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Author Elbert Hubbard once said, “Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.”  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”

When I was in ‘the lab’ back in November working on choosing specific words to be the foundation of my Vision Quest 2017, I realized something new.  Instead of just writing down goals for the six areas of my life, I also needed to write down principles that I would live by, while working towards the goals. The before structure was made up of a specific main goal, followed by points of tactical action steps to get me to the goal. This year I decided to consider those tactical steps as principles to live by, rather than tactical action steps.  With the new structure, I’m incorporating those former action steps as a part of my daily, weekly, and monthly lifestyle. And not just doing them when there is a particular goal to reach.  Once I reach the goal, I want to maintain that goal, not stop doing what I was doing to reach the goal, so I need to be sure to make the activities are part of a lifestyle, not temporary.  I think this is why so many people fail at weight loss programs. Once they reach that magical number on the scale, they go back to doing what they did before.  Below is an example of goals and principles in the financial category of life. 

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday. It’s time to jump right into the new year!  We’ve been talking about building our 2017 vision board, using the special core words and underlying principles we plan to live by this year.  Remember, the overall reason for spending so much time and brain power on building a vision board, is to create something we can focus on every day, that will help make us better people tomorrow than we are today.  The more people who share this frame of mind, the more strength and power we will be as a whole to make our world a better, safer, and more beautiful place to live in now, and create a sustainable, brighter place for our children and grandchildren to live in later.

As promised, today, to kick off the new year, I’m revealing my 2017 vision board. To recap, here are my core words.

  • Essentials: Do essential things only, let the rest go – focus on tasks that move the needle, don’t let the busy things detract me.
  • Presence: Be present with everyone in everything, in good and in uncomfortable situations – I will learn more about them and they will feel heard and understood.
  • Energy: Bring energy – it brings everything up and makes life more exciting for everyone.

As I think of these words coupled together with the principles I’ve identified that I need to focus on (that I wrote down) in the six areas of my life (Relationships, Spiritual Growth, Healthy & Fit, Career, Financial Stability, Intellectual Stimulation), I selected a wide variety of images. I love each one of them. So, here it is, my 2017 Vision Board!

I sincerely hope the very best for all of you in 2017!

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We are well on our way to completing our Vision Quest for 2017.  A few weeks back we picked special, meaningful words to keep us focused on how we want to be different (better, stronger, healthier) next year.  Everyday when we say those words, our brain will keep us focused on moving in the right direction, and ultimately achieving the change we want.

Right now, if you haven’t done so already, you should be choosing pictures that your minds eye can tangibly see.  They should be pictures that draw your attention to them. Don’t be afraid to go big.  Dare to trust that God can do big things with your life. You have amazing special skills, abilities, strengths, and passions the world can use. When we all tap into them, we can make the world a better, safer place tomorrow than it is today.

This week I’m very excited to be picking my pictures. Once the pictures are selected, put them on your vision board (poster board, or digital board), along with your words.

Next week I’ll reveal my vision board.  Lets tackle 2017 and go all out with our Vision Quest!  “Nothing happens unless first a dream” – Carl Sandburg.

As we are quickly nearing the end of 2016, it’s a great time to reflect on the year’s successes.  Perhaps it’s the entrepreneur in me, but as soon as I recount my successes, I can’t help but focus on what I can do to make the coming year more fulfilling than the last. Most people look at the new year as a clean slate and start talking about their new year’s resolutions – what they will change, start, or stop doing in the new year.

In my book, Your Ultimate Life Vision, I talk about resolutions vs. goals. As Earnest Hemingway wisely said, “Never mistake motion for action.”  Some people talk about doing things differently, however those resolutions fade and nothing changes. The only way to make your plans stick, is to put together a written vision plan starting now, in December.  Don’t be confused, this is not a list of new year’s resolutions.  Your vision plan is meant to last a lifetime, but your resolutions will be distant memories by March, like your new gym membership.

In the January 2012 edition of InStyle magazine, the following readership poll results were published, listing the most popular new year’s resolutions.

  •             22% – Manage my money wisely and stick to a budget
  •             18% – Stress less
  •             10% – Read and improve my mind
  •              6% –  Spend more time with family and friends

Webster’s dictionary defines the word resolution as the act or process of resolving as: the act of analyzing a complex notion into a simpler one; the act of answering (solving); the act of determining. And it defines the word commitment as an agreement or pledge to do something in the future. Do you see the difference? Having a resolution is good in that you’ve identified specific things you want to do, or changes you want to make, however only when a commitment is made, will you move those plans forward and actually do them. Resolutions without a commitment are powerless and do nothing.

What are you REALLY going to change in 2017? What are you going to do to make yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, healthier, build a career that allows you to become more financially stable so you can take care of yourself, your family, and give to those in need right next to us.

Never mistake motion for action.  Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Don’t be a talker, be a doer, and make it happen!

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Recently, while listening to an interview with Jon Gordon speaking on teamwork and leadership, I was reminded that clear communication is THE important ingredient in building good relationships.  And good relationships are the foundation of healthy families, marriages, teams, and organizations.

John dissected communication in this way – good communication builds trust;  trust generates commitment; commitment fosters teamwork; and teamwork delivers results.  If one of these steps is missing it doesn’t work.  It all starts with communicating directly to the people we engage with (the root). Many organizations get off track by putting all the focus on ‘the fruit’, and stop tending to, or feeding ‘the root’.  If we only focus on the results, and not enjoy and engage in the process, we won’t bear good fruit.  Build your relationships and career with good communication, and you will harvest the best fruit possible.

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I’ve been away from my blogs for a while to focus on building my CPCoastal business.  You can check it out at CPCoastal.com.  I have missed blogging about setting life visions and making dreams a reality, so I’m making a commitment to blog at least once a week. My hope is that I will provide insights and inspiration to everyone who reads them. With that, since we are in November, lets dive in.

When I first was introduced to making vision boards by my friend Lori, she told me every November she goes into her lab.  She explained her ‘lab’ was code for the time she intentionally sets aside, getting away from the normal daily routines and basically shutting the world out. It’s focused time she uses to concentrate on where and who she is and where and who she wants to be.  To be clear, she’s not looking to change her personality or passions; rather, she wants to make who she is even better. She starts her lab time by thinking about words that describe the elements of what she wants to be in the coming year.  For example: Challenge (challenge everyone who asks for my time to make sure I’m not wasting time with the wrong people doing unproductive things). Breakout (breakout of thinking I must do everything perfectly, sometimes good enough is good enough).

I adopted the tradition of going into the lab every November and picking meaningful words, and writing down how that word will impact my life in a positive way. At first it takes time learning to shut off everything around me to be quiet and listen to my inner self.  Words are powerful and give our mind something to work towards.  Pick words that move and inspire you to be something better tomorrow than  you were today.

After we pull our words together, we’ll focus on creating our 2017 vision board to support those very important words. I’m going into my lab this month and will share my words with you. Let’s do this together!  raw-6-29-13

It’s so hard to not be busy doing things.  Days are consumed by getting ready for work, getting to and from work, responsibilities on the job, taking care of a home, taking care of a family, planning, budgeting, trying to keep the wheels from falling off, and the list goes on.  How do you separate from all the stuff and come up for air?  For me, I love a good bubble bath. It’s a simple respite that provides rest for my body and mind.  I noticed over the past year I’ve been looking at my iPad and phone while relaxing in the bath.  Relaxing, really, while searching, ready, and texting?  I realized I was always in motion, even taking a bath.  What happened to resting and relaxing the mind, body, and spirit?  Technology, that’s what happened.  As great as it is, there is a place and time for it, and a place and time NOT for it.  So, I made a deal with myself to just ‘be’ and just breathe for 10 minutes straight and focus on an image of the most peaceful place I can think of (the beach).  Remembering how it felt to snorkel; all I heard was my own breath – inhaling and exhaling.  The rest of the world is silent. Listening to my own breathing brings everything back to simplicity, a sense of center, peace, and calm. Just breathe.JustBreathe

Are you starting the year off by just talking about what you want to do in 2015? Or do you actually have a written plan?

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” – Proverbs 14:23

Having a written plan is visual and a strong reminder of what we need to do to get the results we want to achieve. Are you living your best life possible? Do you have a fit and healthy body? Are you in a career you love? Are you financially stable? Are you emotionally and relationally happy?  Are you spiritually connected? Get there by creating your very own ultimate life vision plan . A good life, like a good reputation, doesn’t just happen, its made. That’s not to say we don’t make mistakes along the way, but our lives are a reflection of what we think and the choices we make.

If you need a jump-start on setting goals for your life, you can pick up my book here.

Go after it in 2015!

Christine

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Have you ever met someone who said, “Boy I wish I would have done that back then.  My life would be so much better today.”  Or the person who seems to have a lot of good ideas to start something, but finds an excuse not to. They just stay stuck in their current situation of not being successful in their relationships, with their physical fitness, or with how they handle money… or all three combined.

I ran across a quote by Og Mandino that has stuck with me. Its right on the money.

“I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.”

Don’t wait, NOW is the time!

Art

Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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Copyright

© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2018. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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