Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Spectacular: My Digital Vision Board For 2018

When I first heard of vision boards, I pretty much fell in love with them except for one small thing - for the most part, we are living in a paper-and-pen world - and I'm a mostly-digital girl.

Society at large may be heading more and more in a digital direction with the ease of e-readers, portable computer devices, and even wearable smartphones taking the world by storm. But the part of the world most filled with my people - the somewhat productivity obsessed journal/planner community - has been heading back to the comfort and tactile security of the old ways, complete with notebooks aplenty. There are pens, markers, washi tape, stamps, and stickers abounding, and just as I find my people, I once again find myself on the outside looking in.

I love the creativity of the planner community, but I also love how perfectly structured it is - while allowing the freedom to change and adjust what doesn't work for one person even if it worked perfectly well for another. I love the beauty and ease of structured systems like the Happy Planner - being able to basically just fill in the blanks means that you have less pressure to create and more freedom to just do, but you also have lots of space to individualize with stickers, doodles, etc.

But I also love the individuality and changeability of the less structured bullet journal system, which is amazingly free-form and easy to change up at a whim - but that's because you carry all the pressure of creating your own layouts, spreads, and pages on your own. My favorite notebooks for this tend to be composition-style books with dot grid paper; they're small and easy to carry, totally affordable, and the dot grid helps keep everything straight and even-looking without being as visually busy as full grid-lined paper.

Still, there's so much stuff involved, and I don't like a lot of stuff especially when I need it to be portable. The notebook itself could be fine - but then I need pens in various colors and styles, stickers, tapes, stamps, stencils. I'm still a perfectionist in a lot of ways too, so I'll also need white-out or some kind of mistake-corrector and then ... well, it just all gets out of hand. I don't want to have to carry a backpack with me just to know whether or not I can make an appointment next Thursday at 8:30, you know?

So I use my phone.

But what's all that got to do with vision boards?
Using my phone for productivity means I use my phone for just about everything - scheduling, organization, entertainment, and yes, even motivation. I keep a folder full of images on my phone, mostly with quotes on them; but I also love using the power of imagination to forward my progress in life and keep myself inspired. Visualizing success in my various endeavors is what helps me remember why I'm trying so hard even on the days when my efforts don't seem to be paying off, and keeping that visualization consistent is what helps me see progress when some is made.

And since vision boards are visualization personified ...


In recent years, I've loved using Pinterest as a tool for digitizing my vision boards. I made one in the beginning of 2017 that was filled with affirmations, reminders of my goals, and tips on things I wanted to work on, such as mindfulness. It was very empowering and incredibly encouraging - and if I had used Pinterest more in 2017, it might have been more helpful. But since I wasn't on Pinterest all that often, I didn't look at my board and visualize the results of it as much as I could have - so even though I did manage to successfully internalize several of the ideas there, I didn't make as much progress as I would have liked.

(NOTE: I would normally link to the 2017 board here, but since I delete each old one when I create the new one, there isn't a link to share. I'm also not going to share an impermanent link to 2018's board, knowing that in the future, readers of this post wouldn't be able to go see the board. However, I will share a collage graphic below, and readers of this blog can always choose to come see all my boards - including my most current vision board - on my Pinterest account.)

For 2018's vision board, I looked through my old board one last time, deleting pins that no longer fit where I am in life, where I'm going in life, or what I needed to learn or internalize. Then I took what was left and put it into my 2018 board, thinking carefully about each pin and how it spoke to my goals and plans. Once I got that done, I actually searched other people's Pinterest vision boards for ideas - it's amazing how creative people are on there!

This is my current board, zoomed WAY out.

This in itself would be plenty if I took the time every day to really go look at my board and visualize where I want this year's momentum to take me - but I knew I wouldn't, and I wanted something a little more accessible. So I took some of the most compelling images from my board and created the collage below - the graphic is also tucked safely into my cloud storage, where I can access it at anytime for a little jolt of motivation.

Favorites from my 2018 Vision Board pins.

I love the way this little board turned out, and I also love that there's so much more content for me to work with on my actual Pinterest board.

I won't break down every pin I ended up pinning because that would takes ages, but the basic concept of my hope for 2018 is laid out on the graphic above. That being said, here's the breakdown of that, as best I can manage from left to right and top to bottom:

  1. #UNDAUNTEDWOMAN is the hashtag I've been using intermittently for months now to represent my brand. I use it to label most of my social shares of the Undaunted Interviews, and whenever I'm talking about any woman I admire or strategy I love that helps women be more self-empowered. This year I hope to see it grow, and I'd love to see more interaction from the community with nominations for interviews.
  2. The little shadow couple were included because while I don't specifically aim to be in a relationship by any certain time or have any frilly wedding-gown dreams, I do miss the companionship of a good man in my life, and would like to open my heart more to possibility just in case it shows up.
  3. "A little progress each day adds up." - This was included to remind me not to get down on myself. Sometimes even hitting a goal is discouraging to me because even though I should celebrate hitting the goal, the smallness of the goal hurts my heart. That being said, I do increase the goals each time, and I keep hitting them consistently (some of which are because I have help - shoutout to Michelle, my awesome PA) ... but I want to hit BIG goals, dammit. So I need to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
  4. The "Welcome Home" sign is because my personal life is complicated and thus, so are certain parts of my living situation. I'd love to see things get simplified in this in 2018.
  5. I included the US map with "adventure awaits" for two reasons - one, to remind me that life is an adventure, and two, to inspire me to think more about traveling, even if it's on a small scale.
  6. The Zoo Knoxville emblem is because my daughters and I truly love our local Zoo, and I'd love for us to get to spend more time there this year.
  7. Obviously, the car is because I need one pretty bad. My van's transmission has been given an "I don't know when, but sometime soon" death sentence from my trusty mechanic; apparently it's slowly eating its own gears away and the fact that the transmission pan always has metal shavings in it is very bad, indeed. Which leads me to ...
  8. Gold coins, raining down into waiting hands. Money. I have not lived a life of abundance, and because of that I don't tend to have an attitude of abundance. Seriously, it's bad - I even hoard perfumes and other things like that until they end up expiring because I don't know when I'll be able to get more, so I'm "saving it for a special occasion." This year I want to get better about the famine attitude that triggers this behavior. Oh, and this is also one of my ways of asking the universe to send me money I can use for a new car, so there's that.
  9. "Vibrate Higher." - A reminder to keep positive, to stay in the right mindset, to encourage myself, to ignore the "haters" in my life, and to keep shooting for my stars. To work toward a mindset that will attract better things.
  10. "Beautiful. Kind. Loved. Enough." - A reminder that I am all of these things, always, without needing to qualify.
  11. The whole #GIRLBOSS idea is wildly inspiring to me for so many reasons! I won't go into all of them in this post though - because honestly, if you know me at all and how much I want women to find empowerment and self-confidence in this world, you already get it anyway.
  12. "I Am Courageous." - A reminder to keep being a Warrior even as I strive to build Momentum.


Do you create vision boards? If not, why? If so, do you make them with actual posterboard and stuff, or do you prefer digital methods like me? Either way, what kinds of things do you like to put on your vision board - or what would you put on it if you were to make one? (P.S. Really want to actually look at my Pinterest version? You can find all my boards on my account here - the current vision board I'm working with should be listed right at the top.)



Don't forget, this BLOGuary is a writing partnership! David Elliott from the Single Dad's Guide to Life has been partnering with me this month to balance my single mom perspective with the single dad side of everything from serious things like the impact of blogging and how to raise strong women to more lighthearted topics, such as crock pot foodfitness, and travel. Make sure you check out David's blog too - his vision board is beautiful, as is the meaning behind it.

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