It’s that time of year again.

In just a few hours we will usher in a new year. A new year to be a new you. This year you’ll wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It’s time to start saving money, lose weight, be better at…fill in the blank.

I gave up New Year’s resolutions a long time ago and even blogged about it here. I started making goals for the year instead, which made sense to me because it was positive focused. Instead of stopping a certain habit, I created habits to meet my goals. It seems like a better alternative to making resolutions. How many resolutions turn into life-style changes for you?

So, I made a list of goals. I can’t remember what they were, I’m sure I wrote about them in the post, so you can read them. I am also sure I didn’t meet many of those goals, even without knowing what they were. Even with concrete deadlines and small steps to achieve my goals, it is too easy to cheat. By cheating I mean that I think eating one piece of chocolate won’t matter (even when it turns into an entire bag of candy), or I decide I don’t need to run today because I did yesterday, and will tomorrow (then that day turns into a week or a month).

I know I sound a bit cynical about the entire goal/resolution thing. It doesn’t work for me, but if it does for you, then great! Stick with what works, but for me, I need a constant reminder, right in front of me, all the time, of what I want to achieve, and it isn’t usually concrete goals.

Sure, I want to have more money and be thin, but it is much more important to me to be healthy and happy. If you’re on Pinterest or follow quotes on Instagram and Facebook, you know that you must choose to be happy. You cannot rely on others to create that feeling for you. So, what do I do instead of creating a list of resolutions or goals?

I create a vision board.

It is a constant reminder of how I want to feel. I don’t have a lot of material things on my board, partly because I do not want or need any more “things.” What I do have on my vision board are pictures of times and places where I was happy and felt relaxed. Pictures of friends and family and some meaningful and powerful quotes along with calls-to-action about being a writer and not being complacent. I selected affirmations and reminders, all of which are pinned to a map of the world to keep my passion for travel always on my mind.

This board changes as I find or take new pictures, find new quotes, or decide on another affirmation. It is somewhat fluid in content, but it is always consistent in feeling.  All this to say, you need to focus on the feelings you want to have in your life and decide on the content of your vision board based on those feelings. It is easy to get distracted and compromise on your priorities, so your board should help you remember what is truly important and keep your priorities intact.

My vision board hangs on the wall across from my bed, so every night and every morning I see it. I read it. I remember what I want to achieve, not specific goals, but specific feelings.

I want to hear from you!