How to make a quarterly vision board

by | Podcast

This is the podcast episode where I do a deep dive on how to make a vision board. We talk about EPIC Goals, you get a sneak peek of what I want to achieve before the end of this year, and you learn the secret of how I make my goals a reality.

Here’s the full transcript:

Breaking News: You don’t have to wait to the new year to set some new goals. High key: I’ve moved beyond new year, new me. Now it’s new day, new me. 

This is Justin and you’re listening to SoCurious About, a weekly podcast about creativity, marketing and joyful living. 

And today I’m so curious about how to create a vision board to design your ideal life. 

But before we dive in, I have a confession: Ya boy has super thick glasses 

Like thicker than thick 

Like I wouldn’t;t have survived if I was born in any other time period 

And because I grew up in the 90s, I was doomed to be a nerd. But fortunately there was one specific popculture nerd that I connected with. And I’m pretty sure you know who it is. Mr. Steve Urkel of family matters. 

Did I do that impression.

So you’ve seen this show I’m sure. Its about a happy family and their terrifying next door neighbor that creates unnecessary chaos and stalks their teen daughter, Laura Winslow. 

But they try to make it cute. Cause its a sitcom. 

But there’s a world where this is actually just a scary ass movie where you have to kill your next door neighbor cause they doing too much. 

But so I’m a nerd and of course I commiserate with Steve Urkel. 

But then there’s this one episode where Steve drinks this glowing liquid and essentially turns into a teenage heart throb by lowering the octave of his voice, taking off his suspenders, and obviously removing his glasses. 

Because not having glasses means you’re hot at least in the 90s. 

Oooh that reminds me, I need to watch she’s all that again. 

Even though I’m sure if I rewatch that movie today I will discover how problematic it actually was. 

So Steve drink this glowing liquid and like he’s now a professional model and Laura Winslow falls in love. 

And I remember my little kid brain being like, I’m gonna wear these contacts and get a Sean John oversized suit and I’m going to be the most popular man in the world. 

The show ultimately was really about Steve chilling out a bit and learning to love himself more. But this was my first introduction to the idea that you can design your life. You can make any changes you see fit. 

And as I’ve aged and matured those goals are less about being the most popular kid in high school and instead are about living a balanced intentional life that provides me with sustainable joy. 

Now on a scale from zero to woo woo, I’m much more on the practical tactics side. Although my friend Jason texted me after a previous episode and was like: Dude, you’re the most woo woo person I know. 

And I’m like, yes, I’m the most woo woo person you know. 

But of the woo woo people I know, lol, I’m like a business man in an oversized sean john suit. 

But I’ll admit it, you got me, I believe that you can manifest your ideal life without needing to burn sage or realign your chakras. 

We all have big and small changes we want to make in our life.

And change starts with believing that everything you desire is possible. 

It will take effort —sometimes lots of effort. 

But the new energy you crave starts with making a plan. 

For me, building a vision board is a useful tool for designing your ideal life. 

And I’m not joking the things you write down can become a reality. I am the living embodiment of that truth. 

My 2022 vision board said speaker, podcaster, and published author and while they have come in unexpected ways — sometimes very different than how I expected them to come to fruition. They did actually all happen. 

I had my first paid virtual speaking gig with an agency and taught about self care and emotional intelligence in the workplace. 

I launched this podcast.. which it still blows my mind how scary this is

And I got a book deal because a person on my email list shared my self published book with her boss. And the next thing I know, ya boy has the Reset Workbook launching in December 2023. 

And to all those things i say to the universe. Thank you. More please. 

So let’s talk about my process for building a vision board because real talk I do things kinda different. 

1. Step one is to start with a journaling exercise to recap the last three months.

It’s nice to do annual planning, but more and more I’m becoming an advocate for quarterly planning as a tool to break down the year into more bitesized chunks. 

So I like to make a list of all the things I’ve accomplished both big and small. 

And I separate this into a few categories: 



Work and Career 


Emotional Wellbeing 

Social Life and Hobbies 

And I go through everything that comes to mind as big wins this year. 

This is valuable for so many reasons. 

First it reminds you of all the hard work that you’ve done. And gives you an opportunity to celebrate all those small wins along the way. 

And just so we’re clear for context, I write everything down on that list. For me, it would include some of the bigger things like launching the joy bombs affirmation cards – which was low key one of the hardest things I’ve done in the past few years. 

But I also like to recap some of the more mundane things. One of which I’m super proud of this quarter is I have been cooking a lot more at home and spending a lot less money on Uber Eats. 

I still hate cooking – we talked about this. But I’m doing it, so I’m proud. 

I have also walked more this quarter than the previous quarter which is a feat because I have been nursing a knee injury that I’ve been doing a lot of exercises to heal. And somehow I have lifted weights more than I have in any other year of my life. 

The big one though is that I’ve been doing a much better job of calling my friends or shooting catchup texts to reconnect. 

Last quarter one of my biggest goals was to spend more quality time with the people I care about despite where they live in the world. And while it can be challenging to keep up with the long distance besties, its something that I genuinely want to cultivate more and more. 

These are small, but mighty accomplishments that genuinely matter to me.  

2. The next step is to brainstorm and prioritize your goals.

Based on the things that I accomplished in the past three months, I start to brainstorm the things that I want to accomplish in the next three months. 

First I create a list of all my biggest picture goals and write them out on a piece of paper. 

Then I narrow down to the most important 3-5 goals for that quarter.

Recently, I’ve been really trying to narrow my focus more and more, so that I’m focusing on only the most important things and ideally letting go of the things that are nice to haves, but not quite as important. 

So I’ll give you the inside scope on my big picture goals for myself over the next three months. 

As we dive into the last quarter of the year, this is what feels like the true beginning of my personal pivot. I’m not fully sure if I even know what that means in actuality. But I can say, I’m passionate about making more physical products and getting lots more speaking opportunities. So in an ideal world it would be less client facing work and hopefully over the course of 2024 becoming my own number one client.

So my goals: 

I want to do everything in my power to have successful book lauch for the Reset Workbook. Specifically, and this is still hard for my brain to even wrap around, my goal is 4000 sales between December and January. So how do I get there. 

First, I’m doubling down on social media and I’m setting the SUPER ambitious goal of posting at least 5 times a week on Instagram and Tiktok, with an emphasis on short form video.

We haven’t talked about this, but making video is hard for me. I can be self conscious sometimes about being the onscreen talent. 

But more than that, sometimes I freak out because I dont have the technical chops that I want to make the level of content that I’d like to make. It’s funny because I still have done it.

I usually do short bursts of intense content creation. But I want to figure out a system for me that works and allows me to be super consistent leading up and through the book launch. 

Second, I’m focusing a lot of intention on email newsletter growth. I’ve been running the weekly reset newsletter now for nearly 4 years, which is wild to even think about. But I love it because after doing the newsletter for so many years, I feel like it has pushed me to continuously write, draw, and refine my point of view on the world. 

That in and of itself is spectacular. But I also feel like the messages resonate and help some people get inspired to make tiny changes in their lives. That genuinely sets my soul on fire. 

Third, I am fully committed to continuing to increase the quality of this podcast. 

My assumption is that if you’re listening to this, you’re probably on my newsletter. And I felt like one of the best ways to be able to forge even deeper connection with you all was to hang out for 20 minutes a week and talk about the things that have been going on in my life. 

And honestly, it’s fun. Like I genuinely enjoy being able to sit down with a cup of iced coffee no milk no sugar. Grab my microphone and chat through the things that are on my mind. 

So that will absolutely continue. But I also want to focus on ways to expand the audience and deepen the connection

Finally, I want to get my Joy Bombs affirmation cards, as well as a few upcoming products onto Amazon. 

I’ve been really thinking a lot lately about distribution channels and how often I myself will buy something from Amazon because I can check out with one click. And I think there’s a huge opportunity for growth once i commit to that channel.

Yea, those are the biggest ones. But I imagine inside of each of those goals there are a lot of tiny steps I’ll have to work on to truly take action. 

Low key, I’m freaking out about it internally, but I’m trying my best to just break it up into bite sized chunks so I don’t think too deeply about any specific action plan. 

Pnce I’ve established the top level goals then I start working on specificity. 

I outline the steps necessary to achieve the individual goals and if necessary start to cut down on some of the goals. 

I feel like I need to do a full episode on my EPIC goal setting process, but the short version is that goals should be specific and in alignment with your personal values. 

Quickly thought the EPIC Goals framework starts by answering these questions: 

Essential – is it absolutely worth doing right now 

Purpose-driven – Does it align with my purpose and values 

Identifiable – Can I easily identify what success looks like to me?

Clearly Defined – Do I know when to do it and for how long. 

I know everyone probably knows SMART Goals, but what I think is different here is that we’re really connecting the goal with our own personal why and for me that makes it more likely for me to want to achieve the thing. 

When somethin g connects with my greater purpose its easier for me to want to follow through on it. 

Step three is where I choose a word or phrase to focus on for the quarter.

I start by brainstorming words and phrases that represent the way that I want to feel during that time period. 

I try to make it an actionable word that makes me feel inspired. 

Some past phrases and words I’ve used were: 

Create and Conquer – The phrase I used when I launched my freelance design business 

Build the Dream – The year that I decided I wanted to be a Creative Director at an ad agency 

Fresh Start – For when I committed to moving to Austin Tx from new orleans.  

2022’s focus was my year of alignment – shaking off the old patterns and building new pattens. 

And right now the phrase that resonates the most for me is Intentional Growth 

Cause baby we’re on the growth trajectory now. 

What did Cardi B say- if its up then its stuck

I’m not fully sure what that means, but Cardi you’re right.

If it’s up then its stuck!

And that brings us to the final step. Once you’ve picked a word or a phase for the quarter, I like to fill a poster board or a canvas with words that support that vision.

And this is really where the fun is. 

I’ll add in my most important goals to this vision board.

I’ll work in descriptors for the way I want to feel. I’ll even add in some big number goals 

But the key difference for is that I don’t use images. I use words and phrases for everything. And I try to handwrite everything myself. 

For me there is a certain magic that we hold in our handwriting. 

So the process of thinking about it and writing it all down. It just feels like it invites the universe to make that thing happen. To make it a reality even faster than I could even imagine. 

And once you’ve created your vision board, it’s important to display it prominently and regularly check in on your progress. 

And this is simple, like I’ll try to at least once a week and really sit with it and see if i feel like I’m still on track. 

Am I truly experiencing the words on this vision board or is it time to start thinking about making a new board that more closely aligns with how my vision has changed. 

We are consistently changing people and it’s okay to decide over the course of a few months that your vision has changed and even decide that you want to chase after new goals. 

So that brings us to the end of this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor and share it with one friend. That is one of the best ways for this show to grow. 

If you feeling real cute you can follow ya boy on instagram at justinmadethat. And this is your permission to slide in my DMs and let me know what you think. 

That’s all I got for today. 

I’ll hit you up next week. 

Here’s how affirmations literally changed my life

Here’s how affirmations literally changed my life

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