Now is the time to ditch resolutions. Choose vision instead!

haldenAs the beginning of a new year approaches, many of us are thinking of what we want for 2017.  This year I propose a new way of approaching this time of transition.  I say we ditch resolutions and we adopt New Year visions.

Have you ever heard of a vision board?  It’s basically a  large piece of paper on which you allow yourself to dream big.  This is the place where you imagine that you have all the money you need and all the time you need.  If you have children, involve them in the brainstorming process.  Sit down together and throw around ideas of what your family would like to do in 2017.  It can be whatever comes to mind.  There is no nay-saying when you are brainstorming.  All ideas are good ideas here.  This process is usually pretty speedy.

Now that you have your brainstorming done and on paper, you can move on to the next step which is pulling out themes from the brainstorming session.  Common themes are:

  1. Family time
  2. Spending time in the great outdoors
  3. Social time (spent with friends and extended family)
  4. Personal time (reading, alone time)
  5. Relationship time (spent with your significant other)

Group the ideas from the brainstorming exercise into each theme that you have uncovered.  Now you are starting to form a picture of what your family really likes doing and what they would like to spend more time doing.  This is the time now to create the vision board.

All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil.  If you want to make it fancy, as I always do, you can colour it in when you are done.  I like to keep it simple but many people like to add cut-out images from magazines, sparkles, fancy lettering.  Go wild.  You are creating the vision for the next year and the more action you put on the board the better.

Once your vision board is created and you are all happy with it, place it somewhere you will see it often.  You can frame it, you can tape it on your wall, you can put it on your refrigerator.  The idea is to not just look at it often but to train yourselves to “SEE” it.  This is where a vision is quite different from a resolution.  Usually resolutions are one or two lofty goals that individuals work on themselves.  We usually give up or forget about resolutions pretty quickly in the new year.  Your vision board is something you all create together and that you will succeed at.

At diner, when you are all sitting together, you can talk about the themes in your vision board that you realized that day.  Maybe you played together outside which hits 2 themes at once.  Spending time as a family and time in the great outdoors.  It is important to build your connection with these themes and to point out to yourselves how great you are doing at these.  You will soon notice that you will be thinking of your vision board when you are choosing to spend money and you will consider putting money aside for those experiences that your family has chosen.

Have fun with this process.  A new year has started but it does not mean that this vision board needed to be finished by January 1st.  Take your time, think it through and then most importantly, make the vision board.

If you do decide to make a resolution, try your best to frame it in a positive way that ensure success.  For example, if your goal is to lose weight or get healthy, then make the resolution to make a healthy food choice TODAY.  That way you can hopefully ensure success every day.  When you build success every day, then you start behaving differently and making more better choices.  Another example is people who say, “I will read more this year”.  Start by just having a resolution to read ONE book this year.  Pick it and start reading it.  Then you have succeeded.  There is nothing preventing you from picking another one when you are done.

Happy New Year to all!  May we cultivate peace in our hearts, peace in our families, peace in our countries, and peace on earth!

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Josée Nolet is a registered midwife with Generations Midwifery Care. Learn more about Josée here.