Create Your Own Vision Board
Bring your goals to life with a vision board!
About the Activity
Close your eyes, and think about your future. What do you imagine? Visualizing and planning goals are two key ways to make your dreams a reality. This activity will walk you through ways to develop goals, how to visualize them, and most importantly, how to measure their success. The end result will be a physical or digital vision board that you can reference for motivation.
Topic: Mindfulness, Healthy Living, Creative Arts, and College Readiness
Estimated Time: 60 minutes
Brought to you by The Allstate Foundation and Ohio State University Extension
High school can be a stressful time. Managing things like grades, team tryouts, social circles, and plans for college is a lot to balance. While you may view your performance in each of these areas as a reflection of your success, the truth is this: Your level of success is up to interpretation. Most of the time, how well a person achieves their goals is really in the eye of the beholder. While a test grade of a B may be an achievement for one student, it may be a letdown for another. If that’s the case, how do we accurately measure our successes? Creating SMART goals is one way to do this.
A SMART goal stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These goals are clearly defined, so anyone can look at them and know where the finish lines are located and when they should be reached. In this activity, we will learn more about SMART goals, how to develop them, and how to create a vision board to help to achieve them.
- Vague goals that do not have action steps or deadlines are easily forgotten or set aside. That’s where SMART goals come in. Before we start on our vision board, let’s take a closer look at how to put together a SMART goal.
- S is for SPECIFIC: Making a goal specific means you have clearly stated the objective, as well as what will be done and who will complete it. Anyone who reads the goal will be able to understand the desired outcome. For example: “I will decrease the amount of soda I drink each week.”
- M is for MEASURABLE: Outlining exactly how you will measure your success will help you determine if you are making progress. For example: The goal, “drink less soda,” is good, but it would be hard to measure accurately. Redefining this goal to, “Drink only one soda per week,” is a better example of a measurable goal.
- A is for ATTAINABLE: Goals that are attainable take your time, available resources, and skills into consideration to determine if the goal is possible for you to complete in your current situation. For example: “Drinking less soda does not take any time or extra resources. I will drink water instead.”
- R is for RELEVANT: Relevant means that a goal aligns with your overall objectives, mission, and values. If your overall mission is to be healthy, you need to ask yourself the following: “Does this goal contribute to my mission of living a healthy life?” If it doesn’t, then that goal is irrelevant and you can either adapt or discard it.
T is for TIME-BOUND: Having deadlines in place will help you actively work towards a goal. For example: “Within 60 days, I will cut my soda intake to one can per week.”
- SMART Goal Example: Within 60 days, I will decrease the amount of sugar in my diet by cutting my soda intake from 10 cans per week to 1 can per week.
- Now that you have seen an example of a SMART goal, download the 4-H worksheet to brainstorm some of your own SMART goals. Reflect on specific prompts or questions to help you focus on your goals, future, and values. Here are some prompts to get you started:
- Is there an academic goal you haven’t yet explored that you would like to achieve in the upcoming semester or school year?
- Are there new values you want to establish (i.e. empathy, inclusiveness, etc.)
- Are there any specific extracurricular achievements you would like to achieve in the upcoming semester or school year?
- Are there ways that you would like to engage in your community?
- Do you have any SMART goals you can work on with a friend or peer to achieve?
- A vision board is a motivational tool that encourages you to stay on track with your goal. It uses pictures and images to represent your goals and should be on display in a place that is highly visible to you. In the next part of this activity, we will incorporate our SMART goals into a vision board to help practice effective goal setting.
- Decide if you would rather work on this project digitally or use the list of supplies to create a physical poster board to display on the wall. If you choose to create a digital image board, decide on which platform you would like to use before starting. PowerPoint, Canva, Prezi, and Photoshop are a few programs to consider.
- Find pictures, quotes, stickers, or other images that will help you visualize the SMART goals you plan to include on your vision board. Select images that help you see yourself reaching your goals. If you’re not sure where to look for vision board inspiration, consider magazines, photographs, and decorations. You can even draw your own pictures or inspirational words. If you’re creating a digital vision board, consider Pinterest -- just make sure you have an adult’s permission to use it.
- Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it every day. If you created a digital vision board, print a copy to hang up in at least one location. Consider hanging the board on the back of the door in your room, the inside of your locker, or even tape it to the inside of a planner or notebook.
Questions for your kids and teens.
- How did making your goals SMART impact your confidence in being able to achieve them?
- What emotions do you feel when you look at your vision board?
- Why is it important to place your vision board in a location that you will see daily?
Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.
SMART goals and vision boards can help us meet our personal goals for learning, relationships, service, and wellness, but these tools are not just for use by individuals. Many organizations, such as businesses, schools, committees, and clubs use SMART goals and vision boards to help carry out their missions and key values. Often these goals can be found in the organizational mission statement and key values.
Think about an organization, club, or team to which you belong. Do you know the goals of the group and are they clearly defined? The next time your group meets, ask if you can take time to talk about your SMART Goals and work together to create a vision board that will help the group to remember them.
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