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Staying Focused: How a Vision Board Will Keep You on Target in 2022

How visualizing your goals can help you achieve what you never imagined was possible.

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No matter what month of the year, there is a perennial desire to have a life hack for goal setting. Who has time, right? Most of us have already fallen short of our goals for the year. We say we want this year to be different while research (and history) proves that's only possible with a new way of thinking. I'm constantly working on how to open my mind to new possibilities. The vision board is just one tool in the tool kit. Still, when I saw my dream of interviewing Oprah come true after putting it on a vision board, I became a big proponent of them! Here's what I've learned about manifesting what I want, without letting being busy slow me down.

John M Lund Photography Inc | Getty Images

Redefine the vision board

"Know your lines. But really know the story you're telling."

That's what Lady Gaga told me she learned from Bradley Cooper when filming her first major motion picture. The power in a vision board, just like in a movie, is to become more acquainted with your story. Unfortunately, some think it's overrated.

I once asked a realtor friend of mine if he made vision boards. He looked at me like I was from another planet. "What's a vision board?" He thought it was a bunch of woo-woo. "I use execution boards," he said. "With practical steps to achieve a goal, if that's what you mean."

We were on the same page but using different verbiage and tools to define our process. We both used visuals. I did what he called execution with a seven-step process in a notebook and a vision board. In the words of the advertiser, Fred R. Barnard, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Most people can't execute without seeing it!

While at times people get lost in trying to make a pretty display, it's really about what images will reach you. Vision boards help crystallize and add detail to the sometimes fuzzy picture of an idea inside my mind and give it bones.

Related: How to Create a Personal Vision That Lets You Lead Fearlessly and Drive Success

The process works. Eight months after putting a photo of Oprah on my very first vision board, I met and interviewed her. Fast forward to today, I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to work with her and OWN on a number of projects. In 2018, I wrote, "I am a published author," on my board. That year, I received my first book deal. I even have furniture in my home now that I put on a vision board years before.

Morning in America, the three-hour show I now anchor on NewsNation, came in part by vision boarding. As a child, I envisioned having my chair, being at the forefront of something new where I could have a real impact on people across the country. Now, it's real enough for others to see.

All of our desires are sparked by visualizing what we want. It's an investment of time to use our imagination. However that vision is made clear for you — whether in words, pictures or even video — it's important to create a process you can connect to.

When will you hate being here?

I attended a coaching class on goal setting at the start of the year, taught by a friend of mine, William Krause. He had been in the touch and projection screen business for years, which led him to work on projects for some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Apple, Samsung and Pepsi. A shift in priorities and the historic global shutdown in 2020 forced him to pivot.

He now owns a thriving landscape business in Florida. Initially, he didn't have the motivation to turn on a dime. He had injured his back, and his creativity was stifled. What got him to change was a question he asked himself and those of us attending the class. "When you get down to it, you have to know, when will you hate where you are now so much that you decide to change?"

We had to begin to hate where we currently were. We had to hate resorting to what we were used to. "I hate being a renter," said one who has a goal of buying their first home. "I hate being single," said another who has a goal of finding a partner.

Write what you hate or get it printed on a banner in BIG BOLD LETTERS. Keep it short and sweet. Then add what you want and why. Finally, focus on selling yourself the benefits of this new goal.

"I own my production company because_______"

"I am in the best shape of my life because________."

Hang it over your bed or on your closet door. It sounds pretty basic, but don't take your eyes off your list.

Related: 4 Visualization Techniques That Can Propel Your Success

Write down actionable goals

According to a Harvard Business study, people who write down their goals were three times more likely to succeed than those who had some plan in mind but never wrote it down! Writing is a force multiplier. The next step is to write down the action steps to help that goal become a reality. That is achieved in a few ways.

Make a list of who and what is needed to achieve your goals. Do you need a nanny or babysitter? A publicist, manager or assistant? Next, talk about the change attaining this goal will bring with others in your life. Make a deadline and share the list with an accountability buddy.

Finally, whittle down what might be a long list. Four goals is plenty to tackle simultaneously. This will help with precision and be easier to manage.

When setting your goals and going after them, never lose sight of what you hope to achieve. Vision is the key to success.

Related: The Best Creativity Advice We Heard in 2021

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