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The EntreMD Podcast with Dr. Una | 5 Reasons Why Vision Boards Don’t WorkWhat comes to mind when you hear the words vision board? If you’re thinking, “I’m not artsy or crafty and this all seems a little woo-woo…” well, I’m right there with you. When I first heard about them, drawing and looking for pictures just wasn’t my thing. But I’d read so much about the power of vision boarding, I finally decided to give it a try.

Here and there, I would do it a little. But when I took it seriously and did my first one, something happened that completely blew my mind, and turned me into a vision-board girl forever. Now, there are some reasons why vision boards don’t work, but there are ways that you can make them work, and I’m sharing it all today.

Tune in today because we’re going to have a lot of fun talking about vision boards. I’m giving you the five most common reasons why vision boards don’t work, and how you can start creating your vision boards in a way that guides you towards your goals and truly has the potential to change your life.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The story of making my first vision board and the effect it eventually had on my life.
  • 5 reasons why your vision board might not be helping you actually achieve your goals.
  • Why you have to be incredibly intentional when creating a vision board.
  • Where to actually start when it comes to making a vision board.
  • How to make a vision board and take the action that will transform your life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Hi docs, welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.

Well hello, hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast, I am so pumped, so pumped that I get to talk to you today. And we’re going to have a lot of fun talking about vision boards.

Now, if you’re here and you’re like, “I’m not artsy, I’m not crafty. And this seems a little woo woo.” Well, I’m right there with you, okay? When I first learned about vision boards, I learned it from Terry Savelle Foy. I mean, she’s all about vision boards. And I was like, “Yeah, you know, whatever.”

And I’m not the kind of person who would draw. I’m not trying to look for pictures. It’s just not, or wasn’t my thing. And also I was just like just do pictures, stare at them. But I’d read so many stories about vision boards and the power of it, I was like, “Okay, fine. I’m just going to try it.”

And so here and there I would do it. And the one year I did a whole, like my first real vision board. Okay, this was years ago, my first real vision board. And I did it, I put it out there, I put it in my office right across from my desk so I would see it every day and all of that.

And something happened that completely blew my mind and made me go like, “I’m a vision board girl forever.” So I had put on there a picture of a very well organized, clutter free, beautiful office. All right, and I am an introvert and one of my superpowers is thinking. So I think a lot and I think on paper, so not very difficult for me to get a lot of paper everywhere.

And all the paper is important and all the paper has to stay and all that kind of stuff. So needless to say my office did not look like what was on there. And I thought about doing this digitally, couldn’t really pull it off because there’s just something about writing stuff on paper, it’s part of my creative process.

So I had that up there and my office didn’t quite look like that. And somewhere, I want to say the middle of the year, maybe about May, I just walked into my office. It was a Sunday night and I just kind of had free time. I didn’t have anything necessarily scheduled, I didn’t have any agenda. I just walked in and I looked at my bookshelf and I was like, “Well, you know what? Why don’t I organize this bookshelf kind of sort of.”

My kids have all these pictures in frames and stuff, paintings, artwork that they had done. And I was like, “Why don’t I just use that and put them in places and pretty them up and stuff like that?” And so my vision board is right across from my desk and then the shelf was to my right.

So say I’m sitting at the desk, I just want you to have a visual. I’m sitting at the desk, the vision board is right across from the desk, and then the bookshelf is to the right. And it’s a wall to wall bookshelf. So I started putting the books in different kinds of orders, taking the artwork, putting them in places, taking flower vases, putting them in places all of this stuff.

I am not an interior design kind of person. This is so out of my natural bent. And so I’m just doing all these things. So mind you, I am facing the bookshelf that was to the right of my desk and I’m doing all of this. And I do it for about an hour. So of course, introvert I am, I’m probably lost in my thoughts while I’m doing this.

So I’m doing all of that and so I stand up and I look to my left, which is where the vision board was, from the bookshelf. And I find out that I had reproduced the bookshelf on that picture on the vision board on my own bookshelf. I had reproduced almost the exact thing.

And when I saw that, I was like, “I am a vision board girl forever.” The picture had so registered in my subconscious that I created it without a plan. I didn’t even have a plan. I didn’t even have a plan, so crazy.

So I’m not saying it’s magic. I’m not saying you’re not going to have to work. But as humans we can be programmed. We can be programmed, and so if that’s possible, then we can program ourselves. We can program what we think. We can program our subconscious beliefs and all that.

So hear me, I want you to engage with this because today I’m going to show you five reasons why vision boards may not be working for you. And I want you to take these five reasons, I want you to reverse them and fix them. And I want you to make the next 12 months your most mind blowing months. Okay? All right.

So the first reason why vision boards don’t work is the vision boards are not made. That’s the very first one. And the reason why I talk about this is because you might say, “Dr. Una, I mean, come on, we know that for a vision board to work you have to actually have a vision board.”

The problem with this is a lot of times we think about these things. A lot of times we’ve heard about them. A lot of times, we may have even set intentions for them. Sometimes you may actually have the supplies for the vision board in your house. But you do not have a vision board.

Until you have a vision board, you do not have a vision board. Okay? So you listen to this and you’re like, “Oh, this is so simple, I don’t know why Dr. Una is–  I mean, Dr. Una, you’re just being captain obvious.” But you have to ask yourself, do I have a vision board for the next 12 months? If you don’t, I am telling you go get your vision board done.

So that’s number one. Number two is that you created a vision board randomly. Okay, so let me talk about this. I’ve been to a number of vision board parties and sometimes what I see people do is they have their supplies, they have the board, they have magazines and stuff like that. And they start randomly going through magazines and picking out things they like and sticking it on the vision board.

Now, what this does is that it creates something, I mean, some vision is better than no vision. But it’s not strategic and it’s not all encompassing. And it almost doesn’t have direction. So the results it can create are minuscule compared to what will happen if you do a vision board strategically. Okay? All right.

So let me explain what I mean by strategically. When we talk about goal setting, and I talk about this in the Five Days To Your Best Year course. When we talk about goal setting, you have a number of areas of your life. You have nine areas when you look at what we call the wheel of life. And I mean, if you get five it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is start somewhere.

So for me, those nine areas–  Well, for me, in general, these nine areas would be, spiritual. So that part for me, that’s my faith and my walk with Jesus and all of that stuff. And some other people, that could be their meditation practice and all the stuff they do to take care of themselves. And that’s fine.

All right, so spiritual, and there’s family. There’s legacy, which is the things I’m doing I want to live on, how I want to impact my world and stuff like that. There’s health, there’s career and business, there’s finances, there’s personal development, there’s fun. And fun, especially if you’re a type A person, that so needs to be a goal, otherwise you will have no fun. There’s social capital, which is your network. At the end of the day your network is your net worth. Okay? All right.

So there are nine in all. So the starting point of your vision board is not the supplies and the magazine. The starting of your vision board is, what do I want? So let’s say this is 12 months from now and I am like, “Oh my gosh, the last 12 months, were the best 12 months of my entire existence.” What would have to happen in these nine areas of life for you to say that? That’s the way this works, what would have to happen?

Now, you then pick those things and document them. And you look at them and you’re like, “Great, this is where I want to go over the next 12 months.” When you’re done with that, then you can go to the vision board. And you can go to the magazine to find pictures that support the vision you have for your life for the next 12 months.

Do you see how this is very different? Because this way it covers all of the aspects of your life. And this way the magazine, somebody else’s dream, is not dictating your dream. You have already decided where you want to go. And then you’re looking for pictures that represent them.

So if you’re going to be a speaker and you want to be on a certain stage, a certain number of people, you can find that on Google and print it out. You can print that out, you can even Photoshop it and take the person on the stage off and put yourself there. If there’s a dollar amount you want to make in revenue, you can put that there you. I typically will do a money bag and then put the number beneath it.

Different stuff like that, but you don’t let the pictures define your vision, you let your vision define the pictures that you take. I’m sure I’ve beaten this enough and you get it. Okay, so it is a huge mistake to go with no agenda, looking through magazines and say, “Oh, I like that. Oh, I like that.”

Now, let me balance this though. Does that mean you can’t go to places to look for inspiration? Maybe you’re someone like, “Oh, I can’t even dream. I haven’t dreamt in so long, I can’t dream of a better future.” And all that kind of stuff and you want to do that, you can do that. But you’re not doing that to cut it out. You’re doing that to get a picture so you can sit down and own your own picture. And then you look for pictures to support that.

All right, so that’s number two. Number three, you don’t see it often, right? Out of sight, out of mind. It is not unusual for people to set goals in December and not look at them again till December and say, “Oh my God, nothing happened.” Right? So we’re not going to do that.

All right, so what do you do with a vision board? Well, you put a vision board where you’ll see it, and you’ll see it every day. Okay, where you will see it every day. So for me, I have my vision board in my home office. I’ve even had a year where I had it in my bathroom, where I would see it every day. You can have it anywhere. It doesn’t matter, but you see it every day.

I have had not quite my vision board, but I had my goals written out where I would save it as a screensaver on my phone and my computer. So you can do that with your vision board as well. It can be in your bedroom, wherever. But you want it to be in a place where you will see it often.

Because the idea is in the seeing. It’s almost like every time you see it it’s being written in your subconscious in a way, for want of a better way to describe it. So you have to see it, that’s the whole idea. So out of sight is out of mind, please don’t do that.

All right. So number four. Number four is that you resist the vision. Now you can have a goal, right? You can have a goal or something that you want to accomplish in 12 years, it’s your vision or whatever. And you put it on there but every time you go there, you’re like, “How can that happen? I don’t think that can happen. I’m not the kind of person that can do that.” And all of that. You’re resisting it.

Now in the EntreMD Business School we have a statement, so I guess in the EntreMD world, which is there is no imagination police. When it comes to vision there’s no imagination police. You can decide, it’s your imagination. You can live in your head a little bit and it’s totally fine. Why? Because this is what is required for you to change your life.

And if you think about it, you’re like, “Well, I can’t be a speaker in a room speaking at an event with 5,000 people.” Why not? I mean, a man as a private citizen put a space craft in space. Okay, so of course you can speak to a crowd like that. You understand what I’m saying?

Oh, I can’t own a business like that. Of course you can. If you’re listening to the EntreMD podcast, chances are you are a physician. And if you’re a physician, that also means that you’ve done a lot of impossible things. Why stop now?

But the idea is not to resist. Imagine it. Like what if? Imagine it, allow yourself to think. There is no price attached to it, you can just think. There’s nobody that’s going to stop you, you can just think. You can just think, you can imagine it. You could, wow, sit in it for a little bit. Right?

So what if you write things and you’re like, “But I don’t 100% believe it.” I mean, yeah, med school, you didn’t believe that either 100%, right? But I don’t 100% believe that. Well, you can work on believing that. And one of the ways you can do that is you can imagine it.

Let’s say you’re like me and you like the water and you’re like, “I just want to have a beach house.” Look, if you’re like me, just pm me and say, “Hey, Doc, we both need to have beach houses.” Okay? I just want a beach house.

And so there’s a beach house on your vision board and you’re like, “But we can’t afford it.” We’re this, we’re that, blah, blah, blah, blah. But what if? I mean, you can literally look at the beach house that you have on your vision board and you can be like, “Wow, it would be nice to own a beach house like that.

And you can think about it. You can think about the day that you close on it. The selfie you take when you close on it. You can think about going there with your family for a vacation. Or going with your friends for a weekend retreat.

You can even think of having it up as a short term rental and you have it as a short term rental so you’re bringing in some revenue. So, alas, you don’t even have to pay the mortgage because that’s covered with everything that comes in with a rental. And shockers, you find out oh my goodness, I can write off all this stuff in taxes because I have this beach house.

And you go, “Wow and then maybe I even catch the bug and at the end of the following year, I end up with three more beach houses or lakefront homes and stuff like that.” You can do that. The more you sit with it, the less impossible it will seem.

The more you sit with it, the more it takes a hold of your heart. The more you sit with, the more you’re like, “Hmm, I bet I could do that.” And then your reticular activating system is like set on fire, so all of a sudden you start seeing things about beach houses, you start having conversations with people who are talking about beach houses. You go like, “Well, maybe I can start looking for beach houses.” And before you know what’s happening, you have a beach house.

Okay, it’s not magical, but it works. So if there are things you’re like, “I don’t see how,” but you know that that’s something you want. You know that’s something that you think is something you should accomplish and all of that. It’s like when I talk about helping 80,000 doctors build profitable businesses. Well, guess what? That’s on my vision board. Have I accomplished it yet? No. Am I well, on my way? Oh, a thousand times yes.

And I look at it. And the first time I wrote that I was like, “80,000, I can’t truly see how I’m going to have 80 doctor’s that I impact.” When I started talking about it, but look at that. Look at that. And then so I sit with it and I imagine it. And it’s crazy, but it works.

So don’t resist it. Allow yourself to dream. Allow yourself to imagine. Allow yourself to think. Give yourself permission. There is no imagination police and it costs you nothing to imagine, it’s yours.

So that’s number four. Number five. Number five is kind of like the granddaddy of all of them, you don’t take action. Okay, you don’t take action. A vision board is not a magical process in that kind of way. It’s not that I will sit and I’ll imagine I’ll do these things and things will just fall into my lap. No, you’re going to have to work.

Okay, so now let me give you a trick here. You may say, “But Dr. Una with this thing I wrote, I have no idea where to start from.” So let’s go back to the beach home. So beach home, and maybe you’re listening to this and you’re like I’m in debt and I just had a baby. Or I have a son going off to college. Or I just bought a new home this is not something within the realm of possibility for me.

But you know like oh my goodness, my kids, they’re a little older and I want to build all the memories we can build before they start leaving the house. And being by the water is so relaxing for me and I’m able to get all kinds of ideas when I walk by the beach. And that’s part of my self-care, that’s part of my creative process. I just need– Oh my goodness, this is sounding like me. I need to be on the beach.

And so you put it on there. You’re like, “I’ll just put it on there.” And so you put it on there and you start working on believing it. You’re imagining you’re doing all that stuff. Well, you may go like, “I don’t know a Realtor, I don’t have the money for this. I don’t even know how to work it and all that stuff.” Well, let me tell you. Okay, so hear me. All right? There are a few things you can do.

Now, you may not know all the things, but do you know that you can go on Zillow and look at lakefront homes or beach homes? Yes. Okay, do that. Okay. Do you know that okay, if I’m going to finance this and all this, I’m going to have to have my documents all together? Okay, good. Then do that.

Do you know that if I’m going to do this, maybe I need to sit with information about short term rentals or sit with information about beach homes so that that way I can get more familiar with it and it’s less scary and all of that? Okay, great. I’ve had Dr. Chiagozie Fawole on this podcast as a guest, I’ve had her on the Doctors Changing Medicine podcast as a guest as well. And she started a new podcast called The Short Term Revolution.

So you can check it, it’s on Apple. Just search and you’ll find it and go subscribe. And you may say, “Okay, I’m going to listen to that so I can just get familiar.” Like, I can learn the lingo. I can learn some next steps to take and stuff like that.

Do you see what I’m saying? You may not know how to do everything, but you maybe know the next three to five steps, right? Maybe talk to somebody else who has a lake home, and that’s the fourth one. Maybe talk to a Realtor. You already have five things to do.

You don’t know everything, you don’t know how this will happen, but you have five things you can do. Do you see what I’m saying? And so if you would apply action, then that’s where the rubber meets the road and the magic actually happens. Okay, so I want you to take the time and work through these five things.

Why are vision boards not working for me? Is it because I don’t have them? Is it because I’ve been creating them randomly? Is it because I don’t see it often enough? Is it because I’m resisting the vision, fighting the vision? Or is it because I’m not taking action?

I want you to have a come to Jesus moment with yourself and look at what is getting in the way. Get those things out and listen to me. the next 12 months can be nothing short of miraculous. Listen, okay, in EntreMD one of the things I put on my vision board for 2021 was a revenue goal that was 700%, represents a 700% increase. That was my revenue goal.

So November 30th, with a whole month to spare, we hit that target. And when I put it on my vision board, I put it there not having the how. But I was willing to put it there. I was willing to not be random about it. I was willing to see it often. I didn’t resist it, even though I didn’t know the how. I didn’t resist it and I took action. Okay, so this stuff works. And I want you to take full advantage of it.

All right, so that’s what I want you to do. And oh my word, a year from now,  and it won’t take a year. Oh my goodness, maybe six months from now I would love to get a pm from you or an email saying, “Dr. Una, you won’t believe what happened.” And I’ll be like, “Of course I’ll believe it, but tell me.”

Okay, so let’s go create some really great years. And it all starts from your vision board. So share this episode and I will see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.

Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast, I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to entremd.com/ondemand. And I’d love to have you join us, see you on the inside.

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