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Striving or Embracing?

I love the energy of the New Year and the positive messaging that is flooding my LinkedIn and Facebook feeds. Isn’t it interesting that at the New Year we wish one another a Happy New Year? What if we had that same sentiment of well wishes throughout the year? What if we had the same positive, non-stoppable attitude and self-discipline as we do at the first of the year? Things would be vastly differently in all of our lives if these attitudes prevailed for 365 days instead of 30 days or less. How do we hang onto the positive energy?

I’ve learned that more often than not resolutions don’t stick and that goal setting plans gets dusty. For years I’ve gone through days of goal setting, creating deadlines and planning that would make some weary just talking about it. Although goal setting can be beneficial, for me it had become more of a chore instead of an exciting activity to look forward to each year. That is, until I added an element that had been missing from the process…Feelings! Isn’t it bazaar that most of us create goals without any thought to how we want to feel when we obtain that goal?

One of the most strategic, creative, freeing and utterly brilliant questions I’ve asked myself is, “How do you want to feel?” Once I turned my focus toward how I wanted to feel and understood what I needed to do to feel the way I truly desired to feel, the idea of goal setting became exciting again. I had new energy. The process became completely different than it had in the past. Instead of creating a long page of text and measurements, which often made me feel heavy with responsibility and guilty if I didn’t measure up to my long list of goals, it became much more emotionally based and freeing.

This new process is about embracing the possibilities instead of striving and pushing. When I’m pushing and striving and striving and pushing I grow weary. The goals seem too hard, too big, too much! When I’m focused on having the types of feelings I want to have in my life, it’s about embracing the moments, the possibilities and the success of living a life you want instead of a life about measurement.


Here’s what I did and you can too:

1.  Determine your values.  Here’s a link to worksheet to help you with this process.

Page 1:

Page 2:

2.  Identify how you truly want to feel.

Ask, “How do I want to feel?” Repeat the question 5 times to uncover your true desired feelings.

  • Ask, “When have a felt this way before?”  “What do I do now that creates those feelings?”

3.  Create Vision Board.

Now that you have clarity about your values and feelings, you are ready to create your vision board to guide your activities, choices and all that you desire. You will need:

  • A large stack of magazines.
  • An 8×10 or larger sheet of card stock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • The understanding that there are no limits, no right or wrong choices; the only guide is your passion, values and feelings.  Use these to steer you towards what your heart and mind desires.

Begin your vision board by tearing out the images and words in the magazines that speak to you. The images should evoke a feeling of excitement, tug at your emotions, cause your heartbeat to increase, prompt you to say, “WOW!” The images only need to speak to you; no approval is needed from anyone but you. The images may represent something to you that is entirely different than what the picture conveys to others. What is important is that the image conveys how you want to feel and expresses what you want to achieve in your life.

Assemble your images on your sheet of card stock in a way that makes your heart sing with possibilities.

Your vision board is now ready to post in a place that you will see daily. Your vision board is a work in progress and can be updated as often as you like.

I encourage you to explore this new process. Find out your answers to the question, “How do I want to feel?” and “What do I want/need to do to experience my desired feelings?” Discover or re-discover your values. Get creative. Let go of boundaries and measurements.

Let’s resolve the feelings of guilt and needing to stop doing something and instead embrace the possibilities for 2015!

vision board
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Peggy’s Vision Board

I’d love to hear from you and learn about your thoughts and possibilities. Leave me a comment below to start the conversation.

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