Envisioning the future

I recently ran across the Daring Living podcast, which I talked briefly about in previous post about what I’m consuming. Shirley, the host, talks about life in such a real and positive way and I immediately connected with her voice and style.

One of the things that she offers on her website is a workbook about envisioning your future and creating a plan for your life. I have already been on a reflective journey but when it came to figuring out what it is that I wanted out of life, I had no idea about where to start or what shape or form my dreams would take.

Now, I’ve finally created a few things that I’m really excited about. I’m sharing them in the hopes that if you are in a similar place in your life, that some of these things will help you to realize your own dreams or at least be able to start crafting a true vision of what it will look like.

Vision Planning Workbook

Like I mentioned above, Shirley has created a great workbook that walks you through the steps on how to start imagining your ideal life. One of the things that I liked the most about this workbook was that it was thorough and helpful, but short. Through the handful of pages, I began really breaking my life down into the different aspects of it, and starting to think about what I wanted each part to look like and, more importantly, feel like when I was done.

I completed the exercises in my journal and decorated the pages and made them pretty ahead of time. This simple addition to the exercise allowed my mind to clear and wander into the questions and places that they needed to so that I could really write down things that meant something, not just the first things to pop into my head in order to fill the blank page.

Below is a picture of one part of my responses, with an exercise that made a huge difference for me. It asks about how I feel when living my dream life, but also, what will I be thinking about when I get there. This was huge for me because I never sat down and pictured how my own mentality and thought process would be different, I only imagined the feelings and practical things like not worrying about money.

Vision Boards

After completing this workbook, I started thinking about how I would continue to motivate myself to accomplish my goals. Going back through and rereading everything was definitely an option, but not one that I would be able to do quickly every time I needed inspiration. The obvious answer, then, was to create a vision board with specific images and words that motivated me. However, I didn’t have the space for a huge collage of everything that I wanted to include, and I wanted to be able to take it with me.

So, I jumped on to the wonderful Pinterest and looked up vision boards in journals. And wow! I was in awe of how many shapes and forms vision boards took, and how many people felt really strongly about how effective they could be in motivating you.

Well, I finally ran into one specific site that really helped me in developing my own vision boards. Yes, boards. First I separated my vision spreads (two side-by-side pages in my journal) to specific aspects of my life: Health and Wellness, Career and Money, Spiritual and Soul, and Lifestyle.

Then, I used Christie Inge’s guide to creating a vision board to help me figure out where to start. One of the best things that she lays out in her post is that the images and things you select need to make you feel the way you want to feel. For a lot of people, posting pictures of attractive, fit models may seem like a great way to visualize them making healthier choices or working out. However, if the images actually make you feel insecure about your current appearance, or in any way less than, when you look at them, they are actually not doing what they are meant to do. Instead of inspiring you, they’re actually bringing you down. Here’s an example of my Spiritual and Soul board (still working on it).

Healthy Routines

The next thing that I did was to break down some of the things that I can do today and hopefully every day to help me get to the places and mindset that would lead me to my envisioned future. I scanned Pinterest, read some books, and watched YouTube videos that discussed morning and evening routines that have helped people be successful and generally more prepared to tackle the day.

One of the constants was the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Elrod breaks down six specific steps that you can integrate into your morning by waking up an hour earlier (or condensing it to begin with and then working up to the whole hour). His method focuses on things like visualization, exercise, journaling, and reading.

Similarly, I found Quinn Bouley and her process, which she calls “magical morning.” It is similar to Elrod’s process, with a focus on getting both quiet, reflective time, and active time for yourself. However, she moves things around, adds in her own personal flair, and made me realize just how much I can customize my routine to tackle both a longer period and a shorter period if I happen to sleep in or just don’t have time for the full process.

Combining these two along with images that I found on Pinterest by searching for morning and evening routine in a journal, I created the following spread. I even added the times that I wanted to spend on each aspect and calculated the total time for the longer routines, so that I knew when I would need to begin, and when I would be done. This is important for me because I also have to consider that I need to get my kids up and ready for school, or ready for bed at night, plus be at work by a certain time.


Finally, because I knew that I couldn’t focus everything on the future, I wanted to create a gratitude log that will help me to stay grounded in my blessings of the present. I never want to forget some of the amazing things that I have while chasing my dreams of the future.

This one was easier to find because I knew I wanted something simple, that focused on filling a space with all of the things that I was grateful for, so after watching Sarra Cannon’s video about her bullet journal set up, I liked how she did her gratitude log and mimicked her setup.

Closing thoughts

I’m really happy with how everything turned out and feel much better about looking forward. I hope that some of these things helped you and would love to see or hear about what you did to help you get motivated and focused to living your dream life.

If you’re interested, the journal and pens that I used can be found really cheap on Amazon. If you use the links I’ve provided to purchase, I’ll get a small commission since I’m an Amazon affiliate.

Published by Leslie

I'm an author, teacher, wife, and mother of three who just finished an MFA program and is working on a YA fantasy novel.

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