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  • Three Tips for Crafting Your 2015 Professional Vision Board

    Are you refreshing your personal brand in 2015 or looking to reinvent yourself and go into a new profession? A vision board may help you crystallize your 2015 goals.

    Vision boards are simply visual representations of your goals. They can be digital or physical collages of images representing your targets. Some  create vision boards using poster board and images cut from magazines while other use apps or programs to paste images to a single file and use that picture as their desktop wallpaper.

    Vision Boards Are Tools, Not Magic

    shutterstock_220296967Athletes have been recorded using visualization techniques since the 1970s. In fact, several studies have shown that mental visualizations with physical practice produce better performance in athletes than practice alone. Visualizing alone is not enough. The process of creating a vision board—selecting images and wording for your collage—will help you narrow down your precise goals for the year. Displaying it somewhere you’ll see it often (e.g., desktop, office wall, bedroom) will serve as a reminder of your objectives and the work needed to accomplish them.

    Tips for Creating Your 2015 Professional Vision Board

    As someone who has used vision boards for years professionally and has seen the benefits, I recommend the following for creating compelling boards.

    Be Specific

    If one of your goals is to update your personal brand, including a different wardrobe, post clothing from stores that represent your new brand, not a store logo. If you plan to complete your makeover in January, paste the word January above the clothes. If you want a more active leadership role in your company, find a picture of someone addressing a group in a meeting and paste a picture of your face over the person speaking and write the name of the meeting (e.g., Monday Sales Meeting) above it. Locate an image of your dream organization’s office and paste a picture of yourself directly in front of it with a date next to your target start date.

    Be Realistic, But Stretch

    Each item positioned on your board is a professional goal you will attain in 365 days. If you are currently a supervisor, it is probably not realistic to paste a picture signifying your being VP of Operations within the year. However, it may be a reasonable stretch to become a manager in a more desirable department.

    Consider the Whole Picture

    Your vision board should include goals that, at the surface, may not seem entirely professional. If you aspire to a training position in your company, requiring a large amount of travel, include fitness goals on your board with the understanding that your health will impact your ability to perform. Incorporate items like meditation, healthy eating, and sleep targets on your board.

    Do the Work

    Hire a professional stylist or identify a fashion student to help you at low or no cost  with your goal of refreshing your wardrobe. Update your LinkedInprofile or follow Twitter job boards for your industry to work on your goal of finding a new opportunity. Once your board is complete and displayed, it is up to you to obtain the tools and help you need and commit to doing the work to turn your board into a reality.

    Crystal Washington is a social media marketing strategist, speaker, co-founder of Socialtunities—a social media instruction brand that trains Gen Ys-Boomers on the strategic use of social media, and the author of The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media. She is hired by corporations and associations around the globe to provide keynotes, workshops, and webinars.

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