Imagine reaching your full potential, having a successful career, being happy, and living the life of your dreams. What does that look like? How would that feel? What steps do you need to take to make that dream a reality?
It is possible to live the life of your dreams. In my eBook, Design Your Dream Life, I talk about the importance of creating a clear vision for your life and being as specific as possible with how you would feel. I also discuss how to create a plan, and the importance of taking the right actions to help you get there.
How Visual Tools Help You Reach Your Goals
The use of visual tools, including vision boards, mind maps, and dream charts can be very helpful in designing and achieving your dream life. They activate the creative right-side of your brain and help you see new possibilities. Visual tools also help create an optimistic, positive mindset that is helpful in changing your habits and behaviors into positive ones that will help you reach your goals.
Author Patti Dobrowolski created a visual tool that is perfect for this, and shared it in her book, Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life. I had the privilege of meeting Patti recently, and attended one of her workshops.
Use Visual Tools to Achieve Your Goals
In Drawing Solutions, Patti outlines 7 easy steps to draw your own dream map and help you develop solutions. To get started, you can download a free template from Patti’s Website, or just use a plain piece of white paper.
Once you have your template or paper, gather some colored markers, pens, crayons, or colored pencils, and find a quiet place to work.
Next, decide which area of your life you’d like to focus on: Relationships, Financial, Health, Career, Personal Development, Recreation, Spirituality, or your Environment (home, office, car), or you can do a snapshot of your life overall.
Follow Patti’s 7 Steps (listed below), relax and have fun. Don’t get caught up with concerns about your drawing ability. This is your map and no one has to see it. Plus, you can keep the objects very basic as I did in my drawing, and I am in no way an artist 🙂 I created a map for buying a new home for our family.
7 Steps to Reaching Your Goals With Visual Goal Setting
Step 1: Your Name: Draw your name at the top of the paper. Have fun with this, maybe try bubble letters, swirls, or whatever feels right at the moment.
Step 2: Current State: On the left side of your paper, draw your current state using words and images that come to mind. You may want to choose a single color or a darker color for this section. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just do your best. In her book, Patti provides some great sample images to draw from. Reflect on what you see and how you feel.
Step 3: Desired Reality: Before you start on this section, take a break and allow yourself to change your focus. Go for a walk, play loud music, or drink a glass of water. Once you feel like your mind is clear, get your pens and pencils ready. On the ride side of your paper, draw your desired future reality using words and images that express the feeling you’d like to achieve. Where do you want to see yourself in one year? If your inner critic shows up, banish it from the room. Allow yourself to dream. Reflect on what you see and how you feel.
Step 4: Bold Steps: Now, look at both sides of the paper, where you are now and where you want to be a year from now. On a separate piece of paper, brainstorm a list of steps you could take right now to achieve your goals. Get as many ideas as you can, and when you’re finished, narrow the list down to your top three. Write down your three Bold Steps in the center of your document.
Step 5: Action Steps: Under each bold step, make a list of 8-10 smaller actions you can take to achieve each bold step. So for example, on mine, one of my bold steps is to List Our Current House. Some smaller action steps include: Prepare the house for sale, Clean and declutter each room, Make any necessary repairs, and Paint the stairs. Do this for each of your 3 Bold Steps.
Step 6: Success Measures: Set success measures for each of your Bold Steps. When you complete the Bold Step, what will success look like to you? For my Bold Step of Listing Our Current House, my success measures include: Having our house ready to present to potential buyers, Completing all necessary repairs, and Having freshly painted stairs. Complete this for each of your 3 Bold Steps.
Step 7: Revisit and Reinvigorate: Staying motivated and inspired to achieve your goals is essential. By revisiting your map each week and feeling what success would feel like, you can maintain your enthusiasm. According to Patti, it’s also important to celebrate each success. When you accomplish a task, no matter how small, say, “I drink this ________ in celebration of my continued success with ________.”
Visual goal setting has been a wonderful tool in my life. In my example, we were able to complete all of the steps necessary to prepare our house for sale, list it with an agent, and we got a full price offer in only two days! We found our dream house and are currently waiting to close on it soon. I’ll keep you updated and I know I’ll be using visual goal setting in the future.
Now it’s your turn: What are some goals you’d like to achieve? Has visual goal setting helped you? Let’s discuss in the comments below 🙂
Congratulations to Lorna Gunn, you are the winner of a signed copy of Patti’s book, Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life. Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who entered and for all of your wonderful support!