Many people are compelled to donate gifts to children and youth in foster care during the Christmas holiday season (myself included). After the Christmas gifts are barely opened we shift our focus to how we will usher in a new year. A new year exemplifies a new chance to start fresh, another opportunity to change our lives for the better. People around the world make their lists of New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are goals, projects, or kicking of habits that a person commits to in anticipation of a new year. Most people plan to stay committed to their New Year’s resolutions for at least the entire year but roughly 4 out of 5 people break their New Year’s resolutions, however.
I want to start a new tradition. After the Christmas toys are opened and gift cards have been spent, I would like to see youth receive planners, journals, and calendars as New Year’s Day gifts. But, that’s not all. I would like to combine New Year’s gift giving with the creation of vision boards during the month of January. A vision board is a visual collection of your goals created with written statements, photographs, and pictures from magazines, the internet, and books. Positive pictures and images of your goals can have a powerful affect on the mind. Visual representations of goals will reinforce them and help turn wishful thinking into action. A vision board can help get youth further down the path toward personal fulfillment. Some youth may oppose the project when you first mention it, but I’ve found that creating vision boards with other young people in a fun, safe, supportive environment can release the blocks some experience when using traditional goal setting strategies and also utilizes the power of positive peer pressure. After a few minutes they all get into it. I have never had a young person refuse to create a vision board. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that you can introduce as sample written statements:
“If you can imagine it you can achieve it. If you can believe it you can become it.” ~William Arthur Ward
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~Carl Bard
“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limits in what you can do except the limitations of your mind.” ~ Darwin P. Kingsley
Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.