Hey, y’all. I cannot believe it has been half a year since we last talked. How have you been since May? Did you hit any roadblocks? Did you overcome any obstacles? Did any opportunities open up or did your hard work lead to a major breakthrough?
More specifically, I want to check in on our vision boards we made back in January. Did any of the mantras you included totally change your life? Did you simply stare at them during class this past semester until the words became a blur like me? Did you achieve any of these goals you set for yourself almost a year ago?
Before we get too deep, I want to pause and self-reflect. In moments of acute stress, when life feels overwhelming, or even intermittently throughout the day, ask yourself these few insightful questions to pause and reconnect. As we go through these questions together, focus on your breath. (This means intentionally breath in and out, and identify the sensation of your breathing itself.)
- Am I present right now?
- What are 3 things I see, hear, smell, feel, and taste?
- Is there any tension I can let go of?
- What are 3 things I am grateful for?
- What am I holding onto that I would benefit from letting go of?
Vision Board Reflection
Now that we are grounded, think about your 2021 vision board.
- What did I accomplish that made me feel good?
- Have my priorities or values changed?
- When did I feel the most like myself?
- Did I celebrate my wins, big and small, enough?
- Did I practice loving-kindness enough toward myself? toward others?
For me, my vision board served as a daily reminder of goals that might have been pushed to the side as the year progressed. To be specific, I finished the book I began around Christmas 2020 (it only took me 7 months!), I started taking weight lifting seriously (and have learned so much!), and shifted to a growth mindset (“I attract abundance and prosperity with ease”). I could have done more to romanticize my life (like Donna in Mamma Mia) and spent more time writing. I considered these wins and almost-wins when making my new board.
Vision Board Improvements
Move on to these questions that will help you craft your 2022 vision board.
- What matters most to me?
- If success was guaranteed, what project would I start tomorrow?
- What and/or who inspires me?
- Am I allowing anything (or anyone) to stop me from achieving my goals?
- In 1 year, what do I want to have accomplished?
I learned so much about myself this year that I want to incorporate into my 2022. For example, I realized the healing force of spending time outside. I found most inner peace with yoga. Exercising made me feel proud. Every day I work on letting go of what others think to embrace my highest self. I want to write, inspire, adventure, and celebrate more. In 1 year, I want to have applied to grad school in Charleston and have published written work. With these things in mind, I created a motivating and beautiful new board.
Craft your 2022 Vision Board
You know the drill, or if you’re new here, refer to my post from January 2021 (Why You Need a 2021 Vision Board). Open up Powerpoint or a poster board and get to pasting. Include the mantras that have helped or find new ones. Keep those goals you remain working towards and replace the ones you’ve achieved. (Don’t forget to celebrate those wins!) Display your vision board as your desktop or keep it folded in your journal. Either way, make sure to refer to it as often as every day.
The (Scientific) Power of Positive Thinking
As we move into a new year, some anxieties might begin to show up. Finals, travel, relationships, friendships, what-ifs…
When these anxious thoughts become too much, it’s a good idea to pause, ask yourself our mindful check-in questions, go for a walk, and/or journal. If you’re feeling defeated as you look toward 2022, there’s a psychology trick that might help you like it has helped me.
My cognitive psychology professor introduced this study to us on the first day of class this semester. A 2014 study done by Alison Brooks found that saying “I am excited” before performing a task led to more accurate performances than saying “I am anxious” or saying nothing at all. This is called cognitive reappraisal, or as Olga Khazan writes in her article, anxious reappraisal.
Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainties and stressors right now and in the upcoming new year. These are valid. However, I challenge you to take on these anxiety-inducing potentials with a positive mindset. Psych out your anxiety. It’s proven to be effective, after all.
2022 Vision Board Reveal
Watch me make my vision board:
How are you feeling about the new year? Have any of these self-reflection questions or the psychology trick helped you? Let me know in the comments. As always, I wish you a joyful, healthy, wealthy, courageous, and passionate end of 2021 and all of 2022.