Friday, December 16, 2016

Vision Boards: YOU are the Centerpiece

When setting a formal table, there is often a grand and elaborate centerpiece. When creating a vision board, there should also be a grand centerpiece. That centerpiece should be YOU!

Yes, it is recommended by many, including Joyce Schwarz best-selling author of The Vision Board to include a picture of yourself in the center of your vision board.

You should include the picture of yourself on your board to be a reminder that you are the co-creator of your life. YOU are center to the vision of your life. You are the “star” of the movie and the one who must take action in your life.

Yes, some would say that the Universe will manifest your vision board. However, if the Universe opens the door for your vision, you must be the one to walk through the open door.

When choosing the picture of yourself, make it a positive one. Choose a picture that you like and that reflects a happy time in your life.

For example, it can be a childhood image laughing and playing at the park or a birthday party surrounded by friends and family. These would be especially appropriate if they reflected items you were visioning for now — peace, playfulness, freedom, family, love, etc.

Another approach that is very common is to take a new picture — one that reflects what you want in the future. It is a common story of people who go to a car dealership and have a picture taken in their “dream car.”

With technology, you can also “photo shop” a picture of yourself standing in front of your dream home or on your dream vacation.

However you choose, it is important to picture yourself in your vision. Without you….it is not your vision.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

3 Key Elements of Vision Boards

Vision boards are a collection of images or words glued to a poster board that display where a person wants to go, goals that they wish to achieve or material items that they’re striving to acquire. However, when created and used properly, vision boards can really change one’s life.

In addition to the general images and words, there are three key elements that should be included in a vision board project. These are:


  • A picture of the creator;
  • A power word or two; and
  • Images that convey emotion


Be the centerpiece of your vision board

The first element — a photo of the vision board’s creator — is critical. Vision boards created by an individual should have a positive image of the creator as the centerpiece of the vision board.

If the vision board is created by a couple, a family or a group, an image of the group should be the center focal point. It is important to have this image as it gives “ownership” to the creator. For individuals, it is important to be reminded, it is your vision and you must be a part of it.

Include a power word

The second key element is the “power word.” This concept is new to many vision board users. The power word can be a term that’s used to describe the theme of the board or it can be a phrase, motto or mantra. It must be positive and the term or word must be in the future or present tense. A couple examples are “Happiness Abounds” and “I enjoy being my ideal weight of 150 pounds.”

Choose images that reflect emotion

The third and final element of the vision board that is key: images that reflect emotion. The images need to show happiness, satisfaction, accomplishment, etc. As humans, we often “mirror” the attitude and energy of those around us. This is true of images as well. If we are surrounded by the “negative,” one’s attitude will become negative. If an individual focuses on the positive, he or she will have a positive attitude.

When creating a vision board, it is important to take a few moments to examine your feelings. How will you feel when you have lost weight, bought that new car or secured a new job? These emotions should be depicted on the vision board.

These three key elements –- you, power words and emotions — will add power and success to your vision board.




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Finding Purpose and Direction with One Word

“Hey mom, in three years you’ll be fifty.”

This simple statement, made by my son, still rings in my ears  years later. Having been self-employed for over 15 years at the time and working with my main client for over 10 years this brought up a harsh reality.

I looked at the stack of papers on my desk and asked myself “Is this what you want to be doing in three years?”

After some deep soul-searching, I came to the difficult decision to make some major career changes in my life. I had worked from a home office, had virtual co-workers and even virtual friends. I wanted to grow as a person and “expand my horizons” as the saying goes. I wanted to practice what I taught and coached about. I wanted to live my vision and reach for the stars!

I took a leap of faith and left that client. I become a direct seller for a new company. All was great and I became a leader in just 45 days. Having worked from home and with now grown children, I lacked the warm fuzzy market of local friends and family. I knew I need to change that for my business growth, for personal support and friendship.

I had been using and teaching vision boards and goal setting for several years and this seemed the natural first step to making my life changes. As I gathered images, almost randomly using my right-brain, I was attracted to the image of the word CONNECT.

As I reflect back on this now, I see that this was my “One Word” focus. The start of something powerful that I didn’t even know existed!

I didn’t know what “connect” would look like or what the final result would be so I trusted in the image and knew it would guide me where I needed to be. This became my guiding image.

The guiding image to me is a representation of a heart’s desire. It is not a material item or place. It is more a feeling or sense of being. Very often, I think, we know something needs to change. We know there is an opportunity out there, we just can’t yet define it or picture it in our mind. We truly feel it within our hearts. This is what CONNECT was to me. It was my heart’s desire to be part of something outside of myself.

Shortly after creating this board, a gal friended me on Facebook. She was interested in starting a women’s networking group in our area – a rural farming community nestled in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. We did have lots of networking choices if we drove 45 to 60 minutes toward Seattle or Tacoma, but no strong local groups. We met at Starbucks that week to set the plan in motion.

Hannah, my daughter Emily, and I met. We had great ideas and a grand vision. We did wonder if anyone would attend our meetings. My daughter promptly committed to not attending! However, undaunted, Hannah and I moved forward.

Flash Forward seven months….Our networking meetings boasted consistent attendance of over 15 women. We enjoyed new members every meeting. We made strong friendships that transcended the networking group. We socialize together and support each other. We are connected.

Looking back to pasting that image on my board, I never “visioned” co-founding a successful networking group, developing close friendships so quickly, or redeveloping the connection to my community. The abstract image CONNECT was my guiding image – guiding me to connect, take chances and reach for the stars!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Networking: A New Approach of Pay It Forward

A couple of years ago, after ten years of tele-commuting, I jumped back to the “real” world and into the new world of networking. It has come along way from the “Chamber of Commerce” events I had been a part of many years ago.

Networking has taken on a new look and new feel.  Networking is more about relationships than about business.  I am finding more and more groups lead by females and embracing home-based businesses, including direct sales and party plan businesses. As I looked at networking events, I took the approach of filling my calendar with every event possible. I attended those that were “free”, the paid groups and those supported by vendors.  I learned a great deal through my own experience — more about that later.  I also looked for advice from the “pros”.

I read information online and looked at several books. I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event by Sandy Jones-Kaminski was by far the most helpful and comprehensive one I found. It covered a variety of situations and scenarios and outlined the practical steps and uses of networking in today’s society and fast-paced world.

Sandy’s unique approach to “networking better” and “pay it forward” philosophy changed the way I looked at networking.  Networking is not about collecting names and business cards. It is about CONNECTING people with people – not necessarily connecting YOU with people!

The quote “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” resonates with her philosophy. Network to help others not just yourself! WOW – what a concept!

Her practical tips from choose the events to introducing yourself and following up lay the foundation for successful marketing. Don’t leave an event with 20 business cards – leave the event with quality connections. This changed the way I networked and lead to many successful business and personal connections that changed my life and the lives of others.

If you are looking to build your business or find a new career, I highly recommend reading this book and learning how to use networking events to build your relationships.  Direct Sales/Party Plan businesses are built on relationships.  Exchanging cards at the event is just the first step…after you have chosen the right events to attend.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Journaling: Beautiful Way to Get You Started and Keep You Motivated!

I confess. I  was one of the world’s worst journal writers. I had read countless books and articles listing the many benefits of journaling and yet struggled with it all the time.

Last year I discovered Jennifer Louden’s book A Year of Daily Joy: A Guided Journal to Creating Happiness Every Day and fell in love with it. It is a beautiful book combining gorgeous pictures and images with meaningful quotes and journaling “assignments”.

What is truly unique is the layout. Combining 3 days in the two-page format for me, took the pressure off needing to write every day. I found I could capture meaningful memories and thoughts on the
Jennifer Louden - amazon.com
page quickly. It removed the procrastination feeling I often had when feeling I couldn’t fill a page with thoughts!

I  found it motivational and inspirational every day. What better way to start or end your day than with a beautiful picture and quote? I also love that the quotes offer a variety of perspectives. Quotes from Kahill Gibran, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Albert Camus, Eleanor Roosevelt and Elizabeth Gilbert grace the pages with elegance.

The author understands that variety keeps us going as well. An example of a daily journaling assignment from June 28 —

Surprise Yourself

We thrive on novelty. In fact, we can lose motivation without a regular does of it. What areas of your life feels bogged down, dull and ho-hum? Maybe your job or your weekend plans? Brainstorm little ways you can freshen up one area: taking a different route to work, trying a new exercise class at lunch time, sign up for salsa lessons with your partner, inviting neighbors to co-create a progressive dinner party. The trick to this tip: Keep trying new things because novelty wears off – fast.

This couldn’t be more true! Until we get into the habit of journaling everyday – it takes about 21 days – the novelty can wear off without the daily motivation.  Jennifer keeps me motivated every day! I love to look at the pictures, ponder the quote and reflect on the daily journaling exercise.

If you are new to journaling and want a great journal and guide, check out Jennifer Louden’s book –A Year of Daily Joy: A Guided Journal to Creating Happiness Every Day