Keep your glasses handy and your contact lenses soaking in their solution. I am not referring to your eyesight vision, but your hindsight vision. If there is one common theme from conversations I have held over the past year, it is that year 2020 was difficult, (to say the least). I understand that the concept of adding figures to time was created by humans and that the transition of one minute from 11:59 PM on December 31, 2020, to 12:00 AM on January 1, 2021, doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be fireworks inside your head and an existential moment that completely changes your outlook on life. However, I do wish to express the importance of moving forward. Being stuck in a negative mindset from the past and refusing to look ahead to create the life you want can be dangerous to your overall well-being and the vision of your brilliant future. I suggest we all shift our vision from 2020 and focus on 2021! 

You are probably asking yourself, “How do I change my vision?” Honestly, it will be difficult. You have tasked your brain with changing something that you originally didn’t see as a feasible outcome in your mind, to now setting clear intentions to achieve an imagined end state. After all, that is essentially what a goal is – any desired outcome that would probably not happen on its own without some introspection and intervention.   

To start, let’s uncover what you truly want. No one is telling you what you want – you must figure this out for yourself: 

  • Shut off your mind. Go to a secluded and quiet area where you can be alone in your thoughts. 
    • Go back into your mindset from when you were a child, a teenager, a young adult and now into adulthood.
    • Ask yourself and free-write the answers to the following questions: (no matter how silly they may seem, still write them down. If any wants carry over into other stages in life, write them down under each applicable section)
      • What did you want when you were a… 
        • Child?
        • Teenager?
        • Young Adult? 
        • Adult?
  • Did you achieve the desired outcome with each want on your list? 
  • Did you have any repeaters on your list? Note any repeaters that carry over into your current stage in life. 
    • Get to know yourself. 
      • Think about what you think about.
        • Are these thoughts helpful for your vision? Do your thoughts present obstacles you may need to overcome? 
      • Write down your strengths.
      • Write down areas where you may be lacking strength.
    • After this brainstorming session, you most likely uncovered your true desires. You have also identified any natural characteristics you have which may assist you in achieving your goals or possibly hinder your progression. 
  • Select a few wants to turn into attainable goals you wish to achieve in 2021.

Now that you have selected your goals, we are going to transform the written version to an image representation of said goals. There is a brilliant and extremely inexpensive tool that has been helpful in allowing one to maintain focus on what is truly meaningful and has assisted many from your next-door neighbor to Oprah Winfrey achieve their goals. This tool is the Vision Board.   

Creating a vision board will allow you to view your goals in image form on a regular basis and provides a reminder of what you are intending to accomplish over a personalized and pre-determined time frame. As mentioned in an article by Berridge, K.C., & Aldridge, J.W. (2008), “…when you encounter an image…or other cue associated in your past with a particular reward; or perhaps just vividly imagining that cue. Such a cue can often trigger a sudden motivational urge to pursue that goal, and sometimes a decision to do so.” 

Have fun finding the images that match your goal. Look in old magazines or newspapers lying around the house, look online for the perfect representation of your vision. Make it as colorful, shiny, or lackluster as your heart desires. No matter what style or theme you decide, just make sure you have the final product in an area you can see at least once a day. This visual cue will fill you with excitement and inspiration. It is up to you to find the motivation to officially alter your 2020 mindset and hit refresh on your 2021 vision. 

Citation: Berridge, K. C., & Aldridge, J. W. (2008). DECISION UTILITY, THE BRAIN, AND PURSUIT OF HEDONIC GOALS. Social cognition26(5), 621–646.

Selection and Growth Partner, Northwestern Mutual

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. As Selection and Growth Partner at the SLC Downtown Northwestern Mutual Office, Jennifer utilizes her creativity and genuine desire to serve others to help grow the firm. She thrives off of helping others in the career discovery process by uncovering who they are, who they want to be and identifying their true goals and values. Jennifer is a fervent advocate of social responsibility and of women uplifting each other and strives daily to integrate these values into the workplace. She has a natural curiosity for life and a desire to do and know everything, which allows her to relish in many hobbies. Outside of work you can find Jennifer rocking out at a concert, in the audience of a Broadway Musical, fishing, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, playing her guitar, bowling, gardening or singing.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS WOMEN’S FORUM: The Business Women’s Forum (BWF) is a program organized by the Salt Lake Chamber where local women managers, executives and entrepreneurs meet to improve their personal development and networking skills through bi-monthly luncheons and mixers. For more information on BWF, visit