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When You’re Ready to Take Charge of Your Life, Create a Vision Board

The almost, only tool you need to get excited about your life

One Tool to rule them all, One Tool to find them, One Tool to bring them all, and in the light, you’ll bind them

Shamelessly adapted from Lord of the Rings, there is one terrific tool that used correctly can take you out of feeling dark and hopeless and excited about your life.

It’s so powerful, you can use it repeatedly. It won’t break and it costs you nothing.

You will however have to take full responsibility for what it uncovers and for taking the next steps.


One Tool to Find Them

“Them” are the building blocks of what constitutes a life you feel satisfied and happy to live. The easiest means of getting to those blocks is a cool little tool used by coaches the world over. It’s called a Wheel of Life.

Wheel of life image

Picture from Author’s book — Journey to Joy

The idea is to do a fun little assessment of how satisfied you feel in each of these areas.

The inner circle represents a state of being completely unsatisfied, the outer is totally satisfied. Put an x on the line that best represents what you’re feeling right now, and once you’re done, draw a line to join them.

You’re unlikely to see a perfect circle. What it will show you are areas for improvement and how you’re feeling about your life. It’s one thing to “kind of know” and another to see it visually represented.

Note, this isn’t about feeling worse, but rather feeling better. Better, because what you can see, you can improve.

One Tool to Bring Them All

Time for the next step.

A notebook so that you can reflect on and write down what fulfillment in each category means to you. Expect this step to spark your imagination and the feelings associated with improving.

Reflection and writing take you further down the road of success because it’s where you define what brings you the most satisfaction. Not what others tell you about what’s right but what’s aligned with your values and brings you personal satisfaction.

You might find, as I did, that when you apply the word fulfilled to each category, amazing ideas can sprout. Ideas that create a spillover effect.

For instance, when I considered the fit and healthy category, I remembered the satisfaction of training for and completing a cycling fundraiser for MS. At the time, it was a solo endeavor, and once done, the training dropped off.

Simply by asking myself how much more fulfilled and happier I’d feel if I achieved something closer to complete fulfillment, my imagination opened.

I wondered about taking on a bigger challenge, which led to thoughts of a triathlon. Not because I’m a super athlete, but because of the opportunities to train consistently…and then the spillover insights occurred.

My partner loves swimming. He is better at it than I am. If I improved, then we could enjoy this together more often.

Envisioning and feeling what that shared activity would mean brought immediate satisfaction to the potential opportunities in other areas like my family, my work, and even my money.

Once you’ve done that, go back to the wheel of life and do a second round of marks about where you’d like to be in a year.

Remember, unless you’re close to the outer circle now, you’ll want to choose a line that makes sense for the change you’ll be making.

One tool to rule them all

Vision boards. Have you ever done one? I’ve got two. They were constructed with different guidelines.

Each still represents what I want for my life, and each has come to fruition in different ways. They’re also good examples of how going deeper, gives you even more clarity and the likelihood of creating a life of purpose and satisfaction.

The first was simply a search for the words and pictures that inspired a feeling.

The second, via a process from author and entrepreneur Danielle La Porte, centres on 5 categories. Using a series of questions you select the words that best define the feelings associated with them. Only then do you look for the pictures that best represent those feelings.

This approach, of using The Wheel of Life and then translating it into a vision board is via Diane Rolston. It’s a deeper, more expansive, and still a simple way of really getting to the heart of what you want.

One picture for each category represents what feeling fulfilled looks like for you. So that….

In the light, you’ll bind them

Having your vision board(s) around you helps you continue to focus on what your desired outcome is.

I’ve learned that having a visual helps to keep you on track. It becomes your inspired way of approaching the world and your dreams.

Rolston has one further idea and it involves creating goals and commitments for each category. That, combined with giving space for allowing spontaneous bubbles of opportunity to occur in their own time is the best means of achieving your vision.

Part of the fun and magic of staying open to the unexpected, and saying yes, is seeing where “being” in the state of allowing, will take you.

In the last five years, I’ve created a life of incredible fulfillment. Some from those measured goals and commitments and some from staying open and allowing. This includes moving to a community that checks the boxes of so many of the things I care about, and a relationship that came “out of the blue”.

If you’re ready for 2022 and beyond to evolve into a life that fills you with more purpose, satisfaction and happiness then it’s time for the following:

  • Take personal responsibility. Review every area of your life and honestly assess how you feel about it.

  • Define what brings you fulfillment and how you’d feel if you were living closer to that ideal.

  • Allow your imagination to dream big so that you can decide how you’ll approach the ideal.

  • Create a vision board as a visual reminder for what you want.

  • Combine goals and commitments to bringing those visuals to life and keep tapping into your feelings as you do.

And finally, continue to open to potential, and prepare to be surprised at what unfolds.


Originally published on Medium

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