How have you been going this year with your New Year’s resolutions? 2015 is coming to a close, and it is usually around this time of the year that we start feeling guilty about all the things we wanted to tackle or achieve over the year, but failed to do so. Why is it that we are always full of motivation and determination in the first weeks of a year and then, once our daily life takes over, all our resolutions are pushed aside and we find all kinds of excuses why now is not the right time to get started with our undertakings?

Looking back at my year – which was an interesting one in many respects – I feel very proud and content about fulfilling my New Year’s resolutions. At the end of 2014, I posted a blog with three things I wanted to achieve this year.

Number one: I am going to do more writing

Number two: Applying for Australian citizenship

Number three: Reviewing and further improving my diet

To manifest my resolutions, I decided to start the year with a vision board – for the first time in my life inspired by an article in one of my favourite business magazines.

“Let’s do a vision board,” I encouraged my family on the 1 January 2015.

My children looked at me, bewildered; my husband didn’t say anything at all.

“What is a vision board, mum?” my ten-year-old son asked.

I explained to him that we would do a fun, creative exercise flipping through magazines, brochures, catalogues and cutting everything out that we like. I also placed a box of paper and collected cards and colourful paint chips on the table. First hesitant, the boys started becoming more interested when they saw me setting up our big square outdoor table. It looked like a craft workshop with big drawing pads, foam core board, coloured pens and markers.

“Are you joining me now?” I encouraged them to follow my example.

Not long after, we were happily tearing out pages, cutting out images and arranging them on our boards. It was fun, and I was very proud of the boards the boys produced. After we had finished and glued all our inspirations on our boards, each of us presented their board to the family. One thing that struck me was how the boards of my 10- and 13-year old boys reflected their personality and character. Their vision boards are displayed in our family room to remind them every day of how they envisaged their year 2015. Mine is decorating the wall in my study. In the middle, I had placed a page from a literary magazine with the headline For Lovers of Non-fiction over an illustration of the map of Paris; next to it, a stack of books and an old typewriter. My intention for 2015 was manifested on my wall: I would start writing about my life kicking off with a Life Writing class in January.

I truly believe in the power of vision boards. Seeing my board every day on my wall, I was constantly reminded of what I wanted to achieve. And step-by-step, I started working on my resolutions.

Regarding my memoir, I have written 65,000 words and am finalising the first draft; next, I will engage an editor for a first round of feedback and develop the manuscript further in 2016.

In March 2015, I started the lengthy process of applying for Australian citizenship. As Germany per se does not allow dual nationality, I had to apply first for an official certificate from the German government that would allow me to keep my German passport if I was granted Australian citizenship. After filling out many forms and adding legal documents, it took three months before I received approval from Germany and the green light to apply to become an Australian citizen. More forms needed to be filled out and documents put together – this time for the Australian authorities. A couple of weeks after sitting my citizenship test I received a letter from Canberra with the notification of approval of citizenship. Now I am waiting for my ceremony before I can apply for an Australian passport.

In regards to my diet, I reduced eating meet considerably and feel quite good about it. I did not fast or follow any diet; I just became more conscious about what I am eating. I use organic produce where possible and experimented with different things such as reducing dairy products for a while and eating more often gluten free.

To sum it up, I have achieved two of my New Year’s resolutions and am well under way with my third one: writing about my life.

Why am I sharing all this with you? Well, I would like to encourage you to start 2016 with a vision board. Vision boards are similar to mood boards – a tool that designers use to show their design concept to their clients – and are very powerful tools to help you achieve your goals.

Follow the eleven steps below to start 2016 with a bang!

  1. Choose a day to create your vision board.
  2. Buy a foam core board in an art shop; I recommend at least size A2.
  3. Gather a stack of magazines – you can use old ones that you have at home – and make sure that you have a variety of genres: lifestyle, wellness, travel, hobbies, interiors, etc.
  4. Go through your collection of cards, postcards, or other memorabilia you kept for more inspiration.
  5. Collect paint chips from a hardware store.
  6. Find natural objects, such as stones, shells, seed pots, or driftwood, from the beach, bush, or your garden.
  7. Prepare your worktable with coloured pens, markers, glitter, ribbon, glue sticks, and tape (double-sided tape is very handy).
  8. Start tearing out inspirational images, cutting out text, and gathering everything that speaks to you and tells the story of what you want to achieve in 2016.
  9. Curate your items on your board and give it a name.
  10. If you are happy with your board, start fixing your chosen items to it.
  11. HAVE FUN!

I am going to do a vision board for 2016 and will share it on my blog in January. What are your goals for next year? Share your image below to keep you accountable and gain momentum in achieving your dreams.

If you are interested in a tactile mood board workshop in 2016 contact me with your preferred location. After the positive feedback to my October workshop, I plan to offer more mood board workshops next year. Something for my business vision board 2016!


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