Put Your Goals in Pictures

Recently my client Jennifer called me. “I did it!” she exclaimed over the phone. “I bought the vacation home that I visualized.”

That excitement in her voice was a pleasure to hear. Seven years ago she was widowed at age 27 when her husband died in an auto accident near their home in Southern California. Though she received more than $1 million from a life insurance policy and a lawsuit settlement, she spent years coming to terms with what had happened.

Her newfound wealth was coupled with a great deal of survivor’s guilt, which left her uncomfortable and unable to move forward.

That is not uncommon. For many women, discomfort with money runs deep. As a result, women generally shy away from wealth. In an AARP study, 42 percent of women responding said they didn’t want to be wealthy.

Somewhere along the way women got it into their heads that wanting money makes them greedy and cold-hearted. Yet building personal wealth is how we can ensure a better future for ourselves and our families.

In addition to the competent money management I was providing, I saw that Jennifer needed a vehicle to articulate her goals and propel herself forward.

I told her how the power of visualization had helped my husband John and me, and how we periodically create picture-board collages to help us visualize what we would like to accomplish in our lives. We have found that pictures help us envision crystal-clear goals in ways that words simply cannot convey.

It’s no surprise that visualizing goals is far more effective than simply writing them down.

Jennifer agreed to try it, and early last year she created a collage for herself. Still unconvinced of its power, she put it aside until last month, when she decided to update it for 2008. That’s when she was shocked to see a picture she had included in the collage. It was a home in a valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains that was nearly identical to the vacation home she had just purchased.

Though she had forgotten about the picture in her collage, apparently it was the clarity of that visualization that made her fall in love with the vacation home she purchased as soon as she saw it.

While a pretty picture won’t make your dreams come true, it may help you clarify goals so you can develop an action plan to make those goals a reality.

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