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Recently I’ve been working on pulling together a new vision board. I love the ritual of sitting down with my notebook AKA journal and getting all thoughtful (and stuff) about where I want to steer my life next.
Vision boards are just one of a multitude of tools you can use to proactively tune in with yourself. Space to reflect on where you’re at now and where and what you’d like your like going forward is the first step in living in alignment with your desires and values.
The thing about vision-boarding is that it’s a very personal exercise. There’s not a prescriptive formula and you can’t get it right or wrong.
Your vision board can have a little or a lot. It can be material or non material. It can hold space for a mixture of things you want to do, feel, have and be.
That said, if you want some tips to help you create your own board if you’re not sure what you need to get started, check out this post I wrote for Amanda at Gorgeous Presence a few years ago.
In this post I'm sharing some insights into what's currently on my vision board for the rest of 2017 and beyond.
What I'm focusing on in 2017
Today marks two years since Will and I jumped on a place to move from Australia to London. Yesterday I had my de facto visa approved (Will is a dual UK citizen - thank our lucky stars!) which is so exciting. If it hadn't been approved, I would have had to leave the country today.
Before yesterday I was so chill about the whole thing. Maybe even too chill. But during the interview process (all four hours of it) worry set in after a turned up to the appointment without having signed all the forms (*facepalm*) then accidentally signing in one of Will's fields when I was scrambling to do it.
They had some questions around our living circumstances as some of our documentation wasn't clear. In my head I was planning my exit from the country (I would go via Paris, of course!). Luckily it all worked out, and here I am sitting on my bed and listening to the rain, still in the UK.
The past two years have been really challenging for us. We've had moving stresses, money stresses and work stresses. I've been through panic disorder and Will's had six months of lock-jaw because he was stressed about my visa 😂😂😂. But we've stuck together throughout it all and our relationship continues to be strong.
We've also had so many great times. I've met wonderful new friends and reconnected with old friends who are also Aussie expats in London. We've travelled to Turkey, Italy and France, and we've visited Bath, Yorkshire, Stratford-Upon-Avon and The Lake District.
I've discovered a new passion and emotional language in photography and have been blessed to turn it into a business. I also keep thinking about volunteering. There's an organisation that I know of that I'd love to offer help to - though honestly at this stage I'm scared of making a time commitment. Being an introvert I really guard my time very fiercely - too fiercely - and I often worry about not having enough time to do everything I need to do AND have enough time to recharge. Really, I know I can make time for what I prioritise. Anywho, the seeds have been planted and I've declared it here, so it will happen soon enough.
The culmination of all this - tying up loose ends and embarking on new beginnings - has been some reflection.
Moving forward, I'm calling in a year of creativity and ease. My focus is on tuning in after a few years or external madness. Maintaining positive habits like gratitude and continuing to support the growth of my self-esteem are big items on the agenda. That one's a continuous journey, ha! More than anything I want to feel settled and like I'm making progress with my creative projects.
On my vision board for life, I have:
- Travel: I'm feeling really drawn to Scandinavia at the moment. I'm most curious about Denmark, Sweden and Finland right now - and of course the Northern light in Norway. I also ADORE Paris and can't wait to go back, explore the south of France and back to Italy. We're also likely going to Switzerland this June to see our friends Aimee and Jimmy from Australia along with Renee and Jackson who live up the road from us in Dalston. These guys are simply soul-pals. We all met during uni when we worked at the local Leagues club in Manly and along with another couple, Rach and Toby, who aren't coming over this time unfortunately, we used to have so much fun hanging our back in Aus. Will and I have been waiting for my Visa to be approved before we made any moves, so I guess now we can.
- Microblading: So, this one's been on my vision board since I read about it in a magazine a good six months ago. My eyebrows are very fair and very sparse, and I often dream about waking up with eyebrows that don't need to be filled in (don't judge!). Especially in Summer, I feel like if my eyebrows are done, I can face the world so wouldn't it be an absolute game changer (and time-saver) to wake up and they're done?
- Wardrobe: If you happened to follow my Instagram account @thefrenchexperiment (I hope to one day pick it back up), you'll know that developing my sense of style has been a fun little personal project. Growing up mum always dressed me well, but somewhere along the way I forgot how to get dressed and would often wear thongs (i.e. flip flops) and a dress and be done. I'd also pick out clothes that I didn't necessarily love - and I'm yet to really pinpoint why! In London, people tend to wear more clothes than we generally do in Australia - at least the part where I'm from. The most obvious reason being the weather. It's taken me a while to get my head around it, but I quite like the challenge of wearing a complete outfit (shoes included). A longer-term dream is to work with a personal stylist one day to help me pick out some really great quality basics. For now, I have my eye on a few pairs of shoes and would like one of each: dresses, comfy jumpers, trousers and outerwear that feel really good and really 'me'.
The first half of this year has been quite a whirlwind for me. My photography services took off far quicker than I'd anticipated, which has kept my schedule quite full. I have a few friends who really helped spread the word which allowed for it to get off the ground and grow on a purely referral basis. For that I feel very grateful.
The past month or so I've become more clear on how I want my business to feel and where I want it to go. Spaciousness, community and slow-living are at the core. I feel like I've learned so much about business and marketing over the past seven years - both through my previous job in branding and working in the online space.
However, I don't want my blog to be a solely practical, 'how-to' space as it has been for the last year or so. Through my own continued inner work, I've realised that part of what makes me 'me' is my continued search for purpose, meaning and truth. What I value more than anything is doing work that feels meaningful to me and that has a positive impact for others. So I feel it makes sense that my writing reflects more of what's going on inside my head as I continue to try to make sense of the world (I don't think that will ever stop).
I'd love to continue working on my creative projects - that is, developing online programs and digital resources - and grow this further. Creating things brings me so much joy and is actually my dream business. I have a few ideas:
- A course about email: How to write from the heart and develop relationships with your audience, how to manage your inbox, how to develop a system that helps you rule your inbox and not the other way around and of course, how to grow your email community.
- A course on Winter wellness for solopreneurs: I'm not sure how this will go down with people to be honest. I'm working from an intuitive space here and I know that having lived through two UK Winters now, it's a long, cold and dark slog. My intention for the program is to support solopreneurs to create a very juicy and delicious experience for themselves throughout Winter filled with cosy vibes, planning, self-reflection, and beautiful, warming foods. Let's see how it goes. Even if I'm the only student, I know I'll benefit from it!
So on my vision board for business, I have:
- Supported by structure
- Gratitude for the many blessings in my life
- Appreciated for my work
- To grow my digital products and online program income to a level that is completely self-sustaining. I'm totally checking out of the constant messages of the coaching world - the goal is not to hit six figures. It's simply to support myself financially through my work by doing good, honest work. I've got forever for my business to grow.
- To fill out my new 'slow' mentoring program with 10 creative solopreneurs. More info here.
- Have a professional photoshoot. Even though I love photography, I don't enjoy being photographed AT ALL. However, I very much need some new pics to reflect where myself and my work are at right now - my last shoot was back in Australia in 2014!
- Hire a social media assistant by the end of 2017
- Have my writing featured in Inspired Coach Magazine (on Instagram for Coaches) and other places online.
- Get a photography story published in a glossy magazine. I'm not rushing myself on this one. I don't feel like 2017 is the year it will happen - I need longer to let the idea brew and to improve my skills. But it's a long-term goal that I want to stay focused on in my mind.
- Non-marketing business. I'd like my online space to evolve to have a balanced mix of helpful posts and articles, and personal thoughts and musings. Even if no one reads the personal stuff, I enjoy doing it and want to break out of the mold I was squishing myself into. But ultimately, I want to go back to sharing personal thoughts to connect with you guys on a meaningful level like the old days.
- A Canon 5d MKIV camera with 85mm 1.2 and 35mm 1.4 lenses
- Podcasting microphone
- Plenty of photos ready to go!
So that's what's on my vision board for the next year. What do you think? I feel like there's A LOT there, but I'm really excited to see where the rest of 2017 takes me and it's nice to have clarity on what I want to experience.
If you currently have a vision board and would like to share what's on it - or if you don't have one but want to share what you'd put on it if you did have one I'd love to hear!
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