A couple of weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep. Instead of sugar plums and my holiday to do list cluttering my head, anxiety/thoughts swirled in my mind about the vision board for 2011 I was scheduled to do. I had a date on my calendar to spend an afternoon with my dear friend/yoga teacher Ursula discussing our goals for 2011 and creating our vision boards. Side note: if you’re in the VA/DC area, visit Ursula’s studio Inner Power Yoga – it’s a beautiful space.
Why I couldn’t sleep that particular night, who knows! Was it the thought of sharing my goals with someone else? I haven’t really had to do that since having my own business. Was it the notions of having to be “creative” for this project and living with a huge board on display in my home office/yoga studio space for a year? Or, was it the idea that I would possibly be wasting a precious afternoon just before Christmas to do a silly school kid project (as my husband referred to it).
I admit last year I considered doing a vision board but quickly nixed it thinking it would be a waste of time. Why spend an afternoon ripping, arranging & taping pics out of magazines on a big piece of cardboard when I could simply type up my goals and refer to them daily just as easily. Then I began to think…365 days is a lot of time to accomplish a few lofty goals, right? Yet as the years fly by, I realize more and more how precious time is. How we opt to spend our time is key to our ultimate happiness. So shouldn’t my thought process & the time I spend goal planning/visioning be just as precious? Does the tone/environment in which we outline goals set the foundation for what’s ahead? Given everything is connected in some way, I’m starting to think goal planning with a girlfriend sets a solid and positive foundation.
In my pre-yoga teacher life (corporate marketing world), I tended to structure my typed-out goals around what others thought would be best for me and my career. And just a couple of years ago, I created rigid goals that supported my business, abellaYoga, and not so much my heart. I am a firm believer goals should be made to provide some direction and stimulation in our lives. Though I also now believe goals should be flexible and reflective of what truly speaks to our hearts. If we handcuff ourselves to written words we wrote 3 months ago, for example, we may miss a grander opportunity for growth by being limited to the goal. Or worse, often we reach the goal and then simply forget about it as we delve into tackling the next one. Maybe there was more to the goal then just checking it off the list. A year is full of unknown possibilities so be flexible and open to what each moment presents. So yes, commit to goals that challenge your spirit as well as create a smile in your heart but be open to venturing beyond the goal.
This brings me back to my vision board. If you’ve never done one, do it! It is way more powerful and inspirational than writing down a list of goals. By looking daily at the board, a collage of inspirational words & pics related to my goals, I create a vision in my mind of me achieving the goals. It’s also so simple to mentally refer to which I have already done a few times this past week. At the same time, I am finding myself meeting 2011 goals already without really having to think about doing them. It’s as if the visuals have been planted in my subconscious and they’ve started to naturally extend into my daily life. Lastly, I’ve realized a vision board provides the flexibility the written word can’t. Pictures invoke more than just the specific goal. They allow the mind to shift thinking around and beyond the goal in a more creative way. I know I’m not doing a good job explaining this but I’m thinking maybe this really can’t be explained. As with yoga, a vision board is a personal experience. It’s a personal tool to support my personal growth in the year ahead.