It has been common belief that cutting out inspirational words from magazines, and adding them to a poster board ahead of a new year will help you accomplish your goals, stay on track and create a plan of attack for the year ahead.
While I am not against vision boards per say, influencers have recently began selling dreams about what a vision board actually does, or that it alone will solve a much broader problem.
The issue with vision boards simply put, is that they are not actionable. Most people make these boards, and don't refer back to them throughout the year, nor do they use it to hold themselves accountable. Vision boards are a compilation of macro goals. If you know something about macro goals, it's that you can easily feel defeated by them.
I've touched on a piece of this in a recent post about how to stay on track, but the main component that vision boards are missing is a plan. Below I will cover a couple of tips on how to create a plan of attack for the year.
First, understand that this document is a working one, meaning that it's no one and done. I started my 2017 plan in December. Then, it was around four pages, and as we approach March, it has grown to 16.
What Are Your Goals?
This is where you want to start, and it can be as broad or as granular as you'd like. For my document, I started with goal categories i.e. blog relaunch, freelance writing, self-care etc. Once you have those categories, dig deeper. Using my example; what exactly is it related to freelance writing that you're trying to accomplish? Are you trying to land more pieces? Do you have specific outlets that you're interested in pitching? What type of pieces do you think will be fitting for those outlets? What are some potential headlines for those pieces, and if you can't think of any leave placeholders? If you don't have any of these answers, add placeholders and come back after you've done you're homework.
Once you have your goals/goal categories, pick one to start, and develop a plan of action. Be very actionable and specific here. Think about what steps you need to take in order to achieve that goal. Add in specific dates to activate, if it's content, make sure to denote which type of content. Is it a blog, podcast, video etc?
Really start to think about which micro level goals can go into your overarching goals on your vision board. For example, if you're looking to start yoga, some of your micro goals could be identifying potential studios, and trying them out. The main idea here, is to add in ways you can work towards your macro goals, but in a way that keeps you honest. Be sure to think SMART about them by making sure that they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely.
For My Content Creators
I've been leveraging this document as my content calendar as well. One of the easiest ways for me to plan content from a 365 perspective, is to write out the months of the year. Once you've written them out, go back and write topics underneath the months that quickly come to mind. Then once you're all tapped out, go back and do some research on what's happening during those months that you could potentially create a piece of content for. Of course there will be key moments in time that occur, and will fill up your content calendar. Also, think about what types of content you can group together to create a theme for the month, week etc.
Be Sure to Truly Utilize This Document
Lastly, the document that I've created has been at least glanced at everyday since created. You've gone through the trouble of starting the document, so do yourself a favor and take a look at it often to help you create your daily plans of attack. When I find myself feeling like I have freetime, I refer back to this document to give myself something to do. It's also ok to not always look at this document in its entirety. Instead, assign sections to the months of the year and focus on them then, depending on if they are timely or not.
While I don't despise vision board, they do leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully this can help you create a plan of attack for your goals in 2017.