I was intrigued by this Instagram post a couple of months back from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Every crazy movie idea/goal/ambition/dirty joke goes up on my vision board…”
Whether or not you are a fan of The Rock, you can’t argue with his success. Whatever he has set his mind to — wrestling, acting, producing — he has been successful.
But I don’t have to look to The Rock for proof of the power of vision boards. I’ve been using them personally since I was twenty, as well as finding them to be an invaluable tool in my career as a professional coach and business consultant.
Simply put, vision boards put your goals into pictures, thereby creating a material and visually stimulating reference to keep you focused on your aspirations and what you need to do to get there. When you can clarify your goals, you can reach your goals.
Ten years ago, I had a client who had left her career to stay home with her kids, and she was now ready to re-enter the workforce. She was concerned about work-life balance, so her vision board took a whole-life approach. There was an image of a mother at her desk; pictures of home renovations she wanted to make; and exercise photos, because she knew activity would help her manage both her stress and her weight.
It was a very busy vision board because she’s a very, very busy person. The richness that she put into the vision board has come to fruition. She got her master’s degree, landed a great job, and exercises daily. And she swears that the board helped keep her on track and focused.
The beauty of vision boards is that they are flexible. Your vision board can encapsulate what you would like your whole life to look like, or it can focus on a single aspect, such as organization or nutrition or finances. It’s your board, so there are no hard and fast rules. And you might have multiple boards — maybe one for your personal running program and another for the new product you want to launch at work.
Vision boards can be useful for teams as well since they articulate goals in visual form and can be posted in a common area as a reminder of your team’s aspirations.
So make like The Rock and make your board awesome! And let me know how you’ve used vision boards to reach your goals.
“Please, oh please, tell me that people can change,“ I hear frequently. And more specifically, can my boss, my co-worker, my spouse, my teenager, or my mother-in-law change? All of us in consulting professions hear that same question over and over, although it takes a variety of forms:
“Do you believe there’s any hope?”
“He’s too old to change, isn’t he?”
“She’s in power. Why would she do anything differently?”
Sometimes the question is posed as a statement.
“I’m 40 years old, I’m not going to reinvent myself now.”
“I am going to retire in a few years, so let the new kids learn that stuff.”
“She’s too stuck in her ways to try this.”
I’ve said that everyone can be a leader, or can become a better leader. I am even writing a book on the topic. So, clearly, I believe that people can and do change, at all times of their lives and regardless of the circumstances. However, they have to want to change. They have to be motivated. No one changes because YOU want them to change. They change because something within them has prompted them.
In the past decade, research into how our brains work has turned earlier beliefs about brain development on their heads, so to speak. People can change, because their brains can, and do, change. The question is, how can we steer our brains in the direction we want them to go…toward the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, rather than the trash dump? We know these everyday steps create the change:
- Voice the desire to change, write it down, and commit.
- Ask people you trust to help.
- Set clear and measurable goals with dates.
- Create mindfulness routines.
- Move toward the change slowly, consistently and predictably.
If you would like to explore how you can change, let me know. While we can’t change others, others are constantly watching us. And when we change, they change as well!
How have you successfully changed in the past? What changes are you interested in for your future?
It was a foggy, icy day. I was driving on I-95, my son Jeffrey in the passenger seat. We were heading back from North Carolina after visiting colleges.
I broke the silence, “Jeffrey, what did you think of High Point?”
“It was OK,” came his monotone reply.
“That’s it? Can you tell me more?,” I nudged.
“You know, Mom, I’m not really sure I want to go to college.”
This was the moment I had been waiting for since we started touring colleges. Finally, an opportunity to address his ambivalence about his future. I pulled off at the next exit, looked him in the eye and said, “Next year, everything is going to change. Some of your friends are going to college. Some will join the military, and others will get jobs. But one thing’s for sure: everything is going to change, no matter what you do. So, you have a choice – you can either drive the change and figure out what you want, or, you can dragged along by it.”
I was ready for this conversation because I work regularly with people who are at a crossroads and gripped by inertia. And here’s what I know:
Some people are drivers of their futures. They say to themselves, this is what needs to happen, and they create a vision. Others just seem to get dragged along. There are a lot of things that you can’t control in this life, but you can control whether you’re a driver or you’re a dragger.
In order to create change, you need to create the vision. If you want to be more efficient, you have to see yourself being efficient. If you want to advance your education, you have to envision yourself in night school, making it all work. For those retiring, envision helping in the food bank or hitting the perfect golf stroke on a Monday morning! Envision yourself in the new situation.
Jeffrey chose to be a driver and the transition turned out to be pretty simple. He chose a school, started wearing the clothing emblazoned with its logo, and suddenly it became him.
Are you at a crossroads? Grab the wheel and embrace the journey!