A shift is happening. We’ve entered into a new decade and it will be ripe with new beginnings. We will see things not only as they are but also as what they can be. It isn’t a coincidence that this year’s number is analogous with clear and sharp vision.
Of course, with every new year we feel this kind of pressure to do something new or to finally do what we didn’t get a chance to do the year before. Although I don’t believe that we should succumb to those kinds of societal pressures and expectations, I truly feel that we have more power over our lives than we tend to think.
You know how you always have that one thing (or if you’re like me, a couple of things) that seems to find itself on your list of goals year after year? Well last year I reminded myself that that I should be living a life where I do everything with intention with the idea that I can picture exactly what I want in life and it will come to me. Now this doesn’t mean that I have control over when it comes to me, how it comes to me, or in what capacity, but you have to believe it in order to see it.
What I’m talking about, ladies and gents, is manifestation. Now, manifestation has become a popular word but it was only inevitable since our generation has begun a return to spiritual beliefs and practices, investments in mental health and wellness, and determination to break general curses. Manifestation is a large part of all of those things. You have to will your desires to actuality until they become tangible. This is the law of attraction. For some that may mean getting a new car or apartment while for others that might mean improving troubled relationships with family members or healing from trauma. If we deeply believe that these things can happen, they will.
A lot of times, the result of our desires will be packaged in ways we don’t expect but somehow they still meet our needs. But that’s only if we put in the work. This is where manifestation meets realization. So, we think of what we want, we follow it with consistent action, and we allow it to come to us. So far, it’s working pretty well for me.
Here are some ways to begin this process:
Vision boards are essentially collages. They are made with intention to inspire and remind the creator of their goals. The great thing about them is that they easily incite a response in our brains when we look at them, as do most visual aids. You can make a vision board once per year, once every 5 years, for a wedding, for your health, your desired lifestyle, or whatever you want! It’s completely up to you! Whenever you feel that you have something you want to visualize, you can make one.
Images are powerful! If you can see it, you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you will see it. All you’ll need is:
- a stack of magazines (preferably ones that are aligned with what your goal is for the board)
- a cardboard or decorative chart paper
- a pair of scissors
- a glue stick
If you can’t find any magazines or don’t have any within access, you can visit your local library. Many libraries have stacks of magazines that they no longer need and would be willing to give you them for free! This is exactly how I was able to get some for my own personal vision board as well as for helping others make their own.
- First, think about why you are doing this activity. What is your intention for this vision board? What do you hope to see when you look at it? What do you want your life to look like? Keep these thoughts in mind as you make your collage.
- If you need ideas for how you want your board to look, you can search online for examples, but proceed with caution. You want to avoid letting other vision boards have too much influence on how you make yours. Try to pull inspiration from within yourself. Only you know what you need.
- Go through each magazine and cut out images, words, etc. that reflect and align with what your intentions are.
- Before you start gluing your cut outs down, arrange them on the board in a way that not only makes sense to you but that also is visually appealing. Remember, you want to look at it and feel moved to take action or keep your momentum!
- When you have the arrangement you like, glue it down carefully. As it dries, speak to the vision board. Let your intentions be known.
- Place it somewhere visible and visit it or look at it often to remind yourself why you made it. Read the words out loud, picture what you want when you look at it.
Now I’d love to share my current vision board with you all but because I believe that some aspects of our desires must be kept sacred and protected (in order to ward off negative energy), I am choosing to show you pictures of some older vision boards that I’ve made. Below are collages that I had on the walls of my bedroom at home and at school. When I looked at them, I would read the words aloud to reinforce them.
What we say and think on a daily basis greatly affects how we feel, act, and navigate our lives. If we dwell on negativity, then we will attract negativity and vice versa. It may take years, and arguably a life time, to undo the negative self-talk that we hear from our inner voice. It is a practice that requires you to pay attention. When you find yourself thinking something about yourself, question it. Why am I saying this? Is this based in anything that is valid? Would I say this about a friend? What is another way that I can see this situation?
Our words are so important! In addition to checking yourself, it helps to repeat powerful phrases – affirmations – aloud so that you can undo the power of whatever you were thinking. You can write these phrases down on sticky notes or on a piece of paper. You can read them while looking at yourself in the mirror. Reaffirm what is true, what you believe, what you want.
Here are some of my favorites:
- This will be an amazing year filled with blessings and abundance
- This year I will be/have ___________
- I am standing in my power
- Negativity does not serve me
- Good things are coming to me
- Check your self talk!
- I am strong
- I am powerful
- I can do anything I set my mind to
- I am beautiful!
- I am living my best life!
- I am a good person
- I am not alone
- There are people who love and care for me.
- I will be happy
- My life is full
- I am blessed
- I will not let anyone throw shade on my shine
- “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” – Audre Lorde
- “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible'” – Audrey Hepburn
Make a Plan and Follow Through
This one is straight to the point. We can’t just have a dream or desire and not make any effort to make it happen. We need to take concrete and measurable steps to make progress. So whether you need a planner, a bullet journal, or just a regular notebook – find a place to write down your goals!
Write down your short term and long term goals. Then think of action steps that will help reach your goal. Make sure these steps are measurable so that way you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable. Include a date for this action step. It’s okay if you don’t complete the action by that date, it’s just for you to have a time frame. For example, if your goal is to learn how to play the guitar, here’s what your plan could look like:
Short Term Goal: Buy a Guitar
Long Term Goal: Learn How to Play the Guitar
- By next week, find a guitar within my budget that I want to buy
- Save $25 weekly for the next 8 weeks to purchase $200 guitar
- Find an instructor within two months
- Read one chapter of the instruction manual per week
- Practice my lessons at least 3x per week
- Watch one YouTube video per day of guitar practice/tips/players
Even if you don’t go into detail by setting a date or specifying how you will accomplish the goal, the simple act of writing down what the goal is will increase your likelihood of actualizing it!
Some of my goals this year are to learn Spanish, get a promotion and raise, improve my relationship with my loved ones, to run more often, to complete the Broad Street Run for my second year, be more consistent with yoga, to increase my savings, and to be happy.
When we match our visions with unyielding belief and consistent action, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish. That is the true power of manifesting our dreams. I hope that this year – and decade – brings you all that you want and more. But most importantly, I hope that you seek it for yourself.
Happy New Year!
Do you believe in manifestation? What works for you when it comes to goal setting? What are some goals that you want to accomplish this year? Share with me below!