There's an exercise I like to do at the beginning of every year. It helps set the tone for my year and allows me to see how far I've come and where I want to go. It gives me clarity and allows me to put my intentions out into the universe for the things I'd like to accomplish, what I want to have in my life and how I want to develop as a person. I call this exercise 'vision-booking' or 'manifestation-booking'.
I used to start by writing my goals for the next 3-6 months, all the way to 10 years and would then find images to best represent them and place in my "manifestation book".
I then put the book aside and continue on with my year. I like to check in and look at it every few months if I'm thinking about it, but otherwise, it stays on my bookshelf.
At first, this exercise was a little scary. There was a temptation in the beginning to keep all the goals small so I could be sure I would achieve them. The longer 5-10 year goals however, were bigger and more out-there visions for what I would love to have in my life and what I would like to be doing with my time in 5-10 years. Some of them seemed so out of reach at the time. Seriously, out of reach! BUT, the amazing thing is that the one's I really wanted, the visions that really made in impact on my life, came true! Also, they came into my life MUCH SOONER than i ever could have imagined at the time of writing them in my vision book.
This exercise is so powerful that I am absolutely sure this is how I was able to completely transform my life in every aspect. I was able to move back to NYC with 2 small children, get out of a very toxic and destructive relationship that was dragging me down and was able to buy a house in Brooklyn. I reinvented myself and created a new career path by starting NOORISM, my upcycled denim brand completely out of my IMAGINATION. I was able to pursue the career in fashion that I had always wanted, but on my own terms, and make a positive impact on the world at the same time. I was also able to become one of THOSE people that gets up and works out 5 days a week!
Why does this work? When you put out that intention, when you spend the time to reflect on what you really want in your life, and put it down on paper, and put the visuals in, it helps direct your life towards achieving it. How can you achieve what you want or become who you want to be if you don't know what that is?
This is also a great way to look back and reflect on what you have achieved to see how much progress you've made in your life. Reviewing my manifestation book every few months, or at least every year, helps me realize how much I've accomplished and encourages and motivates me forward. I like to go back to the book and check off the goals and visions that I have accomplished. And the crazy thing is, I have accomplished most of what I wanted in the last several years! Almost every single thing I put down came true. The only things that didn't come true yet were things that, it turns out, I didn't actually want or was not ready for, such as getting a dog or buying a extravagant car. Some of my visions have yet to be realized as they are longer-term such as publishing my first book.
So now that I've achieved most of my visions, where do I go from here? I dig deeper and go bigger of course!! Now is the time for more reflection and going for bigger visions of what I want in my life, who I want to grow into and how much more impact I can make on the world.
I'm a big fan of the Tim Ferris show and was inspired by an interview he did a couple of years ago with Samin Nosrat a chef, who and author of the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, which is a New York Times bestseller.
In that interview, she said something that I found very compelling. She talked about having her manifestation book and putting down career and personal goals without feeling embarrassed that she was asking for such big and crazy ambitious dreams. She said that she asked for whatever she really wanted without holding back or deciding those dreams were something that wouldn't or couldn't happen for her.
Tim Ferriss: Going for Farsi, you know? I will get there. I will get there. I struggled with deciding where to begin, topically, this conversation, but one thing really jumped out at me and I wanted to begin there since I like to follow my interest, and that that is the manifestation journal. Can you tell me about your manifestation journal?
Samin Nosrat: I’m so happy you’re asking about this. I don’t know where the idea for my manifestation journal came from. I think it may have been a self-help blog in approximately 2008, but it’s just a notebook that I bought at an art supply store. It’s just a sketchbook, and I just decided to start writing down the things that I envision for my life, whether they were really big, and I would ever be too embarrassed to articulate them to anyone or whether they were really little. I sort of knew initially that I should be as specific as possible, and what’s pretty bananas is sometimes I’ll misplace the journal. It’ll slide under my bed and I’ll forget about it for, I don’t know, six months or something, and then I’ll pull it out. I think at one point I lost it for about two years and I’ll pull it out and I’ll look, and I’ll be like, oh, my gosh, word-for-word, so many of these things have happened. There are also many things in there that have not come true yet or maybe I was misguided, and I changed, and goals shifted, but it is really sort of mind-blowing to go back and look at how specific goals come to life when you plant a seed.
You achieve things when you plant a seed and you’re really clear about it, and I’ve always known that and I’ve always really adhered to that, and so it’s just one little practice that I have. At this point, I like to look at it around my birthday and around the New Year. Those are sort of the two times of year that I pretty diligently will check in and write into it, but it’s not a big thing that I do all the time, but it is really incredible, especially as I’ve started to achieve bigger goals in my career, to go back and look at it and say, wow, I wanted always to write for this publication and now I am, or I really specifically wanted a book deal with a certain amount of money and I achieved.
This made a big impact on me and helped me realize the importance of dreaming big and not holding back for what we want to achieve. Don't worry about 'the how' when you're setting big visions. It's more about what you want and why. Why is it important to you? Why do you want this in your life? How will it enhance your life or give your life more meaning? 'The how' of these big visions manifesting into your life will fall into place once you set the intentions of what. You also have to really mean it, really feel it, really imagine them into your life.
This year, I'm trying something a little different. I'm going for my one main outrageous goal instead of breaking down all my goals into various amounts of time.
I recently found another podcast episode called "How to Create Vision" by Dave Moreno. It's part of his 'Entrepreneurs only' podcast series. In this episode, he talks through the process of setting a big vision and imagining you have achieved it. As he talks through the exercise he tells you to close your eyes and imagine what you want. He then asks you write down what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste in this vision right down to the very last detail. This was a very inspiring exercise for me.
This year I decided to focus on only one big outrageous goal, and really imagine it and describe all the details, I collected a series of images and pasted them into my manifestation book. I love this part :)
I also worked on setting really focused, actionable goals that I plan to achieve in the next 90 days. The big outrageous goal will lay the groundwork for where I'm headed this year and the 90 day goals will be actionable steps to propel my business forward in order to get there. Makes sense?
Starting and growing an upcycled brand is so much about vision and thinking outside the box. Creating your own way of doing things! Challenging the status quo and showing people that there is a better way of doing things requires using your imagination and being really clear on that vision!
Also, keep in mind that setting an outrageous goal or vision is not necessarily about 'getting stuff.' For me, it is also about making an impact. How many people do you want to help? How do you want to serve your people? Are you helping make your customers lives better by offering them products that they need and that also help the environment?
I leave you with this thought... What problems are YOU solving for people and for the world?
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