Karen Bowlding is my cousin. She’s also a wife and mother, and an author. Her new book, Say No With A Smile,” has just been published in ebook format. While Karen and I have known each other all our lives, we’ve become closer since she started her business, Karen Bolding Edit, Write & Design. This is Karen’s 2011 vision board.
Karen was inspired by my family’s creation of our 2011 vision boards to create her own. Before a vision board, Karen’s new year “resolution” routine was to record general life goals on a piece of paper, which she promptly lost. She says this is different, and I asked her to tell me why. Here’s what she said.
- Immediate gratification. Karen says she enjoyed immediate gratification from the process of creating the board. Instead of paper and scissors, Karen used Logo Design Studio”>Logo Design Studio for her vision board. The board was created in about two hours, most of which was invested in thinking about her life. Within 48 hours, Karen had an experience that confirmed the value of her vision board.When her daughter threw food on the floor while eating dinner yesterday, Karen quickly glanced at the vision board displayed as the screen saver on her laptop. “I quickly decided this was a $5 issue, not a $50 issue and, instead of fussing at my daughter, I simply told her to finish her meal and pick up the food after she was done.” Karen says this resulted in reduced stress for both of them. Karen says that, because her vision board contains visual cues to “pick my battles,” she was able to incorporate the visual into her life to improve an important aspect of her day — dining with her 3-year old child. Karen says that now that the image is in her mind, she can call it forth when she needs it, not just when it’s in front of her on her screen saver.
- Bringing it home. Karen says that the process of thinking about what she would include in her 2011 vision board forced her to compartmentalize and be more specific about her goals. Before using a vision board, Karen’s “write-it-on-paper” method resulted in a few days of motivation. Since Karen selected graphics and fonts for her vision board that resonate for her. As a result, she’s more invested in it. Says Karen, “I was able to ‘bring it home’ and focus on specific behaviors and things I want to do to create the life I want to have this year.”
- Focus on triggers. Karen chose graphics for her vision board that reinforce positive results she has previously enjoyed as a result of engaging in specific activities. For example, because candles and a bath help her relax, the board’s visual of the candle and rocks, underneath the word, “relax” helps Karen recall peaceful times of solitude in the bath. The visual encourages her to want to re-create that experience. This desire It triggers action that leads to the specific result Karen desires — reduced stress
“My goal is to change myself, and therefore make things better for me and my family,” says Karen. “My vision board will help me do that; it’s already happening!”
By this time next year, Karen says, “I plan to have a significantly reduces stress level in large part because I will intentionally say, ‘No” more often. I also expect to have a stronger marriage as a result of communicating more clearly and effectively with my husband.” This intention is represented in the board as well.
I’ll check back in with Karen later this year to see whether her 2011 vision board is in the pile with the “write-it-on-paper” goal sheets of the past, or whether it’s has the positive impacts she expects as she leads her business and herself into 2011.
Question: If you have a 2011 vision board, how do you use it? Is it a physical poster or virtual like Karen’s?