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Gearing Up and Slowing Down

The start of the new decade is upon us. Two months in and you may already feel behind on some of your plans, tired or even ready to start the year again. This is why at BWiS we wanted to talk vision, planning and rest to re-energise those of you who are already drained by 2020.

Vision is an imagined reality that acts as the lens through which we shape goals and find ways to achieve them. It is more than just seeing an event occurring but rather feeling every detail. This could be anything from hearing the crowd applaud your research, holding the keys to your new home or tasting the first bite of your promotion celebratory dinner. Vision is typically conceptualised in a series of words or pictures on a board (hence the term 'vision board') and it helps with three things:

1. Assigning clarity to your dream

2. Inspiring action

3. Emphasising where the focus should lie to make the vision come to fruition.

These three things are the job half done.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” 

Mark Twain

Although the fantasy of the vision board motivates us to achieve, the dreadful question of "where to start" leaves people inactive. This is where action plans come into play. It is the conversion of a sensory, mental experience to list of tangible steps (actions required) towards the goal. These steps make dreams that are considered "too big" or "too abstract" feel like they are actually obtainable and realistic. The only way we start to achieve is when we start working.

However, it is important to remember that the plans we make are subject to external factors out of our control. 60% of young adults (18-24) experience performance-related stress as they feel pressure to succeed; this could stem from having fixed plans or expectations for the future. Putting our dreams on paper help keep us motivated when times get tough and spirits fall low. The board's purpose should be to refresh us and gives us the courage to try again instead of presenting a daunting 'be-all, end-all'. Since we can only control our thoughts, actions and reactions to a turbulent world, it is vital that we incorporate healthy mental practices such as talking to people when we are struggling, exercise or mediation (see our article about mental health).

As we navigate life, dreams are inevitable and rightfully so. This year, let us exercise our right to dream the unimaginable and get excited at how we plan to maximise our capabilities. Similarly, let's remember when to take things slow and take time for ourselves to recharge and gain perspective, as a healthy mind equates to a healthy, satisfied life.

Leave a comment down below or on our social media about what you are hoping to do this year and hoping to see more of within the network and the blog! Let's create space to encourage one another this decade and decades to come.

See more information on:

How to make plans, John Graham

By Tulela Pea, Editor

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