How To Succeed In 2017: Write The Vision, Make It Plain
Here’s how some CHC members are starting the year with intention and focus, using a vision board.
Nothing is more inspirational than a fresh start and a clean slate, which is why making new year’s resolutions never gets old, despite its rate of abandonment.
Some make lists, others make vision boards; given that most people are visually oriented, the latter has proven highly effective.
What is a vision board?
It is a tool to help you clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal, by displaying words or images that represent what you want to be, do or have in your life.
Since the new year, pockets of City Harvest Church members have come together in small groups to share their personal vision for the year, and they have done this using vision boards.
“For Christians, we are reminded that ‘where there is no vision (no redemptive revelation of God), the people perish; but he who keeps the law (of God, which includes that of man)—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he,” says CHC member Cynthia Yen, quoting Proverbs 29:18 in the Amplified Bible. She has facilitated several sessions with friends.
Yen created her first board with some friends but it was in a secular setting. After hearing the sermon preached by Kong Hee early this year on the importance of having a vision, she felt prompted to start hosting sessions herself.
All you need are:
- 3 business, travel, lifestyle or any magazines you normally read (you will be cutting them up so bring old issues that you can bear to part with)
- A pair of scissors
- A glue stick
- Bible verses or anchor verses for the year
Of course, the idea of a vision board is not a new one and can easily be misconstrued as an “adult art and craft session.” To counter this, Yen, a corporate communications professional actively serving at CHC’s Empowering Single Parents Network (ESPN) ministry, emphasizes the need to stay focused and complete it within a certain time frame—no more than 40 minutes of cutting and pasting is the limit she tries to set.
Prior to coming together, participants are encouraged to reflect on several points, borrowing from Kong’s sermon:
- How big do you want to dream?
- How much do you want to envision?
- How hard do you want to work?
- How much of the past do you want to forget?
Participants come together and go through the magazines, cut out words and images that speak to them or grab their attention, and paste these on a board.
Before that, they decide on a single word that defines what they want to achieve or to be for the year; it could be “joy,” “success,” “restoration” or “obedience” or any single-word theme they identify with for the year. Keeping this word in mind, they will then flip the magazine.
After cutting and pasting the images on a board, they take turns to share about what they have put together, which help to foster accountability and mutual support. The board is then taken home and put in a place where it can be seen daily.
For some, the vision board can be a tool for self-discipline or motivation. For others, it is nothing short of a lifeline.
“Creating the vision board brought me to life again—my priorities are laid out clearly and anchored with Bible verses and Christian quotes that have carried me through the storms in my children’s lives and mine,” says Wendy Toh, who joined CHC three years ago at the lowest point in her life when she was going through separation from her husband. She has started to heal while learning to place God at the center of her life as well as that of her two children, a 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
“Going through the vision board daily gives me a clear, purposeful direction for living,” says Toh. “God’s Word strengthens and comforts me greatly. I have even done a simple vision board with my son.”
Yen encourages everyone to give the exercise a try. For those who have not done it before, it may take a few iterations before arriving at something that will be a sufficiently constructive tool.
“When I did mine the first time it seemed helpful but I wasn’t driven by it—it was like a wish list of material wants or a random collation of nice images,” she recalls. “I prayed and sought God, and worked more on my board, and now there is much more purpose and clarity to it regarding what I feel God wants for me in 2017.”
Through this exercise, others may realize that they do not even dare to dream, perhaps due to past setbacks, hurts or fear of failure—and that’s all right as well, says Yen, adding, “Start where you are; the vision board isn’t necessarily about what you want, but what God reveals to you, and it puts in clear focus your thoughts and desires.”
Yen is open to help get a session or two off the ground for fellow church members who are interested in doing the same. After all, it’s still early on in the year!
3 Things To Remember When Creating Your Vision Board:
- Write your anchor Bible verse on the board to keep God front and center of your vision for the year. It also provides the daily visibility to help you keep meditating on God’s Word.
- You become what you behold (2 Cor. 3:18).
- Trust God to do the rest.