Girlfriends, we are deep in the throes of the holiday season aren’t we? Thanksgiving has passed and I hope you had a beautiful holiday with a delish turkey! And now we are in the final month of 2018. Can you believe it?
I’ve always seen December as a month of self-reflection and planning ahead. It’s a time to take stock, look at what you’ve achieved in the current year, and determine what your new or ongoing goals will be in 2019.
While you will probably want to spend the holidays catching up with family and friends, enjoying all the festivities and the good cheer, and finding the time to relax and rejuvenate—a dedicated GirlBoss will want to spend some time preparing for an outstanding 2019. That is what sets us apart from the crowd. That is how we create that very best life.
You don’t want to start off the new year waiting to see what will show up in your life, or just being a bystander in the direction your life will take. If you are looking to start killin’ it in your personal and professional life like a true GirlBoss, then you want to Lead your Life. That is how you will ensure a stellar year of success, fulfillment, and bliss. You’ve got to do the prep work for having it all. You’ve got to self-reflect, create goals, draw up a plan, and jump in with both feet! All in that precise order!
So what does that look like for you? We talked a few weeks ago about having a very clear vision of what your best life looks like FOR YOU. Again, it is a personal question, because the great part is that every woman gets to make this individual decision for herself. So, one exercise that I live by is creating a vision board. For me it is an annual thing, without fail. It is a super effective way to visualize and create that exceptional life because it really cements it into your psyche. And the perfect time to do it is NOW.
So here’s what you do:
You’re going to browse through magazines, the Internet, and photographs in search of images and words that illustrate your wishes for the New Year. Maybe it’s an image of a person doing yoga or Pilates, deeply grounded and balanced. If this inner peace and body/mind unity is something you are striving for, save that image. This begins the process of bringing your visions, dreams, and inspirations into tangible reality. Gather all these images. Maybe a certain heading or title in a magazine grabs your attention. Cut that one out too. Be aware as your mind is drawn to certain images that you may not think are of interest to you. Those may be hidden desires that are beginning to surface—because we are always evolving. What we may have wished for or wanted before, may be becoming something else now. Remember this is a discovery, a work in progress. The actual process of doing this will reveal what you may not even know you wish for.
Attach your selected images onto a piece of foam core or poster board approximately 20" by 20". They can be placed in whatever arrangement, collage, or format that speaks to you. Have fun with this and be creative. When you are finished, hang your vision board in a place that you see every day. Remember that each day you will be looking at it in order to keep your vision intact throughout your journey.
If you travel a lot, I recommend creating that vision board on the inside cover of your journal or notebook. That way it will be accessible to you often. Or you can make the 20” x 20” board and take a picture that you can put into your notebook. The key though it’s for it to be visible to you every day. That is how it will work its way into your thoughts.
The vision board will work in two ways. First, it will allow for thoughtful and creative exploration. You may not set out to find a specific image in a magazine, but after sifting through some you may notice that you are drawn to something quite unexpected. You may discover that you are pulled by images of travel while you never realized the wanderlust you had. Or images of easels, paints, and art studios may tug at you unexpectedly. The process of searching for images can reveal many of your hidden desires.
Secondly, the vision board, when complete, will serve as a visual inspiration, reminding you of your aspirations and the wishes that you envision for yourself. Seeing it daily will affirm your commitment to creating the life you desire.
I’ll share a story with you. My daughter and I each made a vision board in 2010. We were home for a New Year’s Eve and while watching Ryan Seacrest and the NY Times Square Ball drop, we decided to be crafty. We sat on the floor with all sorts of magazines and images surrounding us. When we finished the vision boards, we each put them up somewhere visible. For years I had my vision board up on my studio wall, and Marlea had hung her vision board in her walk-in closet. We saw them every day for years. Recently, I was packing up the house to move and I decided to throw them out. Why? Because I suddenly realized that we had achieved everything on them! That is the power of envisioning a vision. And our boards had some biggies on there—like writing a book, building a new home, and opening an architecture studio! Keep in mind that the clearer the vision, the easier the path to reach it will be.
Ok…are you ready for my next tip to get ahead of it all for 2019?
You may have heard me say that “a vision without a plan is just a dream”. So girlbosses it is about planning and doing!
What better way to do that than to organize yourself in a brand new planner for 2019. I love a new beautiful, well-organized, and inspiring planner. I literally get excited just thinking about it!
So let’s talk planners.
The real benefit to using a planner is that it will keep you organized, on track, aligned with your vision, and way more productive. But here’s the thing, the best type of planner for you may not be the best type for someone else. So Girlfriend, some research is required! And don’t feel awful if you buy one, start using it , and feel like it just isn’t working for you. I’ve been there. It’s part of the process to find out what makes your life easier—not harder. Some layouts will be great for one GirlBoss, but not for another.
The first decision to be made that will narrow down the choices dramatically is to determine what size works best for you. For me, I usually go with a 6” x 8” one. It’s small enough to put in my purse or briefcase, but not too small that I’ve got tiny boxes to write in. You will find that there are tons of options out there, so take some time with your choice.
The next decision to evaluate is—do you want a daily, weekly or monthly calendar. Here’s my thoughts on that. The monthly calendars don’t leave a whole lot of room to write your tasks down. That can be a problem if you are one busy Lady Boss. On the other hand, the daily planners can be cumbersome and heavy because of the number of sheets. So—my choice has always been a weekly calendar. That seems to give me plenty of room to write tasks down without being a heavy brick in my purse. And usually the weekly planners will also have a page at the beginning of each month that has a monthly calendar. Then decide if you need an hourly calendar where you account for each hour of your day. If you tend to have a lot of appointments or scheduled meetings throughout the day, then a planner with hourly tasks might be better for you.
Since I lead a team at my office, I usually like to have a space to write down the tasks I’m assigning to each team member. Sometimes there will be a sidebar for that or space on the weekly calendar page.
Ok…so now you’ve determined a size and layout for your planner. The next thing is to figure out the style you like. Maybe it’s pretty, pastel, or bright and bold. Is it leather or a different material? What color suits you best? And make sure you look at the different types of binding. It can be edge-bound or spiral. You’ve got lots of options.
And then, do you want it to have motivational quotes, be inspiring, or minimalist? Is it thematic or nondescript? The key is to a really love it, because if not you will more than likely not use it. So fall in love with it! In essence it will be your new fashion statements—your new accessory!
And finally, are there other things that you want to include or add to your planner? For example, do you want a page for contact info, or a page to list long term projects, or a budget sheet? And do you want a bookmark that fits into the planner to take you directly to the current day?
Is your head spinning with all the choices? I know…it can be overwhelming. But remember you are not making a life or death decision. What can happen is that you feel so overwhelmed that you can’t make a decision at all. Well that’s no good either. So, realize that if you really don’t like the one you first choose, it’s not the end of the world if you buy a second one that better suits your needs. If you are a bit on the fence, then I suggest buying a relatively inexpensive planner so you won’t feel such heavy buyer’s remorse if you realize you need something a bit different.
And here is my last bits of advice. USE IT EVERY SINGLE DAY! It won’t be helpful to you if you don’t look at it and use it daily. I look at my planner at the beginning of every day, several times throughout the day, and again before I leave work so I know what the next day looks like.
I also find that using a different color pen, or highlighting tasks in different colors to group them into categories is super helpful. For example, you might use pink for your family events, blue for work appointments/meetings, and yellow for personal appointments like dentist, doctor, hair cut…etc.
So there you have it my Lady Bosses! You are ready to leap into the new year with a game plan, a strategic set of goals and action steps, and you are getting a head start which will put you ahead of the crowd! Be sure to tag me if you post a pic of your new vision board or planner. Or, share privately with me in a message or email. I love to see big action steps that are streamlining your journey.
I’m attaching links to some great vision board examples and some links to a variety of fabulous planners. Have fun browsing them for ideas—or go to sites to actually purchase your 2019 planner today!
I will leave you with a great quote from one of my faves, country music man—Brad Paisley.
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!”
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