As we welcome in the New Year, some business friends and I have been talking about the need to simplify things in our personal and our professional lives. At a recent breakfast get together, we discussed ways to simplify our lives by identifying what’s most important to ourselves and then eliminating or downsizing everything else. One friend suggested we could each create a simplicity statement along with a vision board, so we would be able to see at a glance what we want our lives to look like in the coming year.

Many people use a vision board to illustrate what really matters most. Vision boards help us envision ways to achieve goals, while keeping them top of mind. Keeping this vision board where you can see it every day helps in the march toward achievement by creating a customized roadmap for simplifying your personal and professional life. Creating a vision board is also simple. Here a few tips for getting started:

  • Buy or create a poster board as the placeholder for ideas.
  • Find pictures that best represent goals and future achievements. A couple friends said they were going to post pictures of summer vacations — not a bad idea when Wisconsin temps are bitter cold. I’m going to include a picture of me in a hammock on a Disney island during a long-ago winter cruise. That picture represents the simple life for me. Images can easily be found online or in magazines.
  • Make a collage of these images. This can be exciting and powerful as you see your visions come to life.
  • Words of affirmation and meaning can also be added along with inspirational quotes.

Jack Canfield, success coach and author of more than 150 books, including The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, suggests that to multiply the effects of a vision board, you should take a few moments to review your board every day, especially when you wake up and before you go to bed.

Personal and/or business changes and new challenges may be on the way in 2018. We never really know what’s going to come down the pike at any time. Each member of my breakfast group is hoping that simplifying things will bring less stress during the new year. To this end, several said they are going to:

  • Reduce commitments that are done out of obligation.
  • Clear out and donate unused articles of clothing so it’s easier to prepare for the day.
  • Automate finances and make an effort to pay all bills online.
  • Spend on experiences, not things.
  • Create an organizing system that works.
  • Create weekly meal plans so there’s no after-work hassle trying to figure out what’s for dinner.
  • Turn off smartphones for a while each day.
  • Make time to catch up with friends.

According to Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, “Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world.” Simplifying is a journey, not a destination, and it’s so much easier to do with some help from our friends.