An expat looking at a city skyline

How a vision board will change your game for 2020

Building your expat life by design, not default.

Do you want 2020 to be the year you get to grips with expat life and make it work for you, instead of happening to you?

Are you motivated to take your unique expression of global citizenship to the next level?

If the answer is a resounding “yes”, then a vision board is a great tool to organize your core values and dreams into visuals that propel you forward into 2020 and beyond.

How do vision boards work?

What we focus on expands. 

For example, if we focus on our intrinsic worthiness, deservingness and abilities, while doing our progressive best as we work toward our goals, we’re more likely to achieve them. On the other hand, if we focus on thoughts of how difficult the work is or those debilitating  “nothing ever works out for me” thoughts, then we’re less likely to move toward our desired outcomes.

By creating a visual statement of your goals, with pictures and images, you are strengthening your resolve and motivating your emotions. This is because our mind responds incredibly strongly to visual stimulation.

Whatever occupies our mind determines the decisions we make every minute of the day. 

It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? (And yes, there is a process to make your vision board more powerful.)

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Jim Rohn

Dedicating a sacred space that displays our deepest desires and healthiest preferences  brings them to life. So why doesn’t everyone create vision boards?

Well, in my experience as an intercultural architect, coach and university lecturer, most of my clients and students never make the time. They let their busy, distracted lives keep them, well, busy and distracted. 

And I was no different.

Distracted and disconnected

Back in 2013, I was so stuck in “busy, distracted and disconnected” mode that I felt out of touch with what made my life joyful and meaningful.

Those of us reinventing ourselves in a new culture know what I’m talking about.  It’s those phases of our expat life that leave us asking ourselves…

“Why do I feel so sad when my life is so good?”

“Am I capable of more?”

“Why does it seem as if others don’t understand me or I them?”

I was stuck in the paradox of joy and grief, searching for a healthy escape out of autopilot. I wanted more clarity and intentionality as I continued to build my thriving global lifestyle.

And that’s when my vision board changed the game and propelled me toward sustainable shifts forward. 

Build 2020 by design, not default

There are 4 steps to create your vision board and make it work for you.

1. Decide on the type of board you want to create. There are lots of ways to do this. You can do it digitally or use printed, cut out images and stick them onto card or paper. There are apps such as the Hay House vision board app, specifically for creating vision boards. Or something like Pinterest can be used, with their secret board feature.

2. Gather your material. Get hold of a stack of magazines. Browse through Pinterest, Google images, image libraries and even your own photos. Think of people who inspire you, inspiring quotes, or even single words, colours or objects that represent your preferences for the future.

3. Set aside time to create your board. You will need at least an hour, so make time in your diary for this important work. However long it takes, the point is to enjoy the process. Use a variety of colors, textures, and different types of content to make your board visually appealing. Arrange the images in a way that creates meaning for you. 

4. Include your vision board in your daily self-care routine. The practice of connecting with a visual of everything that makes your life meaningful and joyful every day has a powerful psychological effect. It makes everything you envision seem more manageable and within your reach. It also helps remove procrastination and encourages you to stay on track, despite the setbacks.

Want to make 2020 your best year ever? 

So, what do you say? Use your time over the holidays to get creative, get out of your expat funk and make 2020 an unforgettable year. 

Monère Renoir Wanner

Monère helps global citizens navigate the difficulties of establishing a new life abroad and create thriving international lifestyles.

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