In my recent post “The Power of Your Vision” I talked about how creating a vision board can help you tap into the visualization technique to bring your goals to life.

I hosted my first Vision Board Mastermind of the year and showed attendees how to create a digital vision board and then transform it into screensavers, desktop wallpaper and even physical boards to mount on their wall. It was a fun event with a little music and mindset work thrown in.

Here’s the question that I often get: “I did my vision board, now what?”

It’s not enough to just do your vision board, put it up on your desktop or wall and think that you’re going to magically check everything off by the end of the year-unless you have a plan.

You Can’t Reach Your Goals Without a Good Plan

One of the best gifts I ever received was a GPS unit. Ok, this was back in the day before our cell phones started doing everything for us. I had just started my business as an organizing consultant and found myself traveling around Long Island NY. I grew up in the city, so most of the roads were unfamiliar to me. My husband knew the area like the back of his hand, but since he had his own day job, I had to figure out how to navigate on my own.

Needless to say, I got lost a few times. I had to add extra travel time to account for getting lost. I felt stressed out each time I had to go to a new client. I realized that I became selective about the clients that I served to minimize this stress.

And then my husband gifted me with a GPS. It was a NAVMAN. My very own stand alone, navigator. It was a game changer for me. All I had to do was plug in the address I wanted to get to and it led me there-on time and stress free.

Creating a vision board and looking at it every day is great. But creating a step-by-step plan of action is like having your own NAVMAN for your vision. It gives you a roadmap from getting where you are to where you want to be. I can’t guarantee it will be stress free though! Not having a plan but staring at your goals everyday will create stress and eventually drive you crazy.

Before You Dive in, Some Real Truths About Plans

  • In Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat says “if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will get you there.”. Basically, any path will lead you to anywhere. That’s like living life without a plan. Just because you did your vision board and you are visualizing your goals, you won’t necessarily get to the end result. If you all you do is follow your gut, you’ll follow it in every single direction it takes you and will have a hard time pulling something tangible out of it.

  • You may find it difficult to believe that one of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” A Yiddish proverb says “People make plans and God laughs.”  Yes, I know, I sing the praises of planning, but these quotes can be interpreted as “planning is a waste of time.” Not quite true. Even the best laid plans may not workout quite the way you want to. That’s why I’m a big advocate of having contingency and back up plans.

  • You can’t just plan for success. Yes, it’s good to visualize success and plan for the big finish. It’s also important to plan for meeting and overcoming obstacles. When you are laying out your plan, think about the hurdles you may have to jump over to get to success. What can you do to prevent them? If you can’t stop them, how will you take them into account?

  • Looking too far down the road might set you up for failure. We are in an instant gratification world. We have been programmed to do everything as quickly as we can-now. I’m not necessarily a fan of that, but it can be helpful. While you may be working on a big, long term stretch goal, looking at a finish line that’s years down the road can be defeating. Breaking your plan down into short term goals will increase your success rate. It’s easier to picture finishing something that’s three-four months down the road than a year in the distance.

  • You have to be able to see both the forest and the trees. Some of us find it easy to come up with a big beautiful plan but find it hard to wrangle all the details. Some of us are great at logistics and details, but forget to pick our heads up to see the bigger picture. In order for your plan to be successful, you have to do both. Keep your eye on the prize while making sure all the parts keep moving in sync.

From Vision Board to Action Planning

I’m proud of you for creating your vision board and thinking of the great things you want to accomplish. Now it’s time to put some planning muscle behind it. Take one idea from your vision board and think about how you will execute that plan this year.

What’s your deadline?

What are the different milestones you’ll have to hit along the way?

What hurdles will you have to overcome?

What resources do you have ready to support your goal?

What habits will you have to manage?

Take the time to lay out a success plan by keeping sight of the forest while you’re counting the trees. NEED HELP LAYING OUT A PLAN? LET’S GET ON A STRATEGY SESSION AND FIGURE IT OUT TOGETHER.

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