If you’ve never had a vision board go make one!
I’m sure if you haven’t already read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. The Secret, a little book where a whole world of positivity lies! I’m a firm believer in positive thinking and creating your own destiny. This past few weeks has really solidified to me how important it is to have a vision for yourself and how achievable it is once you set your mind to it. Since the day I started to change my thinking, my whole life has gone 360. The feelings many of us have that so often hold us back. For me it was feeling shy, anxious, being an over-thinker, panicker, nervous and scared to name but a few. In 2012 everything changed for me. It was like a light-bulb moment when I decided that I had to take control of my mind and body to become a healthier, better me. The awareness mental health has now is so far from where it once use to be it’s something we can all be proud of. It’s ok to talk about anxiety, panic attacks, depression and your problems. Society is finally beginning to accept that these are normal feelings that we can all encounter at different stages in our lives. They are actually extremely common feelings amongst all of us, its not so shocking anymore to hear people say they feel anxious.
I guess my story isn’t anything special or different to the next. But I just wanted to share how changing your thinking can change your life.
ALWAYS known as the scared, shy, sheltered little sister and youngest sibling… “Julie will never leave home”, “Julie will never last if she moves away”, “Julie is a true home bird”. That’s all I heard for a very long time. The more I heard the negativity, the more I thought it true and the more I believed it. Negativity breathes negativity. If there is anybody reading along that is on the fence about moving away, taking that new job, changing careers, scared that they don’t think they’ll be able to do it… Then let me tell you, yes you can! Once you start believing in yourself.
Self belief is something that took a long time for me to learn. I had to take the leap and fly 7,000 kms away to believe in myself. I sometimes wonder if I went into survival mode but then I think about how unbelievably happy I was and that it didn’t ever feel difficult. One I started to believe in me, it wasn’t hard to start being positive! I was more than capable of leaving home and actually enjoy it.
I’ve carried that self belief with me for the past four years. No matter what it is I want, I believe in myself and my capabilities. I wish I had taken pictures of my vision boards that I had in Toronto because they scarily came true. I would find myself in the exact position of the photo on my board! I believed that I would achieve and reach all those feelings and goals. It’s like your subconscious is working towards the pictures you are seeing daily. Putting pictures up of your goals is a great way to remind yourself what you are working towards. Personally, I prefer to visually see my goals rather than writing them down. Especially on the days that you’re struggling to get up for work or feeling like you’re going nowhere!
When I started to concentrate on all the positives and take control of my thinking thats when my vision started to become a reality. So when I moved home last year I made a vision board (which was sadly ruined in the move 🙁 ) thats main focus was we would have a house this year… with a red door and guess what? We bought a house WITH A RED DOOR. lol. I know people are prob reading this and thinking ‘Julie is crazy’ and maybe I am, but this was the only house we viewed (out of about 25) and won the bidding war may I add, that had the red door! I also had September on my vision board for when we would buy/move into the house. I just wanted the deal done by September for some reason so that we would have enough time to settle before Christmas. And well, we signed our contracts and finalized the deal in…SEPTEMBER! In fairness we got the keys a few days late (October 5th), but still I’m impressed that it was within the perimeter! I also had an image of a destination wedding on my vision board, well in October we happily set the date for our wedding in Spain!
So on reflection, as I turned 26 a few weeks ago I started to feel a lot of gratitude. After a lot of stress over the past few months with buying a house/closing the sale, moving and working I lost my train of thought a little. I’ve found myself dwelling on the negatives, the little imperfections that I felt like were a major big deal and really they aren’t. So I’ve taken the last few days to re-coup. Remembering the brave, courageous 22 year old that boarded a plane to a country I had never been. Thinking about how much Gary and I have achieved over the past year and how content I am to be living in our new home together.
I think it’s time that I start a new vision board because what I’ve learnt is that besides ‘wanting’ material things, happiness really comes from a feeling. If you find yourself buying endless amounts of ‘things’ but you don’t feel happy, then you need to stop and reevaluate. If you think you’re happy living a certain life style, but when you stop you realise you are actually unhappy, then you need to change your way of thinking. I try and concentrate on what will make me feel both positive and happy. I try to visualise both short and long term goals and the feelings of achievement when I reach them. The past few days I can’t stop thinking about the fact that 3 years have passed since I moved away and how much of a different place I would be in if I hadn’t have believed in myself. All of things we’ve done, when I look at my bucket list and look back at memories, it makes me beam.
So these are the things i’m focusing on for my new vision board and I hope you do too! Because every little boost of encouragement spreads positivity.
What should you put on your vision board?
Anything and everything that inspires and motivates. No goal is too big! Think about all the emotions and feelings you want to achieve and then think about what part of your life they link back to. For example, feeling good in your own skin may link you to exercise and healthy eating. Think about travel, relationships, work, finances, health, happiness. What you think and in-vision will only expand and grow!
I sometimes get asked if it should be one main goal to work towards or multiple little ones. I guess it all comes back to what you want at this point in time. When I lived in Toronto I didn’t have one major goal I had lots of little ones, like finding a job in buying, living in the city, going on weekend adventures, reading a different book, quotes that inspired me to grow and learn, travelling and exploring and pushing my boundaries in different ways such as meeting new people and making new friends.
I’ve also started to put up pictures and trinkets that remind me of a feeling I want to feel again. A moment when I was happy, a memory that I want to repeat.
How much stuff should you put on the vision board?
Put as little or as much as you want! If you have loads of ideas and feelings in your head then write them all down and then find an inspiring picture to match or do the complete opposite if you want. Leave your vision board blank and when you find something inspiring or think about something you want, then put it up there for you to see! The beauty is that this is your vision.
How often should you change/update your vision?
I find that I do it when I feel like I’m having a significant change, but why not start today! When I moved to Toronto I made one straight away and as my visions became reality I would update it. Then when I moved back to Dublin I done a brand new one. Today, I feel like I’m going to start afresh.
The past year I’ve also learnt a few things about myself. I feel like I was getting caught up in things that were distracting me from feeling positive, inspired and motivated. It’s easy to get mislead, to be wrapped up in whats going on around you and forget that its all affecting you in some way. As I said, when you think negative you feel negative. I’m stopping this now, no more negativity!
What I learnt at the age of 25:
- No goal is too big!! People thought we were mad saying we would be buying a house within a year of moving back. But we done it! We saved hard and thought about the finish line when it got difficult. We faced the odds, beat the statistics and hear I AM sitting in my new home.
- Friends. I think as we grow up we learn a lot about the people who we associate ourselves with. It was a difficult transition moving country again and leaving friends behind and making new ones. You learn who will stick by you and who doesn’t. Not everybody understands or are able to remain friends between continents. I’m happy to say that I’ve got the perfect handful that have been there for me through it all and I hope I have been there in return. It’s also a time when falling out with friends and growing distant is inevitable. Some people come into your life to stay and some people come to teach you a lesson. The older I get, the more I feel like I’m learning to be ok with this.
- Material things mean little in the grand scheme of things. This year saving for a mortgage meant limited expenditure and this year was one of the hardest but also one of my happiest. I felt like I invested more of my time in people than things. Yet, we managed to buy the biggest purchase we’ll ever make! Funny how that worked out lol.
- Family. We’re one big family if you didn’t already know! It’s been a year of getting to know the little people that I missed out on for the 2 years we lived away. It’s getting to spend time with my granda, my parents and siblings.
- Feelings. I’ve never felt more emotions that I did this past year. I felt like it was a bit of a rollercoaster with a lot of highs and lows. I missed Canada, I missed travelling, I missed my friends. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness being with my family during holidays and celebrations. I felt nervous, scared and anxious but also such a great sense of achievement starting a new job again! It was hard and difficult saving for our mortgage. Worried that we made a mistake. And then I can’t really describe how I felt these past few months because the feelings are insane! I just feel like I’ve been in a little bubble of pure happiness and elation.
I can’t emphasis how much positive thinking and a vision board can influence your daily happiness! But it has definitely worked for me in the past. With all the changes that have been happening lately I’ve let my visions slip but I’m feeling really motivated and inspired today FOR THE FUTURE and I hope you are too! I can’t wait to see what 26 holds!