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    Implementing the Vision: New Year, New You

    Cheers to 2018!

    It’s a new year and obviously, a new you. After weeks of preparing for this big day, writing goals, creating to do lists, burning sage to cleanse your space, it’s finally here. So now what? What happens with all of those goals you came up with for the new year? How do you actually implement 2017’s lessons into the day to day life of 2018?

    We’re oftentimes really great at visualizing the new version of ourselves at the start of a year. We’re even better at losing track of our ‘resolutions’ by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. But there’s definitely hope and accountability to be had as we go into a new chapter with our vision focused. So, here’s a few quick hits on how to organize your thoughts into tangible actions for the new year:

    1. Don’t just make a vision board- make a routine. 

    Every December I see at least five opportunities for a vision board session with fellow black and brown folks to end the year right. A few bottles of wine later, and boom, a spectacular visual representation of what you ‘see’ for yourself in the next 12 months. My vision board for 2017 was spectacular (yes, I am tooting my crafting ego here). But for awhile, it just remained on my wall, a relic of NYE 2016. I didn’t forget my visions or my goals, but they did just sort of fade to background music as I got into the day to day routines of work and school.

     My 2017 vision board.  My 2017 vision board.

    Then I thought about mantras and how repeating a mantra, or a verse, or a quote, is a great way to engrain it in your brain. So I thought, why not turn my vision board into a mantra? Every morning for the past 300 plus days, I’ve gotten up and recited my vision board out loud to myself. As I lather Shea butter on my body, I read my own words aloud to remind myself “Bitch, you have goals and a plan.” While me reading my visions aloud didn’t mean that every day I did something to actively accomplish them (such as take the time to watch YouTube videos on 4c hair maintenance), it did actively remind me of what I was aiming for (healthy hair).

    Saying your goals out loud every single day is a great way to keep them in your subconscious. Then, each day you are actively reminding yourself of what needs to be done.

    2. Sticky notes are your best friend.

    In the same vein of saying things out loud, sticky notes are a great visual reminder of what needs to be done. Say in 2018 you’re going to get on your health jawn and do some light exercises each day to work towards your bigger goal of running daily. Well that’s all peachy until it’s March and the only sweat you’ve broken is when you run too fast to grab the cookies out of the oven. So slap a sticky note on your bathroom mirror as a written reminder. ‘Do 10 squats while brushing and flossing.’ The small visual reminders will start to hold you accountable to actually doing what you said you would do, and they will build you up so that eventually you are going for that 30 minute run every day before work.

    Note: Do’t get too obsessive with your sticky notes (*cough cough* Mary Jane Paul). Be sure to include some sticky notes of positive praise, favorite quotes, Bible verses, etc. so that you also have some positive affirmation sprinkled in with your reminders.

    3. As are deadlines. 

    Mantras and sticky notes are great but you also need to make hard and fast deadlines. For my 25th year of bringing joy to the world, I’ve created a ’25 Goals for 25′ list. It has items ranging from financial goals (begin my investment portfolio), to travel goals (book one international flight), to fitness goals (get a gym membership and commit to one class per week). But what keeps me accountable to the list are deadlines. You can make all of the lists in the world but if you don’t have hard and fast check in points, you can quickly lose hold of your goals and have little accomplished by December.

    Now everything shouldn’t have a deadline, in my opinion. If weight loss that comes with a healthier lifestyle is in your 2018 vision, I wouldn’t suggest a deadline of “lose 20 pounds by March.” You want your deadlines to be sustainable and healthy for the life you lead. For my goal of a gym membership, my deadline is February 1st because I can get it set up to come out of my monthly check starting then. I have no idea when I’ll realistically lose the 5 pounds I’d like to shed so I won’t be making a hard deadline for that. For my international flight, my deadline is September 1st, which gives me enough time to save and properly plan. Creating deadlines will help you turn visions into tangible goals and those goals into realities!

    The new year is one of the most important times on the calendar and with some focus and order, the things you envision can definitely become things you manifest in 2018. Cheers to a new you!

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    Images: Flickr, Tumblr, Bree Darcel via Pinterest

    Ashley Johnson
    Ashley Johnson

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