5 Steps Soldiers Use to Create Better Vision Boards

Welcome to the new year. This is the time when people set resolutions and grand visions for a fresh start. Have you ever used a vision board to help you see your goals? I’m here to tell you most vision boards are completely useless.

The major problem with vision boards: there is no plan to make the vision reality. Luckily having the Military Mindset can help. Soldiers create more effective vision boards not only by identifying goals, but by outlining the path to success.

Army Vision Board
Photo Courtesy of US Army – Public Domain

By now you have an understanding of this blog’s premise: look at life like a series of missions, execute each mission, learn from your experience, and move on. Now let’s apply this premise to the vision board.[shareable cite=”Robby Miles”]The major problem with vision boards: There is no plan to make the vision reality.[/shareable]

Soldiers use terrain model kits, i.e. sand tables, to “walk through” their mission long before they ever leave the gate and enter enemy territory. In case you’re not familiar, a sand table is scaled model designed and used to educate. One way to think about it is to imagine a football coach drawing up game plans. The purpose is to show the players his expectations and the get the ball to the end zone.

You can use the Soldier’s sand table as a model for creating your vision board with these 5 steps.

Step 1: Identify the End State

This step is what you see on most vision boards. People identify the goal. They post some kind of picture of their dream. Maybe its a picture of a dream house, or the car they’ve always wanted. It’s a nice start, but rarely do they take the next step of planning. Setting big goals with no plan of achievement is like having a ladder with no rungs. You can see the goal, but have no idea how to get there. Lack of planning often leads to decision paralysis.

Step 2: Get Familiar with Your Surroundings

Look at your surroundings. Identify the physical constraints. Notice everything that can help or harm your mission. Identify what is friendly and what is your enemy. Think about the tools you have available to help you achieve your goals: friends, equipment, financing, support groups, etc.

Step 3: Develop a Plan

Identify each step it will take to make your goal a reality. Think through step by step. I explained this process in a previous post.

This is where you paint the picture of how you will achieve your goal. Create a list of next actions. I usually begin by just thinking of the one thing I need to do to move a project forward. Sometimes it’s a phone call, other times it is packing my gym bag the night before I want work out.

Step 4: Develop Contingencies

Ever heard the saying, “Whatever can go wrong will?” Accept the fact that your plans  have to adapt to changing circumstances. Build your resilience and plan in advance how you will handle potential challenges and hurdles. Think of what can possibly get in the way of achieving your goal and create smaller plans to get past the bumps in the road.

Step 5: Actions On The Objective

Identify the final steps. Determine what needs to happen right as you are about to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, “What needs to be true in order to really make this goal a reality?” Start living like you have already achieved success.[Tweet “Start living like you have already achieved success.”]

Public Domain
Public Domain

Through following this five step process, you will create a vision board and a plan that actually helps you see the path to achieving your goal.

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About the Author

Robby helps busy business owners simplify and automate their productivity systems so they have more time to focus on what they're best at. He helps you design and implement plans and systems so you can work ON your business, not IN your business. Companies such as Productive Magazine, Nozbe, Matt McWilliams, and Notable Themes have trusted Robby to share his productivity systems, increase sales, and create a better customer experience.