A Vision for Your Future by Patsy Albrecht of Arms Wide Open

BonBon Break

A Vision for Your Future

~:: Patsy Albrecht of Arms Wide Open ::~

bbb originalThe ball in NYC has dropped, the champagne’s gone flat, resolutions have been made and probably broken already. That’s why I don’t like New Year’s promises — they’re too vague, too lightweight, too easy to forget. “I’ll lose a couple of pounds, go to the gym more, maybe give up sugar.” Why *wouldn’t* you break those? You’ve set yourself up for failure.


Instead, let’s focus on goals. In his book, Attitude Is Everything!: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond, Paul J. Meyer describes characteristics of SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based objectives.


Specific: Formulate clear goals, which answer 5 “W” questions:

What do I want to accomplish?

Why — what are the benefits of accomplishing this goal?

Who will be involved?

Where will I do this?

Which — what are the requirements or constraints I will face?



Answering “How much? or “How many?” will provide concrete criteria for measuring progress along the way.



Your goal should not be so extreme as to be impossible to achieve. Outline steps of how to make your goal a reality.



Is your goal something you’re willing and able to work toward? Is it worthwhile? Is this the right time to pursue it?



Ground your goal within a time frame, with a specific target date. How long will it take you to accomplish it?


Take, for example, the typical resolution of “I want to lose weight.” To turn that into a SMART goal, you need to ask yourself some questions: How much weight do I want to lose? By when? Is it possible to lose that amount in the time I’ve designated? How am I going to lose the weight? So a SMART weight-loss goal might be, “I will lose 25 pounds by April 30, achieving this by cutting out all sodas, running 3 times per week for a minimum of 45 minutes per run, working out 30 minutes with kettlebells and my elliptical 3 days per week, and eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, eliminating sugary processed snacks.” See the difference?


Next, block out a chunk of time to really contemplate your goals for the year. Think big — no, think HUGE. Meditate on those secret dreams you have hidden in the recesses of your heart — the things you take out when you’re alone, that you look at with love and longing, that bring a smile to your face and joy to your soul. Yes, those dreams. Now, it’s time to figure out how you can make them happen this year. Take each one of the SMART goal characteristics, break everything down into small, manageable steps, and determine the path to making your goals a reality.


Written goals are a non-negotiable must. If you were driving to a new destination, you’d have a map, right? (Or take your trusty GPS system with you.) Writing down your goals is like formulating your map; it’s going to tell you how to arrive safely and surely at your destination.


Once you’ve got those goals down on paper, or in Evernote, your next step is fun. Time to get creative! You’re going to make a vision board, which is the symbolic, tangible version of your road map.

A Vision for Your Future

To create your vision board, you’ll need:


  • Poster board or foam core board
  • A variety of magazines
  • Glue, glue stick or other adhesive
  • Scissors



Look though your favorite magazines; these are a reflection of who you are. Cut out any and all images — photos and words — that correlate with your goals. Arrange them on the poster and glue them down. It’s that simple.


Simple, but effective. As you are laying out the images, a theme will begin to emerge. You’ll find yourself drawn to certain photos or words. Some of the images you first cut out might not fit in or feel “right” any more. You may wish to put certain images or words together to form new meanings. You will be surprised at how your future takes shape in front of you.


You can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish in creating your map. Print out inspirational or motivational quotes, add in photos of yourself, write certain words or phrases. Paint and embellish to your heart’s desire. This is YOUR board and YOUR future.


Then glue a copy of your goals to the back of your board, to have them at your fingertips. Hang your masterpiece where you can see it every day. The idea is that when you surround yourself with images of what you want to become, your life will take that path to make your goals a reality. It’s so much more than just a pretty picture.


What do you want to achieve in 2013? With your road map in front of you, you can go anywhere you dream. You’re in the driver’s seat with a wide-open road calling your name. So c’mon — buckle up, put the top down, slide on some Ray-bans, blast your favorite tunes, turn that key and GO.

patsyalbrechtABOUT PATSY: Patsy Albrecht is a running, writing, reading, creative wife and the mother of four grown children, living in North Carolina. After recently sending “the baby” off to college and finally adjusting to the first silence in her home in 29 years, she blogs about this next chapter of her life at ArmsWideOpen. She also created a fitness/motivational Facebook page by the same name, through which she facilitates a weight-loss support group and a fitness challenge group. Patsy recently formulated her own SMART goals of writing a book, running 1000 miles, completing her first full marathon before she turns 55, and having at least one fun adventure a month –which may or may not include fly fishing, learning to weave, walking the Way in Spain, and lying on a Caribbean beach sipping umbrella drinks.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This post was written by Patsy Albrecht exclusively for Bonbon Break Media, LLC.