It is a built-in product of accountability where everyone is held to the same standard.
While most people create New Year’s resolutions, every family can create a vision board. A vision board is a tangible expression of the goals, intentions, and values your family holds most dear, as well as the goals they want to accomplish in the new year. A vision statement is one sentence that encapsulates all that a family wants to be. It is well-written and should be easy to remember. Your family can also create an accompanying mission statement that explains how the family will achieve those goals.
For example, your vision statement could be:
Our house seeks to be a safe environment where all members can speak openly, dream freely, and contribute to the overall welfare of the family’s wellbeing.
This is a suggestion. Create a statement that is right for you and your family.
Why Create One?
Although there is nothing wrong with making New Year’s resolutions, resolutions can be hard to manage and measure, especially if they're not deadline specific. It is easy to forget that you've made a New Year's resolution if it's not in a prominent place where you can be reminded each day of your commitment. A vision board is more than simply placing your New Year's resolutions for everyone to see. Rather, it is an encapsulation of the values, intentions, and goals you, as well as every family member, wants to achieve. It is a built-in product of accountability where everyone is held to the same standard. It also leaves room for people to cheer each other on if someone is stuck in their goal, and it also gives them a chance to celebrate if they do meet their goal.
Although it is okay to write down your goals in a journal or even write them on a note card and place them on your bathroom mirror, a vision board allows you to get creative and add your artistic abilities and a pop of color to your household decor. Boards are easy to interchange from year to year so that you can always keep the current one up.
How to Create a Vision Board
Gather all your family members so everyone can contribute. It doesn’t matter the age; even little ones can participate. This way, everyone feels like a contributing member.
Set up a large bulletin board or a large piece of poster board. Set it up on an easel so everyone can see. Ask each family member to bring old magazines, tape, glue, and scissors. Provide blank pieces of paper and pens as well. As you write, make it aesthetically pleasing so you can place it in a prominent place.
Compose a list of questions before you begin to write your statement. Here are samples:
-What would a healthy family look like?
-Where would we like to go on vacation?
-Are there any bucket list items we would like to check off?
-What goals do I want to achieve this year?
-What weaknesses does each member need to work on?
-What can I do to achieve this family model?
Add Some Pizazz
Cut out pictures in magazines of things that represent their answers. This is great for younger members of the family who can’t comprehend the importance of the assignment. For example, if the statement reads, “our home is a safe and secure environment where each member can express themselves freely and are encouraged to follow their dreams,” a member could place a mouth near the word express and a picture of a security system to resemble safety.
You can also use a ruler to add lines to the board to write out in sentence form what you hope to achieve. This way, there is no mistake as to what was meant when it was first created.
A family can’t thrive if it’s not dreaming. No dream is off-limits. Create a dream board to accompany the mission statement and place it where others can see it often. Let everyone dream without judgment or ridicule. Feel free to add to it or take items off if they have been accomplished. This will help boost morale and encourage members to keep going when they feel stuck in accomplishing their goals.
Feel free to incorporate small dreams with big dreams. A big dream can be taking a vacation to the place of your dreams or as small as getting a new family pet. The sky’s the limit! It is best to interchange big and small dreams so you can celebrate throughout the year, even if you only achieve the small dreams.
You can also add specific action steps as to how to achieve these dreams. This is where good goal-making skills work best. For example, you may want to make your family’s dream of going to Disney World a reality this year. You can start with the following sentence:
We will make our goal of going to Disney World for vacation this year by:
Saving $2000 by June 1st. We will do this by saving what we have left over after each paycheck and putting it into a savings account. Each child will sacrifice their allowance for six months by doing chores for free. The amount they would earn by doing chores will go into this account. Each child will also look for other jobs to do on the weekends. This will include babysitting for the neighbors’ kids, shoveling the neighbors’ driveways, and helping with elderly church members' yard work. All funds earned from this will go towards the vacation fund.
Share Your Answers
Let each person contribute. This is the fun part of the assignment because this helps establish trust and encourages bonding. Everyone feels they can contribute to the family’s goals and doesn’t feel minimized or ignored because their dreams seem unachievable. It also helps members feel like they are truly being heard. Have each person read their statements aloud. Place the usable portions of each contribution on the board. Combine each person’s contribution and create one statement out of it.
The vision board can include whatever goals you’d like to include. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Quality time goals
Recreational activity goals
Feel free to add more. Make sure to make sure these are SMART:
Don’t add any goal to the board that would be mathematically impossible to complete by the end of 2023. This will set you up for failure. Additionally, while hustle may be involved to accomplish your goals, don’t get too down if you can’t achieve some (or all) of your goals. It is not about the quantity but rather about the ability to move forward and make progress and not allow your life to grow stagnant.
Vision boards are a fun, exciting way to start off the new year. By starting with these suggestions above, you and your family will use your imaginations to create a tangible expression of the vision for your family and tangible action steps to achieve those goals. If you are putting God at the center and yielding your family’s life to his will, you will never run out of fantastic opportunities God gives you, not only this year but in the years to come.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.