sure how to find a picture that 100% represented what I was going for, but this year I want to continue to work on being confident with who I am and not bending that. I dated someone last year that in retrospect looking back at the relationship, I started to make myself into someone who wasn’t 100% authentic to me because I wanted him to like me. I found myself thinking things like “maybe having xyz isn’t actually a dealbreaker like a I thought…” which was totally unfair to myself. I also feel like there have been instances where I disagree with someone and instead of stating my thoughts and respectfully disagreeing, I just smile and nod. Or someone says something that erks me and instead of saying something I just secretly hold it against them. So I want to work on the idea of “this is who I am, take it or leave it”.
C) Trust God’s Timing. This picture is 100% related to finding a man. I spent the majority of 2019 frantic to find a boyfriend, it was the last thing on my life “to-do list” and I was determined to find the man of my dreams even if it meant bending who I was. But I am learning that at the end of the day, it’s not up to me and everything will happen just as it should. So while I am continuing to date and meet new people, I want to continue to find comfort that God’s timing is perfect and not stress out about being single so much.
A) Faith Over Fear. This is to remind me that even though I have all of these plans and goals, the ultimate plan is to trust God and whatever he has planned. As they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. So I want to be open to any and all new opportunities that come my way, even if it’s not on this board.
B) Go Where God Sends Me. I am a small group leader through my church, so this picture specifically represents that. I want to give it my all and really make connections that hopefully lead into lifelong friendships, as well as be a resource for those people in my group. Leading a small group is something I never really felt qualified for, but one day God put it on my heart and next thing I know, I’m a small group leader!
C) Serve God. I am also on the volunteer team at church, so this photo represents that. I want to continue to serve and become more connected with the other members of my church and see what God has in store for that!
D) Read the entire Bible. In the past, I have been familiar with things in the Bible on a basic level, but more from what I have learned at church or from peers, not on a “oh the Bible says this so that’s why I believe that”. I want to read the whole thing so that I can interpret His word first hand and be able to know my thoughts on religion are not biased by other’s interpretations. I am using the YouVersion Bible app and following The Bible Project’s The Bible in a Year reading plan and have been really enjoying it thus far! I was surprised at how little time I have to commit each day to finish in a year and have been reading ahead of plan easily.
A) Rediscover my hobbies. I was listening to a podcast recently and they were talking about how everyone introduces themselves and then immediately identifies themselves with their job, which in many cases is just a job and does not tell you anything about them as a person. And it is so true! As much as I love Curvig and what I get to do for a living, I want to be defined by other things I love, so I want to rediscover some hobbies this year. It may or may not be piano, I have yet to discover – she’s just a placeholder!
B) Start a Passion Project. A few years ago, I started a project called The Minnesota Kindness Project that encouraged Minnesotans to start kindness waves by doing random acts of kindness. This project was who I am to the core, so I either want to get this project started again or start another passion project with a similar idea of doing good.
C) Continue Body Confidence. I chose this picture to represent my body confidence journey because when this photo taken, I was so happy on content being in the journey, which I think is really hard to do. I was eating well, exercising regularly, and feeling really confident about my body, but I wasn’t at my “goal weight” and I was okay with that. I am the type of person who is always trying to be a better me, but I also want to take time and enjoy where I am at!
D) Read more books. I suck at reading, but it is such a great way to broaden your knowledge and has always been something I wish I did. My goal is to read 24 books this year, 2 books a month. I am a self-development junkie, so a majority, if not all, will be in that genre. I plan to do a blog reviewing the books I’ve read once I am farther into the year! And by read, I mean listen to on audible – that is how a majority of the books I read this year will be consumed.
Last but not least, my 2020 “mantra” is Be The Light. This is something I pondered A LOT, because I really wanted it to mean something. I prayed a lot about it and one day I thought to myself “I just want to be the light in someone’s dark tunnel”. My “why” in life has always been to spread positivity in this often-dark work. I have these cards with bible versus on them and I will randomly pick one each day and they always seem to tell me when I need to hear. The following day after thinking this, I pulled Matthew 5:14 – “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that can not be hidden” and I knew that wasn’t an accident.
If you made it this far, high-five to you! Thanks for reading and happy dreaming!