Friday, February 8, 2013

The vision board I didn't want to make and why I did it anyway #365yoga

January 2013 started wonderfully. I had my affirmations and I was ready to go. Then, suddenly, it was January 31st and I looked back at what I accomplished in January...

Let's agree to never speak of January again, okay?

Last week, during a call with my oh-so-wise-and-witty life coach Annie, I was lamenting how quickly I lost momentum during the month-that-shall-not-be-named. After listening to me whine about my lack of focus, she asked if I had made a vision board for the year.

I hadn't made a vision board. Frankly, I was feeling done with vision boards. I'd spent last winter creating a visual business plan for my yoga studio business. My business vision board is hanging on my home office wall with two other vision boards I had made at various times. There's another vision board hanging on the wall in my office in the yoga studio. I have a visual journal on my shelf. I felt like I'd done enough cutting and pasting for a lifetime.

Don't tell Annie, but when she told me to make a vision board for 2013 I had every intention of blowing it off. In order to work on it I'd have to put aside something else that really needs to get done and it didn't seem worth the time and effort.

Hello Nemo.

When the snowstorm blew into town this morning I closed the yoga studio and suddenly found myself trapped in the house with time on my hands. Sometimes the universe kicks my excuses to the curb.

As I went through a year's worth of magazines I hadn't gotten around to reading, looking for pictures that spoke to my vision for the year, the images I chose all seemed like the same old stuff. As I laid the pictures out, I noticed a subtle shift from previous boards; the images leaned more towards stillness and being alone than in years past. As I was gluing, I realized why I was done with vision boards.

For me, the time for vision is over. I've done all the work of figuring out my values, my goals, my dreams. I have a plan for my life and my business. Know what's next? Implementing that plan.

And that, my friend, is the hard part.

That's why, during our hour-long phone calls, I repeatedly hear Annie ask "What's one thing you can do to get closer to that feeling?" and "What's standing in the way of starting that?" That's why I've had to revisit tools like calendars and task lists. That's why I've been investing in folders and organizing projects.

This is not a big picture year. 2013 is a year of action. It's time to implement all those grand ideas and actually make my life and my business look like the pictures I've carefully arranged on poster board. It's the year I'm going to have to face fears and kick through obstacles.

Was my vision board a waste of time? Nope. Creating the board allowed me to find some clarity, as creating always does, even when I'm not enjoying it. (I suspect Annie knew it would.) I hung it on my wall next to the business' board so, when I'm procrastinating about the next thing on my to-do list, I'll be reminded why I planned to do it in the first place.

And the images of stillness and solitude? They'll remind me that I need to balance the busy-ness of action with quiet and calm, so busy-ness doesn't become burn-out. Better put "yoga practice" on the list.
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