Who is already working on their 2021 Goals and dreams? If you’re like me, your 2020 goals got absorbed into adjusting to all 2020 brought through a global pandemic.
This is the time of year that God has our attention to guide us into 2021 as we listen more intently to how he is preparing us for the year ahead. We need to let go of some things, maintain some behaviors, and pick up new habits as we move forward. And let’s face it, you’re probably more ready than ever to start fresh, right?
This time last year (late 2019), I did my first “vision board”. I had never done one before and I was determined to see if it actually helped me guard the direction God was leading me.
I can imagine some of you are thinking “Lisa, this feels like self-help, name it and claim it, or self-actualization.” And it would be if I started with me. But, my 2020 vision board pours forth from letting God examine me morning after morning in His word, prayer, confession and reflection.
Here are a few things I’ve discovered as I used this vision board throughout 2020.
1. It begins and ends with God. This is not self-help or name it and claim it. How can Christians use this? Because everything that is on it are reminders of what God has directed through prayer and pondering with him for your year ahead. When you begin with God, this board becomes a visual journal of sorts that will guide you, encourage you and challenge you about the things God has already laid on your heart. Grab your journals and review how God has been speaking to you, the scriptures He’s used to guide you and any warnings, challenges or affirmations you’ve written down. It will also be helpful for you to use your journal as your work through the varying pieces of your vision board.
2. One of the things that may be helpful before, during or after your vision board project is to have a time with God that you release things from the previous year. Make a conscious statement that you are ungripping your hands and releasing past hurts and habits and ready to receive all God has for you in the year ahead.
3. As a coach, I find it’s often helpful to remind clients to give themself permission to form a new habit or routine. What do you need to give yourself permission for as you start the year ahead? My vision board represented God’s direction, but also my willingness to give myself permission to pursue these things.
4. I placed it in a prominent place that I could see it often. For me, I love taking long baths and it was taped up on the tile next to my bathtub.
5. I found that when I felt like I was doing well, the board didn’t mean much to me. However, when I was discouraged, insecure, feeling like I was failing or stalling, this board would be a much-needed realignment for me. Just looking at it gave me courage and confidence. It was a reminder of what God wanted for me in 2020 and I would make adjustments to my thought-life, mindset and behaviors to realign with the path God set me on as the year began.
6. I’m a big believer in the phrase “my life will either be a wonderful example or a horrible warning to others.” This board helped me adjust the areas where I knew I was becoming a warning before they took root in ongoing behaviors.
Now, here are some ideas for you to start assembling your vision board.
Supplies for your vision board:
* Poster board. Consider where you might want to hang your board in order to determine the size of board you want to assemble.
* Glue sticks or double sided tape.
* Magazines, catalogs, sales flyers, newspapers, junk mail, photographs or print out images and phrases custom created and sized.
* Optional: Markers, stickers, glitter, etc.
* Optional: Consider laminating the finished board. I wish I would have laminated mine last year as I put it in my bathroom with steam.
(If you prefer a digital board, you can refer to several examples on YouTube)
ASSEMBLING THE BOARD
* Play around with your layout adjusting and cutting pieces of the board to size.
* Consider unusual angles as you layout your board.
* Lay all your pieces on the board and set it in a safe place to absorb it for a day or two BEFORE applying glue. Remember, this board should move you forward and make you feel something because it is a reminder of all you’ve wrestled for with God.
* Some people consider keeping a portion of their board blank to allow for additions throughout the year.
Put your photograph of your vision board as your screen saver and also place it in a prominent place in your home. Like I said, for me it was next to my deep soak bathtub.
Since this board begins and ends with God, pray a prayer of submission to Him alone. Ask Him to press on you if this board becomes more of a guide than He is to you. Keep taking this board back to God confessing that you surrender any right to achieve, acquire, possess and pursue any of it. And ask Him to bless it according to all He sees ahead for you in the year ahead.
PARTS OF YOUR VISION BOARD
RECLAIM – One visual I selected is something that represents something I lost in the previous year (my voice ) and need to take back. Ask yourself these questions. “What is a lesson I’ve learned? What was my biggest challenge this past year? Where am I not proud of myself or wish I’d acted or reacted differently?” For me, it was that I had allowed an intimating relationship cause me to stuff my voice. I knew God wanted me to learn to trust my instincts and use my voice appropriately. I felt like He wanted me to take back my voice, so I incorporated the word “Voice” on my board along with the phrase “trust your instincts”. What is yours ? Time? Compassion? Health? Remember that this step may also require you to forgive yourself or someone else in order to start strong in the year ahead.
CONTINUE – One visual represents something I want to maintain and make progress in the year ahead. Ask yourself these questions. “What has gone well for me this year that I want to celebrate, maintain or even grow? What is something I’m proud of from this past year? What are the things you’re grateful for from the past year?” For me, it’s pilates. I’ve gotten stronger and added more classes to my week and more challenging workouts to my routine. I want to maintain and even grow this. I chose a photograph of a woman doing a raised leg plank to remind me to grow the amount of time I can hold a plank.
GOD’S WORD – As I reflected over my journals from the past year, I took note of the scripture verses that God used to speak directly to me. If you’ve studied the Bible for long, you know this as a “rhema” word – a particular passage of scripture that you may have read many times before, but in this season it spoke directly to you. Mine were around confidence and calling, so my board includes Proverbs 4:23, Romans 11:20, Ephesians 4:1, Philippians 1:6 and Philippians 3:14 that speak to those areas of need I had.
INSPIRATION – I felt led to scroll through my social media over the past year and I printed out memes that inspired or motivated me. This is where I found a post that said “The calling ahead of you is greater than the offenses behind you.” This meme powerfully moved me and it continues to be a reminder about my calling.
WORD FOR YEAR – One is your word or phrase for the year ahead. On my board, my phrase I had wrestled with God to understand for the year ahead was “Who am I becoming?” I had reflected on my responses and reactions (or lack thereof) in a few situations and knew that God wanted me to be a reflection of Him. When I faced temptation throughout the year to reflect resentment, bitterness, impatience or hard-heartedness, I remembered this phrase to keep me from allowing those seeds to take root in my heart.
WARNING – A warning is like a rumble strip. When your car veers out of your lane, the rumble under your tires jolts you back into the safety of the road ahead. Including a warning on your vision board will help jolt you when you’re going off course to get back into a healthy lane to move ahead. I chose the truth of the hidden fear of an Ennegram 3 (I’m a 3 wing 2). “Hidden fear type 3 – failing; not making any sort of impact, being cut off from others”.
HOBBY/FUN – Do you golf? Garden? Sew? Read? Well, this is hard for me to admit because it makes me feel shallow as a puddle. But, my hobby is fashion. I spend relaxing time investigating trends, colors, Pinterest outfit inspirations and style. My vision board has a trendy leopard-print outfit along with my style statement. For you it could mean a stroke number you want to take off of a golf game or a reading list of books you want to read in the year ahead.
CALLING – It could be your mission statement. I could be your God-dream. It could be your full-time career calling or it could be a small portion of each week/month that you volunteer mentoring, investing or serving somewhere. A calling is your invitation to participate in kingdom work that God has prepared in advance for you according to Ephesians 2:10. Since God had stretched me to persevere in my calling in the year ahead, I added “Live My Why” and the word “women” since I”m called to lead, guide and equip women.
MORE – This is YOUR vision board, so you get to decide anything else to add to it. Here are a few other things to consider adding: Continuing Education; Travel dreams; Stretch goals; Relationship dreams; Just be sure that you don’t slap something on and claim it as yours. Keep it to things you dream about with God. So, you could ask Him, “I would love to travel internationally this year, but I don’t see how that can happen. How do you want me to dream about that?” And watch how He opens or closes the door.
I hope this inspires you to envision the year God is preparing for you and participate with Him to bring it about. Share your vision boards with me here in the comments or on my social media: ljallen20 Instagram.
Proverbs 29:18 (MSG) – If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”