This is the 2nd year in a row that I work on creating a vision board. Last year’s board paid off immensely as it acted as a constant reminder of the goals I set out for myself. I placed the vision board in an area of the house which I visited regularly. I glanced at it throughout the year, either by accident or on purpose. And even though the content was very familiar to me, my eyes would rediscover a section of it, which either encouraged me to press on or brought me satisfaction at having achieved a goal.
As the year has come to a close, I am thankful for having met all my objectives. Despite the fact that I could have done a bit better on a couple of them, it’s been a successful year overall and I can finally say: mission accomplished & bring on the new year!
Here I share some guidelines for setting personal goals:
Have clear and measurable goals: If you associate a measure with your goal, you are more likely to be successful. For example, don’t just decide to ‘create blog posts’ since writing 1 or 10 or 100 all represent success at the end of the year. A better approach would be to say ‘one blog post per week’, in which case not 1 or 10, but 52+ posts a year mean that the goal was achieved.
Make your goals S-M-A-R-T: Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. A non S-M-A-R-T goal would be to decide to run 30 miles a week even though your knee is injured and you struggle to run more than 2 miles a day. S-M-A-R-T not only means that the goals are specific and measurable, but that they are also attainable and realistic. For instance, if your doctor has strongly advised against running, swimming may be a more relevant and realistic choice. Finally, make sure to give your initiatives a timeline (exercise 30 minutes a day in 1st quarter; exercise 60 min a day for the rest of the year).
Look back to learn where and why you were unable to meet a goal: Without doing so, you may run into a similar issue again the following year. To better succeed, understand what prevented you from achieving your goal previously. Let’s say that one of your goals was to read 1 book a week; At the end of the year, the total count of books read was 12. Understanding the ‘why’ may help you either set a better (more realistic) target, or help you remove roadblocks so that you can cross the finishing line.
Document or create a vision board: Print your spreadsheet, open your journal, or place your vision board at a location which you visit daily and often. Making the content and layout visually attractive will more likely catch your eye. Use images, fonts, photos or other preferred method, with the intent of imprinting your mind with positive thoughts associated with your goals. Once your mind is engaged, it will contribute greatly towards activating the behaviors needed in order to make you successful!
This blog was inspired by Karen Martin’s blog post on the topic of “Personal Hoshin”. If you would like to learn about vision boards, there are plenty of resources on the web, such as this one >> How to make a vision board