Better Than a Vision Board?
In my post Why Vision Boards Are Time Wasters, I make a case for why I believe vision boards are the wrong way to go for inspiration. That’s not to say that you’re doing something wrong if you have or want to create a vision board, but there’s something that goes deeper, increasing your odds of success.
In this post, I’ll share the secret that successful businesses use to identify their ideal clients, and how you can repurpose it, for a tool that’s more powerful than a vision/inspiration board.
Vision Board on Steroids
Something that successful entrepreneurs and marketers keep in front of them is known as a customer avatar. A customer avatar is a character that represents their ideal client. Understanding things like the motivating beliefs, fears, and values influencing their customers’ buying decisions, help them tailor blog posts, ad copy, (the skeleton of a companies branding) to draw those customers to their products or services.
The closer they bring that avatar to representing a real customer, the better their message will resonate, increasing sales.
The First Reason a Future Self Avatar is Better Than a Vision Board
A future self avatar immediately addresses one of the biggest problems I have with vision boards. Vision boards emphasize the (who you want to be), and the (what you want to have), but not the why of it all.
Knowing your why before you start is the difference between blindly going on a treasure hunt, and having a detailed map saving time and energy, and ensuring you reach your goals.
The FS avatars’ purpose is to dig deeper, seeking to understand their ideal customer. When we apply this to ourselves, it forces us to increase our self-awareness more profoundly, ensuring that the goals we’re chasing align with our unique definition of fulfillment.
Why is it so important to be at a heightened state of self-awareness before creating your avatar? Great question!
Curating pretty eye-catching images without the self-awareness to understand if they represent what appeals to your heart, can be a recipe for failure. Chasing after the wrong goals is so common that I created The Big “But” Self-Aware Goal Setting Mini-Course, where I guide students through using self-awareness to set the right goals for them.
It’s incredibly easy to fail at goals that appeal to our ego rather than our heart. Remember, you’re creating a life that you jump out of bed for, not staging a picture-perfect Instagram account. Becoming distracted by aesthetically pleasing images that hold little meaning to you, your vision board becomes a misleading source of inspiration.
The Second Reason a Future Self Avatar is Better Than a Vision Board
Another reason you should create an avatar instead of a vision board is this. Many of us get super excited initially creating our vision board (similar to imagining how we’ll spend a multimillion-dollar jackpot we’ve bought a ticket for). Unfortunately, for many of us, the creation of this vision board is where our journey begins and ends.
Life comes fast (like our current health crisis). Your day job is demanding, and your family is even more so. You have a chance to catch up with a good friend. You finally book that well-deserved vacation. The kids need help with homework, and there sits your vision board—a pretty reminder of all the things you mean to achieve one day.
The vision board is the fun part, and so that’s where we tend to stop, but the magic happens beyond the vision board. You must create a map of actionable steps and implement them to bring your board to life. Without that less fun and more intimidating part of the equation, vision boards are worthless.
A future self avatar also forces you to consider and map out a plan of action (just like the marketer would map out their content and tactics accordingly). This requires you to get more specific, where a vision board tends to be more general.
For example, you won’t just imagine your future self is 20 pounds lighter. How odes your FS stay active? If your FS hike trails, where? What’s the scenery? How does that fresh air smell? How does it feel hiking up inclines and not be winded? What does your FS wear and bring when on these hikes? Are the hikes time alone, or time with friends?
Every aspect of your life requires maximum details. Remember, just like those businesses, your goal is to bring your future self as close to life as possible.
Go through every aspect of your future self’s life with a fine-tooth comb, collecting images that represent various parts of your future-self. Looking at those different parts, close your eyes and envision right down to the minute details, where you’re practically living in that future.
Be sure you have a written, actionable plan with deadlines and an accountability partner if needed. Don’t fear that you have to commit to whatever you add to your avatar. Your avatar is meant to evolve as your self-awareness grows.
You can see why an avatar is more worthy of your time than a vision board. The avatar brings you to a deeper level of self-awareness, ensuring the goals you set will align with your definition of fulfillment. An avatar also forces you to think in greater detail about your goals, and then map out a detailed plan of action.
Do you plan on switching to an avatar rather than a vision board? Let me know, and join my new Facebook community for live Avatar workshops. Leave your best email address below to grab your avatar worksheets. You can complete the worksheets yourself, or keep them handy and join me for live avatar sessions hosted on my Facebook.