How long do your New Year’s Resolutions last?
Each year we come up with lots of New Year’s resolutions such as starting a diet, going to the gym to get fit, planning that dream holiday, buying a new house, getting your life out of a rut by training towards a new career, and so on. But how long do these good intentions go on for? A month or so if we’re lucky!
I was no different – during one family Christmas gathering (9 of us), we all decided to write down our New Year’s resolutions and put them into a sealed envelope to be reviewed again the following year – you can probably guess how successful we all were… we had stuck to very few of the things we had felt so strongly about the year before.
Do you have a vision board?
What can we all do to help us stick to the plans and goals we set for ourselves? Well, a while back I heard about ‘Vision Boards’ – a largish (at least A3) board where you pin or stick images and messages that focus on how you want to feel, not just pictures of the material things that you want (although these can definitely go on there too) – see example below.
Visualisation exercises to improve your performance
Now this might all sound a bit ‘namby pamby’ but in fact, there is a simple explanation about why these work so well – it is all about ‘visualisation’.
Having a vision board in a space where you frequently see it, means that you are essentially doing short visualisation exercises every day. It is common knowledge that Olympic athletes having been using visualisation techniques for decades to improve performance. Psychology Today1 reported that the brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights are similarly activated when the weightlifter just imagined lifting heavy weights – wow!
So what should go onto a vision board?
Anything that inspires and motivates you – think about what your goals are in the following areas: relationships, career, finances, home, travel, personal growth. Images could include pictures of your loved ones with hand written messages about how you feel (or want to feel) about your relationships with them; would you like a family holiday next year? Research where you want to go and put a photo of your holiday destination on the board (it must be specific though e.g. a photo of the hotel that you will be staying in). Do you want a new car? Which model? What colour? Put a photo of it on the board. If you want a career change, think about why you want it; how will it make you feel to have achieved it – write a message etc.
I now have a vision board (not the one shown above!) and it is truly amazing how it can focus your mind on all the goals you want to achieve – why not give it a go; you’ve got nothing to lose, and just maybe….