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Archives for December 30, 2020

New Year Journal Prompts: Make Your Vision

With the craziness of the past year, it wasn’t uncommon to pinch yourself daily to make sure you were not in the midst of a dream (or nightmare). 2020 was a year filled with anxiety-inducing news: a global pandemic, racial injustice, a contentious Presidential election, damaging wildfires, and even killer bees. It was a year that felt like it might never end. So, now that it is finally about to, the question becomes: how can we make 2021 feel different? Read on for some new year journal prompts that will help turn your vision for 2021 into a reality. 

Vision Boarding

You may have heard of vision boarding, but, for a moment, put aside your preconceptions. It’s true, many a middle-school girl created vision boards filled with glitter pens and ponies, but vision boarding can also be an intentional exercise that can help bring immense clarity and direction in your life. Create your own vision board with the TEDxMileHigh’s Vision Board Exercise. Did you do it? Great! Now it’s time for the next step.

Make Your Vision A Reality

The idea behind a vision board is that seeing your goals in images on paper every day will make you more likely to accomplish them. Think about that spiralizer you bought on a whim so that you could make zucchini spaghetti all the time and be super healthy. One of the reasons you never use it might be because it’s tucked away at the back of your cabinet. Maybe if you looked at your spiralizer every day, you’d be reminded of your dream to eat spiralized zucchini and might actually do it. 

That’s how vision boards work. You have a dream of becoming a painter? Your vision board might include a photo of someone painting a masterpiece, a photo so enticing, that you’re just going to have to do it.

The problem is that it just depends on the person. Some people might be able to see a photo of their dream and automatically know exactlywhat to do next to achieve their vision, but others might need some more guidance. That’s where the Vision Board Journaling Prompts come in. You have your vision board, it’s very beautiful, and you’re ready to take the next steps to make sure your visions for 2021 come true. So, get out a pad and pen! Let’s do this.

New Year Journal Prompts to Track Your Vision

Download the new year journal prompts here to keep them all in one place!

1. Out of All Your Goals for 2021, What Is the Most Important One?

It’s common to get a little carried away once we start getting our goals together. Imagine a child in a grocery store after they’ve been told they can get anything they want. Anything… I… want?! 

Once you realize that your options are limitless, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, your goals can get a little wild. And that’s good! But, in order to make your vision for the future a reality, it’s good to choose one main, overarching goal that you can track, pamper, and commit to. So, what’s yours? 

Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Personal: My personal goal for 2021 is to express myself creatively through oil painting.
  • Professional: My professional goal for 2021 is to apply to graduate school.
  • Community: My community goal for 2021 is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization.
  • Educational: My educational goal is to read more. 

2. How Can You Make Your Goal S.M.A.R.T.?

One tried and true method for creating successful goals is the S.M.A.R.T. method. Every goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Start with your main goal and answer the following new year journal prompts: 

Specific Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal: 

  • What exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • What do I need to accomplish this goal? 

Measurable Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • How many hours/days/weeks will I work on this goal?
  • How will I know when this goal is accomplished?

Achievable Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • How realistic is this goal?
  • How can I accomplish this goal?

Relevant Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • Will this goal help me become the person I want to be? 
  • Will this goal make me feel more fulfilled?

Time-bound Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • When, specifically, will I work on this goal?
  • When will I accomplish this goal?

Let’s make the example goals S.M.A.R.T. shall we? 

  • Personal: My personal goal for 2021 is to express myself creatively through oil painting.
    • I will paint an average of 4 hours per week, every week of 2021 using my oil paints in my backyard. Even if I don’t complete one piece of art, if I put in the hours, I will be successful. Setting time aside to paint will help me reconnect with my creativity and improve my mental health.
  • Professional: My professional goal for 2021 is to apply to graduate school.
    • I will apply to a minimum of three graduate schools by the early decision deadlines and will reach out to three recommenders by February 15th. Then, I will begin writing my applications and finish the first drafts in March. I will send my applications to my parents for edits and suggestions. 
  • Community: My community goal for 2021 is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization.
    • I will sign up to volunteer with Ardas Family Medicine for at least five hours a month beginning in January 2021. 
  • Educational: My educational goal is to read more. 
    • I will read a total of 24 books in 2021: 15 novels and 5 non-fiction books. I will read an average of 2 books a month. 

Your turn!

3. When Will You Check In On Your Goal? 

It’s exciting now, but after a few weeks, your 2021 goals might begin to fade into the background. Help yourself out by designating a few check-in points to keep yourself on track! Ask yourself these questions:

  • How often should I check my progress? Once every month? Once a week?
  • How will I track my progress? Keep a log? Tell a friend once you’ve completed an important step?

4. Okay Fine, What Goal Is Next? 

We get it! It’s fun to set intentions and goals. It can be hard to stop. Repeat these journaling prompts for all of your vision boarding goals and you’ll be on track for one hell of a great year, no matter what 2021 has in store for us.

TEDxMileHigh Vision

Curious what our TEDxMileHigh speakers envision for the future? Lucky you, we just had a free virtual event, TEDxMileHigh: Vision, and the talks are live! Check them out here for inspiration.

Five Pro-Tips From TEDxMileHigh’s Vision Board Workshop

What do you want for your future? What do you see not for your friends, family, or community, but for yourself? If you don’t answer that question on your own, someone else will answer it for you, and you probably won’t like their answer. Vision boards are useful tools in imagining, manifesting, and committing to your personal goals, big and small. 

If you’ve tried setting goals for yourself only to lose sight of them a few weeks later, or you’re unsure of what your future goals even are, or if you just want to know more about the process of making your own vision board, here are some tips.

In December 2020, TEDxMileHigh hosted a collective vision board workshop as a part of our Vision virtual conference

Run by goal coach and motivational speaker Jackie Carr and past TEDxMileHigh speaker David Baron, this creative event helped each participant envision their goals for their future and bring them to life on their own vision board. If you were unable to attend, or you’re trying to sort out your 2021 vision, here is a guide to creating your own vision board.

Create Your Own Vision Board

The most important thing to note for this entire process is there is no right or wrong way to create a vision board. There is also no such thing as a bad vision or goal. This process is entirely personal. Envisioning your future and your goals allows you to answer the question “What do I want?” Let yourself listen to what you want, not what they want.

Start With A Meditation

During the TEDxMH event, Carr began the vision boarding process with a centering meditation. Carr’s meditation was created specifically for this event, however, any mediation will do. The important thing is that you center your thoughts on yourself. It doesn’t even need to be a strict meditation. Perhaps you’re more comfortable centering your thoughts with journaling prompts. Some suggestions are:

I am on my way to becoming…

In three years I will be…

I show up with … every time

The point of this step is to center your thoughts and envision your goals. Picture your future self in as much detail as possible, and make note of the most important of those details. 

Connect Your Goals to Reality

This is the fun part. It’s the creation step and takes up the bulk of the vision boarding process. You can use old magazines or newspapers, or have a scroll through Pinterest. Turn on your favorite playlist, grab a pair of scissors (or prepare your copy/paste buttons if you’re doing this electronically), and get cutting! 

Find any photo, graphic, or word that speaks to you. Whether it fulfills the goals you have just envisioned for yourself or not, cut it out. As we mentioned, there is no right or wrong way to go about creating your board, so cut out as many things as you want. You can save the cutouts you don’t use for another board.


Consider your gluestick your magic wand and the glue a promise to yourself. When you commit to gluing any cutout to your board, you are committing yourself to your goals. However, glue is not a binding contract. You are not a failure if you don’t achieve every goal you included on your vision board. 

One of the best parts about creating a vision board and bringing reality to your goals is that your creation will serve as a reminder. So, whether you fulfill every single goal on your board or none of them, you will always have a way to remember what you want for yourself, and it’s never too late to fulfill a dream.

Don’t Be Afraid of Blank Space

So, you have your cutouts, and you’re becoming the self-dedicated queen/king you’ve always wanted to be. But then, you realize you still have blank spaces on your board. You’ve glued down all of your cutouts and you feel it accurately depicts your vision, but there are still open spots. That is okay. Leave room for yourself to grow and for your goals to grow with you.

Hang Your Creation Somewhere You’ll See It Every Day

When you’ve finished your vision board, take a step back, and admire your work. Appreciate each detail you put into it, but more importantly, appreciate the work you just did for yourself. Now, hang it somewhere you will see it every day — on your mirror, your refrigerator, or the ceiling of your bedroom. If you created a board electronically, save it as your desktop photo. Wherever you hang it, be sure it will serve as a daily reminder of what you want for yourself and the vision you have for you

Start The New Year With a Clearer Vision

As we ring in 2021, after a year of unimaginable circumstances that forced us to slow down, listen, reflect, and accept a new normal, do you have a vision for your new year? Are you excited to leave 2020 behind and step into the possibility of new beginnings? Or, are you nervous because the events of this year have settled like a cloud over your plans for your future, and you’ve lost sight of your goals?

Creating a vision board can be your first step in answering those questions. Be selfish for one hour, and commit to yourself and your goals. Once you’ve completed your board, check out our journaling guide to help you keep going towards your goals. Your future self will thank you.