WAIT! Don’t click away!
Listen, I know that there’s nothing more boring than listening to (or reading about) someone talk out of their butt about their vision board. Especially because the vision board as a concept is teetering on the precipice of overdone and probably bogus.
And to be honest, I’ve never subscribed to that Secret-esque idea that just by visualising something you can bring it into being. There’s such a thing as confirmation bias that can create a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. I’m more on the side of those hustlers who will use a vision board or a journal to clarify their goals and figure out what they need to do to achieve them. This is the driving force behind juggernauts like Lilly Singh (or iisuperwomanii on YouTube).
So I use my vision board to clarify what I want to achieve so that I can streamline my work. By that, I mean that I want to be able to visualise what my Ultimate Goals (capital letters for emphasis!!) are. That way, when it comes to making a decision about where to put my energy and attention, I can make that decision with a clear, measurable goal in mind.
Last year, I made a board on Canva.com. There are plenty of tutorials about how to do a vision board online, so I won’t go into too many details about that here. But I decided to make another one this year and I thought it would be interesting to see what differences there are. Just to see whether my priorities have changed.
2017 – I made this board when I realised that I would definitely be staying in the Netherlands for the foreseeable future. Before that, it was a nebulous maybe. When it became concrete, I wanted to do something to really nail down what I want from this experience. My main goals – the big ones that never change – are on there. I want to work at Oxford university some day, and I want to travel. I also want to get an agent and go the traditional publishing route (under my own name, not as a ghost!). I put the Byron Bay Writers Festival there because I want to speak there one day. When I was coming up in university, seeing authors at the Festival was a huge highlight and it sort of became a way that my mind measures success in the Australian book industry. I also added the alarm clock and the runner because I wanted to get fit, and the LARPERs because I wanted to go LARPing!
2018 – You can see that there’s a bit of a difference here. I’ve got specific destinations to travel to now: China (I’ve never been!) and the Netherlands, which I need to see more of. It’s criminal that I live in such a tiny country and I’ve barely seen any of it. Instead of a fitness goal, because I achieved that last year, I’ve put in pictures of two ridiculously tough women because I want to get physically stronger this year. Oxford is still there 😉 and so is the writing, though there’s more emphasis on research. I’ve put a picture of the books that I’ve published chapters in because I want to see more of them in my bookshelf in 2018.
There’s two elements that are super important but really only meaningful to me. The first is the logo for You Do You, Efficiently, a podcast that helps you be yourself and get shit done! I’m going to be launching that in a few weeks. I’ve always wanted to take the things I learned during my PhD about productivity and efficiency and put it into an accessible format – something that I could have listened to when I was a student. Keep an eye out for that!
The second element is the fox. That’s a sneaky little snippet from the YA Vikings series I’m working on in collaboration with the Golden Egg Academy. I’m going to keep working towards the traditional publishing route with the help of these wonderful editors and agents. If that works out, you’ll understand the fox reference.
It’s interesting to see where my interests shifted and where they didn’t. Research and writing remain at the heart of these boards, but the fact that I’ve put specific destinations that I want to travel to is new – normally I just let the wind take me. I guess now that I have a grown-up job and a grown-up apartment, I feel as though I need to be more deliberate about where and when I travel.
I achieved my fitness goals last year, but last year was also the year that Wonder Woman came out and Gal Gadot shook me to my very core! How can I not want to work harder to make her proud of me?
I took LARPing and the Festival off of the board – probably because I have a regular D&D campaign now (so my nerd heart is full) and I’ve decided to focus more on actually getting published first before thinking about where I could speak once that happens!
I’m happy with these changes in my priorities. I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m working towards.
What about you? Have you ever made a vision board? Did it work for you? Have you made multiple vision boards and, if you did, did anything change for you? Let me know!