Inside the Orthodox Mind: Seeing Your Vision for the New Year

Not a day goes by where I do not learn something valuable in my professional life as a clinical psychologist. Today, I came across someone who shared that she wasn’t doing New Year’s resolutions. Instead, she said, she was going to make herself a “vision board”.

Interesting, I thought since studies show only about 8% of our resolutions are followed through. “I like the idea of having a vision, I said, “but what exactly is a vision board?”

She said, “It’s your vision for the year, and it comes from how you want to feel, not what you want to do.” She said, “You just think about how you want to feel by the end of the year and how you hope to positively impact people, so that they may feel good when they are around you.”

Good place to start, I thought; once you know that, you can begin adding the steps necessary to getting you there. She went on to say, “By the end of this year, I want to feel alive and at peace.” I asked her how she thought she might get there.

What she began naming would ultimately become her vision board, complete with pictures, aspirations and goals. She had to really spend time examining every part of her life where she didn’t feel at peace, closely considering the things that just weren’t quite right: relationships that needed work, finances that needed fixing, health that had been ignored. She then considered what would bring her more meaning and fulfillment so that she could feel alive again. From there, she was able to set short-term goals to accomplish each of these greater goals.

I challenge you, the reader, to begin this New Year, this renewed opportunity, not with behaviors, but with feelings. Create your very own vision board that starts with, “How do I want to feel by the end of this year?” “How would I like others to feel when they see me?” And lastly, you must consider, “What needs to change in my life so that I can feel that way?”

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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