I’ve learned many times in my life, that one of the first steps to achieving your goals is to write them down. No matter how crazy, outrageous, or impossible they seem, get them on paper and read them over regularly, and you’ve got a much greater chance of making your dreams come true.
Of course this is not an original idea. Even former All Black Captain Richie McCaw agrees. Remember that scene in Chasing Great about becoming a GAB? Or maybe you’ve heard of one mindset coach Denise Duffield Thomas, who recommends changing your computer password to your income goal, so that you’re typing it out multiple times a day and reinforcing that vision.
Adding visual images to your goal makes the process even more powerful.
The idea is to put yourself energetically in the space of allowing it to unfold.
In 2015, we were introduced to a local family who were about to head off to spend their own year in France. I grilled them on everything. How did they pick a village? How were they making it work financially? And how did they get from vague idea to an actual departure date?
One of their key tips was to create a family vision board. A big beautiful collage of images, of everything we want from our year in France, plus a date for making it happen. We should hang it in a prominent place to keep everyone focused on what we were trying to achieve.
They didn’t have to tell me twice.
The next weekend we popped to the Warehouse for a big white frame and some glue sticks, and gathered the kids around the kitchen table. This turned out to be an inspired opportunity to get the kids on board and invite their input into the plan.
Each of the children had ideas about what life in France might look like, mostly involving castles, croissants and swimming pools. So we handed them a stack of magazines and some images found online and they set to work printing, cutting, sticking and drawing. Our middle boy made it clear that rugby was an important part of his vision, so drew some goal posts and added a few All Black stickers and flags,
We put a date on our vision: “2019 or better” and hung the frame over the kitchen bench.
Here’s the result, a little faded four years later, but still :
The vision board has led to many interesting (and a few awkward) conversations over the years. I’m sure some of our friends thought we were completely batty. We didn’t care. I’m sure that having our vision hanging above our kitchen bench played a role in our dream becoming reality. Having that dream reinforced every time we glanced up from the kitchen bench for four years gave a real energy to our goals.
That’s not to say we stuck to our plan. Even in October/November 2018, it didn’t feel like France would be doable this year. But here we are, eight months later, and ten days out from stepping on that plane. Right on cue, for France 2019.
So what’s your family vision? If it’s winter where you are, why not pull out a stack of mags on the next rainy afternoon and create your own family vision board. You never know what might come true.