2016 was a hard year for me. Going from one to two kids wasn’t easy. Neither of our kids were sleeping well, our first born was challenging us to the point of tears, and as a breastfeeding mom, I felt like my hormones were all over the place. Honestly, I felt like most of the year my head was barely above water. I had a lot of anxiety. As a result, I lost sight of things that were important to me. I’m ok with that since in that moment I needed to prioritize my kids and my mental well being. I had to be ok with not being able to “do it all.” Truthfully I didn’t even want to do it all. I was exhausted.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but things seems to be getting a little bit easier. Dare I say both kids are sleeping better? We are learning to parent a spirited three-year old. And our one-year old is pretty easy going. I find myself having free time in the evenings again. Time to sit on the couch and catch up on TV shows. But you see, lately I’ve been having an internal struggle. I have a desire to do more. To have a purpose outside of my family. I attribute this to coming out of the fog and feeling like myself again.
Then reality sets in and I realize my plate is full. Shouldn’t I just focus on these precious early years with my kids? No one is pressuring me to do more. There’s no right answer. I know this is likely something every mom struggles with. What I do know is that it’s easy to lose focus of your intentions outside of motherhood. So this year I’m making a vision board in an attempt to visualize my intentions.
I love that the new year brings a fresh clean slate. It’s a great time of year to evaluate your goals, plan for the year and dream. In past years, I’ve written down my goals in my planner. There is nothing wrong with that, but since I’m a visual person, this year I made a vision board. If you’re unfamiliar, a vision board is simply a visual representation of your goals. It is a collection of things that motivate, inspire and empower you. Why create a vision board? Well, research shows that visualizing your goals is powerful. Critics will argue that a vision board is not enough. Dreaming about your ideal life isn’t going to accomplish anything. Really we should think about our vision board as an action plan.
There really aren’t any rules to creating a vision board. Do what you want and what makes you feel good. It is your board and your goals. If you need help getting started, here are some steps to follow. You can also search Pinterest and Instagram for more inspiration.
Creating a Vision Board
1. Gather your materials. You will need to start with a board. This can be as simple as a poster board, or you can use a cork board, pin board, or even a notebook. I found an inexpensive square chalkboard at Target. You will also need glue, tape, push pins, markers and anything else you want to add to your board. (Target’s dollar spot has tons of craft materials right now.)
You can also make a virtual vision board on Pinterest. I find that isn’t enough for me personally. I like making a physical product because I find that is more helpful. I also don’t look at Pinterest every day. I am putting my vision board right on my home desk so that I can see it daily.
2. Things to add to your vision board (cut out pictures, magazine photos, quotes, scenery, written words and goals). Add things to your board that define the action you will take to achieve your goals for the year. For example:
- Set your goal and think about your WHY.
- Get into a consistent exercise routine so that I have the energy to play with my kids.
- Define your ACTION plan.
- Run for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
- Strength train to build muscle.
- VISUALIZE it.
- A picture of my kids to remind me of my why.
- A picture of a couple running.
- The word “stronger.”
3. Focus on just a few goals. If you’re anything like me, too many goals can be overwhelming. Focus on what you really want to achieve in the next year. I picked three main intentions: consistent exercise, playing more with my kids, and relaunching my nutrition website.
4. I like to keep white space on my board because I don’t like clutter. It allows you to add things as you want. Like I said though, there are no rules so if you want to go crazy, do it!
4. Place your finished board where you will see it on a daily basis. This is important! Looking at your intentions for the year will inspire you to act on them. Right this minute as I look at my board, I am feeling inspired to head to my basement and exercise.
I felt a bit silly making a vision board. But you know what? It was therapeutic and I feel like it’s really going to help with my intentions this year. 2016 had a lot of personal good, but it was also draining. For 2017, I picked the word nourish as my theme. My intention for the new year is to nourish my body, mind and soul.