[Editor's Note: The following GGG Firsthand was written by Rashana A. Hooks]
Growing up, my mother would always tell me to keep my “eyes on the prize.” As an educator, she instilled in me that education was the key to success, and if I wanted to become successful I not only needed a college degree; I needed a vision of what I wanted to accomplish.
I’d heard about vision boards for a while, and I learned how to fully create one from an article in O, The Oprah Magazine. The purpose of the board is to help you see your goals and dreams clearly by using images and sayings/quotes that represent your aspirations.
Here’s how it works: There are three main elements on my board (which you can see above!). The first are quotes–motivational sayings to encourage me, inspire me, and lift me up. The second element is photos that represent my short-term and long-term goals, such as becoming a published author, owning my own home (including a summer home in South Hampton!), and increasing my salary in the next couple of years. There are picture clippings of Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Desiree Rogers to remind me that intelligence, beauty and being all around fabulous is so sexy. I also have dreamy pictures of sandy white beaches with blue waters to motivate me to continue to work hard so I can take beautiful vacations! Symbolically, the third and last element is a photograph that represents my spirituality. Its purpose is to keep me centered, focused and humbled.
I keep the board above my computer in my home office, and look at it for a boost of confidence before I begin a new project, or to help me refocus after a setback. Not long ago I was in a job that I was absolutely not passionate about. I went to my vision board, and one particular quote caught my attention that day: “Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.” It was at that moment I knew I deserved to be happy doing what I wanted and I was not going to stop until I reached that goal. I’ve since left that job and have been freelance writing. Two of my proudest accomplishments since? My short story titled “GOAL DIGGER” is published in the anthology Souls of My Young Sisters, Kensington Publishing 2010, and I’m now nearing the steps to owning my first home.
Thinking about giving a vision board a try? Here are a few steps to create your own:
- Write down your dreams, goals, and aspirations (Be very, very specific).
- Get a poster board, small to mid-size bulletin board or a large sheet of paper (11 x 14).
- Grab a few magazines, tape and a pair of scissors.
- Search the magazine for pictures that mirror the goals and dreams you identified in step #1.
- Place your selected clippings onto the board.
- Take a few minutes to look at each “vision” and then envision yourself achieving them.
- Place the board at eye level, in a place you frequent often.
- Look at the board every day – and keep your eyes on the prize!
- Revise your board from time to time, replacing completed goals with new ones.
–Rashana A. Hooks