A Vision Board for the 2022 You Want to Live

Efraín MartinezBlog, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lead Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better, Self Care Better


  • Plan ahead for what you want to accomplish.
  • Consider creating a vision board you can look at daily to help you achieve your dreams.
  • Follow specific steps when making your vision board.

“When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”

– Brené Brown

Live the life you want to live.

This was the answer I was looking for all those years ago. Every 31st of December, I would imagine all the great things I would do in the upcoming year. It always started with the resolution of losing weight and doing more fun things. Yet, year after year I would fail at the art of writing my own story, as Brené Brown so eloquently taught us.

Benjamin Franklin taught us that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. This was exactly what was happening to me until I listened to someone much wiser. It started as a little game of gathering pictures of old magazines that depicted the type of things I wanted to come into fruition. Pictures of handsome men were selected to depict the new way I was going to look one day. It never crossed my mind that I also needed to find items that depicted how I wanted to feel. But with time and experience, this little game went beyond the superficial and it became an exact science within the realm of my consciousness.

Be the #cartographer of your own map! Click To Tweet

Be the cartographer of your own map.

Year after year, the quality of the life I have been living has exponentially improved. This occurred not because I won the lottery or because I have a magic wand. It occurred because I decided to be the cartographer of my own map. It’s not really an exact science of the universe, but it might be very close. If you place your vision board in a place that you can look at every day, you will more than likely accomplish turning your hopes into reality.

Pretty much everything came to fruition based on my previous 2021 vision board. I wanted, for the first time in my life, to grow my hair long and wear an elegant bun. I decided to eat better and sleep more profoundly. And I made an extraordinary effort in enhancing my mental health by taking specific steps to take care of it, such as mindful meditation. 

I prepared meals and did things to stretch my body and make it stronger. I read and studied things I wanted to have a better awareness of. For example, I did a comprehensive study of the entire Bible, even though I am not religious. My favorite quote I found to be connected with what I do on a day-day basis is:

But show yourself in all things as a model in all good works, and in your teaching let your speech be wholesome.

-Titus 2:7

And the key here is that we cannot accomplish our dreams unless we take care of the temple where we live. Not only about eating right and exercising, meditating and reflecting, but also about having fun (lots of it!). I had fun reading and quoting authors ranging from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Robin Sharma. I also experimented with my own writing. 

Specific depictions of where I wanted to take my relationship with my wife were included in my vision board. We went hiking to New Mexico and swam like never before. I came as close as the virtuous year I wanted to live because I knew where I needed to go. 

When your life is closer to the palace where you want to live in, then you want to do more. For this reason, here are my humble recommendations on the type of things that should be on your own vision board (adapt appropriately!). Please feel free to adapt this activity with your family on New Year’s Eve. For the entire year, your family will thank you.

Steps to Create a Vision Board for 2022 You Want to Live

Step 1

  • Make a list of the things you need to do (such as work, medical appointments, someone’s wedding, a conference, your graduation, etc). You as a:
    • Human
    • Professional
    • Member of a family
  • Make a list of the things you want to do (such as traveling, the books you want to read, the books or articles you want to write, the play you want to see, the getaway with your spouse you want to do) and then aim for it. You as a:
    • Human
    • Professional
    • Member of a family

Step 2

  • Plan with a master calendar: Do yourself a gigantic favor and invest in a large dry erase wall calendar (you can also create your own calendar too!). This colossal treasure must be in a place that you see every single day. This is your map! This gigantic calendar is to use as the conduit for the type of year that you want to live. If you plan the year with only what your place of employment determines, you won’t accomplish what you desire as you are not in the driver’s seat. If your job determines everything, then your life will be your job. Plan which days you are going on vacation, which days you will take care of yourself and your loved ones. Visualize the type of life you want and connect it with every single opportunity that you desire, and it will more likely come true.
  • Now that you have the pre-work done, collect the right images and quotes that reflect the type of things you have envisioned. These can be magazines, things you get online, or things that you design. Here are some examples:
    • Dedicate more sincere love, affection, and attention to your loved ones.
    • Clean and organize “your space” so you can love and help others.
    • Which are the exact books you want to read (remember, it is better to read one great book ten times than reading the ten best-sellers of that year)?
    • Enhanced mindful activities you want to do (last year was meditation for me, this year I will incorporate yoga rather than strenuous exercises that I tend to dislike).
    • Decide for once to maintain a healthy lifestyle with good foods, water, and exercise. Think about the type of life you want to have in 20-40 years. Robin Sharma teaches us: “If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.”
    • Decide how you are going to improve as a professional. If you are an educator, your students need you more than ever. For them to perceive your love and attention (more on that here), you need to take care of yourself. Please, do yourself a favor and plan the year of the healthy lifestyle that you want.
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Final thoughts…

Eduardo Briceño teaches us “the reason many of us don’t improve much despite our hard work is that we tend to spend almost all of our time in the performance zone. This hinders our growth, and ironically, over the long term, also our performance.” Spend a little more significant time in designing the year you want to live and you will have the enhanced 2022 that not only you deserve, but also that your loved ones and your students deserve as well.

About Efraín Martinez

Dr. Efraín Martínez is a father, husband, and the principal of Northwood Middle School in Highland Park, IL. He reflects and interviews luminary figures on his podcast Wisdom & Productivity. His one word is #improvement and he strives to do all he can to make a difference in the world.