Build a Vision Board: Inspiration & Daily Reminder of Your Dreams and Goals

Thoughts become things, this I do believe.

Do you remember when the book/video called “The Secret” was all in the news? Though I couldn’t get on board with much of what it espoused, one premise I took to heart was the idea that our day-to-day thoughts do greatly impact almost every facet of our lives. I truly believe, that which you focus on will often come to pass, be it good or bad.

Of course, I’m not talking about those things over which we have no control like the death of a loved one or perhaps an unexpected layoff from a job. Some things are totally out of our control, and at that point, all we can do is control how we recover and move forward which is often easier said than done.

Today I’m talking about the things we can control, like the thoughts we think and say to ourselves each day, including if those thoughts are uplifting and positive, or if they are negative and defeating. I try to catch myself if I’m falling into a negative vein and squash it right on the spot. Seems like the time I’m most prone to do that is when my head hits the pillow at night. My mind is no longer busy with the projects and events of the day, so it’s easy to let the mind wander to any concerns or worries. There couldn’t be a worse time for that than when you’ve just laid down for some much-needed rest.

When that happens and a worry starts to creep in as I’m trying to fall asleep, I stop it immediately with a big, “Stop that!” said emphatically in my head. Say it out loud if you need to. It works! It brings me right back to reality and reminds me that this is rest time, not worry time. If I want to worry about something, I have 16 waking hours during which I can do that the next day.

I love this quote from Mark Twain, it describes me. lol

 

A Vision Board

Since I believe my thoughts do very much control my reality and can bring either good or bad into my life, I’ve always loved the idea of creating a “Vision Board.” Have you heard about those? I don’t remember when I first heard about vision boards, but I’ve never actually followed through in creating one until recently when I saw someone I follow on YouTube share her Vision Board.

A Vision Board is nothing more than a board (like a bulletin board) where you pin photos of anything your heart desires. Anything! It can be spiritual or material…whatever goal or desire you have. Important: The board needs to be right where you can see it every day, not hidden away where it’s soon forgotten.

I loved this idea but despite wishing to create a VB for a long time, I’ve had one small obstacle standing in the way: my office printer only prints in black and white. I just couldn’t imagine a vision board covered in all black and white images. I would not find that exciting or inspiring, and a vision board really needs to excite and inspire. Of course, you can cut out pictures from magazines, but the only magazine I take these days is Birds and Blooms.

A few days ago, still focused on the idea of creating a Vision Board, I purchased an inexpensive printer online that prints in color. (See what I mean, thoughts become things…perfect example!) When the printer arrived, I placed it in the dressing area off my master bedroom where my travel laptop lives on a little built-in desk. Later that day I got busy printing out some of my goals and dreams for the future.

I thought I’d share my Vision Board with you today and some of the surprising “Ah-ha” moments it’s already given me. My board mostly reflects fashion/jewelry items I would love to acquire over the next few years, along with some travel, home renovation and landscaping goals. There are some pretty lofty goals on there, but that’s what a VB is all about…dreaming! Your Vision Board may look very different, depending on your wishes and dreams.

Vision Board

 

Usually, a VB just holds photos of the things/goals you wish to achieve. I decided to split mine in half and put my wishes/dreams on the left side, moving them over to the right side once they are achieved. I thought it would be fun and help keep me motivated if I could see some progress. I recently purchased a bracelet I had been drooling over for a while, so I moved it over to the right side of the board.

Vision Board

 

As mentioned, some of my dreams are pretty lofty and I may change my mind on a few. That’s already happened a couple of times as I was creating this board. It’s amazing how creating a Vision Board forces you to really narrow down what you think you want. I’m sure it’s going to change again in the future.

Starting at the top, I placed a photo of an SUV I’m thinking of purchasing at some point. Since I drive a car until the wheels fall off, I try to purchase one I really like because I know I will be driving it for a very long time.

I drove my first car (inherited when my father passed away when I was in college) for 11 years. When the transmission started going, I replaced it with a 2-year-old car that I drove for 16 years. It was 18 years old had 325,000 miles on it when I replaced it with an SUV.

I drove the SUV for 11+ years until it would no longer pass the required emission inspection. It had 189,000 miles on it when I traded it in for a more practical SUV (or so I thought) a hybrid that got much better gas mileage.

At the time I bought the hybrid SUV, I was working as a Case Manager and driving a lot of miles each week. That’s the car I’m still driving, but recently I found out something disturbing. Apparently, the hybrid batteries in my SUV can croak any time after 120,000 miles, and it currently has 126,000 on the odometer. A new hybrid battery is $7,000. Arggg! I’m never buying another hybrid vehicle!

So far it’s still going strong but I know its hybrid battery days are numbered. I have my sights set on the SUV on my Vision Board and I expect it to be the last car I ever purchase since I don’t put many miles on a car these days.

To the right of the car, I’ve pinned a photo of Machu Picchu, a place that’s been near the top of my bucket list for years. Below that you’ll see two houses to remind me that I may want to move to Ohio one day to be closer to my son, dil and grandchildren. One is a little cottage that I thought was really cute. I could see it with a front porch added to the front.

I’m really struggling with this decision because I love Georgia. It’s where I was born and where I’ve lived my whole life except for a brief 4-year period when we were stationed in Alabama with the U.S. Army.

I love the weather in Georgia and I like my current home, so it’s very hard to think of pulling up and leaving a place I love and the home I’ve lived in for almost 30 years to start all over in a state where snow is a semi-regular thing in the wintertime. That SUV I’m thinking of buying had better be all-wheel drive!

So though I’m not quite ready to put my home on the market (need to complete some bath renovations first) the houses on my Vision Board remind me that I may want to move or downsize one day. Maybe.

 

Below the houses are two photos of Santorini, I would so love to visit Athens and some of the beautiful islands of Greece. It’s on the bucket list! Below the photos of Santorini are photos of the pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt. I should be able to move this goal from the left side of the board to the right with the trip I have planned for this autumn.

 

Moving on down the board, I’ve pinned a photo of a ring I saw on Ring Concierge’s feed on Instagram. It’s called a “Wrap Ring” because it appears to wrap around your finger. Love how it looks on Nicole’s index finger in the photo below!

To the right of the wrap ring, I’ve pinned a couple of landscaping photos to encourage me to start planning a backyard renovation. You may remember my failed “sod” attempt back there. That really discouraged me since it was a pricey failure, so now I’m thinking more along the lines of paths and some shade gardening.

 

The white bathroom photo is not a great photo but it’s the only one I have printed out so far to remind me that I need to renovate both the upstairs bathrooms in my home, especially before I place it on the market one day. I love the shower in that photo.

Just creating this Vision Board has forced me to realize a few things. For example, bathrooms do not excite me. I don’t really care what they look like, as long as they function. So I’m having a hard time getting inspired/excited to redo them, and maybe that’s partly because I only have one photo for inspiration. I need to start looking online and on Pinterest for more inspiration, or those bathrooms may never get done!

 

Below the landscaping and bath renovation pics is a bracelet I’ve always loved. Recently a blogger I follow purchased this bracelet so I’ve had a chance to see how it looks when paired with a lot of different outfits.

The handbag is a sort of a tongue-in-cheek goal. I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to actually purchase a Hermes Birkin bag, but if the moment presented itself it would be hard to pass up if for no other reason than I would love to pass it down to my daughter-in law one day. I know they are considered good investments (see THIS article) but I don’t often carry a hand-held bag. I love my crossbody bags, but if I was ever offered one, not sure I could pass it up. You have to have a couple of those lofty, over-the-top dream pics on your board for it to really be a Vision Board.

 

I think it will be fun to take a look at this Vision Board a year from now, in two years, and then in five. Vision Boards are not static, they are always changing as our goals and vision for our future changes. What you place on your VB doesn’t have to be set in stone and it’s most likely going to change and evolve with time.

If you created a Vision Board today, what would you pin to it? If you’re trying to shed a few pounds or just eat better for your health, perhaps your board would have pictures motivating you in that direction. If you have certain financial goals, like paying off a credit card, your board could reflect those. Maybe you would like to move to a new house, add on a porch, renovate a room or makeover your wardrobe. Whatever goals you have, think about creating a Vision Board to give you that daily reminder of what you would like to accomplish, what you’re working toward.

If nothing else, it really forces you to think about what your immediate or long-term goals are for the future. As I get older, I feel more of an urgency to fulfill my goals and to live my life to the fullest. It’s all going by way too fast!

Vision Board

 

I saw this on Instagram recently and it really hit home.

Photo from 24hoursuccess on Instagram

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Comments

  1. Kathy B. says:

    Deep, DEEP sigh…..you’ve given me a lot to think about.

    Thank you.

  2. Lisa D. says:

    Susan, I love your vision board, and everything you posted on it. I have one too. I call it an inspiration board, and it’s full of fashion, beautiful home and garden ideas, quotes, and basically anything that resonates with me. But it’s hidden in a corner in my bedroom, where I almost never see it, because I desperately need to re-do my office! I guess that means I need some “inspirational vision” for a new office! Thanks, as always, for the “visionary and inspirational” post.

  3. sandra D Joliet says:

    I wanted to move when I retired with my retirement incentive but my precious dog developed cancer . I just couldn’t move her away from the specialist and regular vet. Most of my incentive was spent on her and I owe a huge cc bill on top of that. She just passed away Sunday-the wound and hurt is so fresh. I can’t move because of finances but I would do it all over again for her. They called her the miracle dog because she lived 4 years longer than they expected. Puppy Prayers helped a lot too. So first is to hopefully get over this horrible feeling and crying a lot, start paying off that big bill and saving. Maybe I can go back to dreaming of another home someday-right now it’s the last thing on my mind until I read your post. Like you I keep cars until they start falling apart every week. I bought a new Jeep Cherokee in 2014 and I’m so glad because I held my breath when I took my dog an hour away for chemo-I think she loved the roomy back seat. I had a small Chevy Cavalier before. Now I’m trying to fill the void left, our lives were centered around her feedings, her pills, her vet visits, preparing food-I miss doing all that for her and I feel lost. I do a lot of crafts but I just can’t get in the mood right now so maybe someday I’ll make one. Have a great day.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, Sandra. I went through something similar several years ago with my cat, Max, when he developed cancer. We also did the chemo treatments and losing him was devastating. I still miss him every day, but it’s finally not as painful as it was in the beginning. I try to not think about that time because the memories come back way too easily. It takes a while to get through the extreme pain of losing them, just a very gradual process with each passing day. I found the best medicine for me was staying busy, that was the main thing that helped. I hope you feel better with each passing day. I have to believe we will see our furbabies again. Just has to happen!

      • sandra D Joliet says:

        Thank you. I lost dogs in the past and sometimes I cry when something triggers a sensitive memory to this day but yes, I can talk about them usually without the breaking down now. I think this time it will be harder because I retired and we spent a lot more time together plus being her nursemaid. Because of my age and health I think it’s best not to get another dog and that makes it worse too. When I would finally get a new dog you spent a lot of time training them and making new memories with your new best friend but that won’t happen this time. If I get down sick I won’t be able to care for my pet and I would worry about them.

        • I’ve always had a really bad time when I’ve lost pets, but I know what you mean. I think that’s why losing Max was so difficult…working from home, Max was with me all the time. This is the first time in my life that I don’t have a cat (or 3) in my home, but I told myself when I was going through that with Max, that if I got through it, I would never, ever have to go through anything like that again. It was the only thing that kept me going, was knowing I would never have to go through that kind of pain/heartbreak ever again. It just about did me in…mentally and physically.
          I think it’s why I ended up in the hospital for three days with uncontrolled bleeding during the midst of it. They were running all kinds of tests trying to figure out what was causing the bleeding because it wasn’t stopping. One doctor in the hospital told me tests showed I had e-coli…which made no sense.
          My regular doctor who I had to see a few days later in a follow-up appt. said the tests he saw did not say that. He was insistent that I did not have e-coli, so they never did figure it out. I almost died during that time, they were on the verge of doing exploratory surgery when the bleeding stopped. I truly think it was the stress of caring for Max and watching him slowly get worse. The pain was excruciating mentally and I think it affected me physically.
          I can never go through losing a furbaby again, I get way too attached. It was 3-4 years before I could even look at a picture of Max on my blog and not feel like I’d just been punched in the gut. It still makes me weak when I come across a picture of him. Now I just follow several kitty accounts on Instagram and enjoy those. I couldn’t even do that in the beginning, it takes a while to mentally heal.

          Sandra, it will get better, I promise. Just keep busy. If you don’t get another dog, maybe later you can think about traveling a bit. The important thing is to stay active and to find other activities or interests to fill the time. I know you don’t feel like it now, but as much as you can, try to get out and be around people. Spoil yourself right now and do the things you most enjoy, anything that brings you comfort. Again, I’m so sorry you are going through this, but I promise it will get better.

          • sandra D Joliet says:

            I know it will and thank you for understanding. Only someone who has been through this hell on earth with a beloved pet can truly understand. God Bless

  4. Margaret says:

    Susan, your vision board suggestion is very appropriate as I would like to plan a special trip abroad. Over the past few years you have shared resources you used when planning trips. Would you be able to provide a list of possible businesses or travel groups that offer travel packages? Your journeys have always been filled with exciting places to see. Thank you for your thoughtful and practical blog.

    • I really like OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) for going to those more exotic locals. I also like how they are strictly small group travel so they limit their groups to 16 and it’s usually more like 14.
      I enjoyed the trip I took to Ireland with My Ireland Tour, so that’s another good company. There are so many good ones out there. I’ve heard great things about Kensington Tours, Taulk and Abercrombie & Kent, but they are more expensive.
      Check out Overseas Adventure Travel and look at their Last Minute Travel Deals page. You can often find some good deals there! If you decide to use them, let me know and I’ll give you my account number with them and they give you $100 your trip, and the same for me on my next trip.

  5. Yes, I became familiar with this back in the 90s – creative visualization it was called. Many of my life dreams have come to fruition, mostly because of focus and hard work. Downsizing to a single level floor plan with less landscaping, maybe even a condo, is part of my visualization – if I can see clearly the right circumstances (the option of a small garden, at least, and LOTS of storage for my love of dishes and other stuff) ;). That would more readily allow the ‘lock and leave’ lifestyle I’d like to have the option of experiencing for more travel.
    We are driving 12 yo SUVs now; the hybrid has nearly 100,000 miles. We know the inevitable is coming, but my husband says he won’t buy another car until it’s self driving…..I guess that could mean me driving Mr. Daisy in MY SUV, lol, while his goes to junk yard.
    Whatever your vision board shows, just let it reflect what your gut tells you, especially with where you live and what type home. Home is where our hearts lie, and where our souls rejuvenate.
    ps – my mind does a lot of what yours does at night also.

  6. Diane Hance says:

    Great motivational idea! My husband’s 2006 Prius has over 450,000 miles on it and still pops off in our 30 below winter weather. Toyota has tested the batteries and they still test good. You are correct though that $8000.00 for a battery is a scary thought!

  7. Susan, I have always vowed “I’m going where the grandchildren are!” Snowy winters can be very cozy!

  8. Years ago, when my sons were finishing high school, I knew I’d go through a depression as that phase of life was nearing an end. I had put so much into parenting that I had stopped doing things that interested me. To offset the impending depression, I wrote out a ‘List of 50 Things to Do Before I Die’, based on an article in an old Reader’s Digest. Through the years since, I’ve completed some items, progressed on some, and still have a lot to do. Some items that used to be important aren’t anymore and have been replaced by others. It’s my list, so I can do what I want. The important thing for me was to actually write out a list instead of just dreaming about things I’d like to do. One other thing…writing out my list was eye-opening. I learned a lot about myself and what is important to me. Now, I’m slowly chipping away at things on my list, and having a marvelous time!

    • That is such an awesome idea, Debbie! How much fun it would be to work on a list like that! I wish I had done one years ago! 🙂

  9. What a great thought provoking post today! The timing was perfect for me. I started the Silver Sneakers exercise classes today. After a fall over a year ago, finally getting physical therapy, and walking almost normally again, I’m hopeful for losing weight, and just getting in a better condition. The picture of the rock landscaping and steps look pretty, but scary. I view the world with a fear of falling that I’m struggling to overcome. Hopefully my traveling will resume someday soon. Be sure to get heated leather seats in that new car in case you move to Ohio. That’s one of my favorite options in my SUV.
    Thanks for inspiring us with your travels and thoroughly interesting posts.

    • Thanks, Mary! So glad you are getting the physical therapy…that’s great! You will get stronger and stronger and that will help relieve your fears of falling, although I know we can never be too careful.
      Yes! Heated seats are a must, for sure. I have those now and they heat and get me warm faster than the heater in the car does.

  10. Melissa Brechon says:

    I love your idea of a vision board and my first is to have an office that looks like yours! I was taken with your layout since I first saw it! I am going to start one this week! Here are several other items I will put on the board: 1. Literary tour and stay in London, 2. Wedding ring, I want to marry my special guy and I picked out the ring in Italy 3. New bed room set 4. skinny jeans on skinny me – need to loose 30!

    • Thanks, Melissa! I still really like this layout so can definitely recommend it. Ohhh, I love the idea of a literary tour! Do you have a specific one in mind? I found one online once, forgotten who it was with now. I contacted them and they said they only do them if you get enough people together to have a group of 8 or something that. Back Roads Touring has one I’ve been eyeing that goes to the Bronte Parsonage and Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm…you can see it here: https://backroadstouring.com/tour/europe/britain-highlights-of-britain-england-scotland-wales
      I was thinking of doing that one and combining it with their Corners of Cornwall tour so I could see where Doc Martin was filmed…doing them back-to-back.
      Love your Vision Board ideas! 🙂

      • Susan, that trip including the Bronte Parsonage combined with the Corners of Cornwall sounds amazing. If you do plan such a trip and would like some of your blog followers to join you, then count me in! I do love me some Doc Martin!

  11. I’d keep my focus on just being near your son, DIL and grandbaby, and let the universe figure out who will do the moving. 😉 I know several people who left Ohio for our warm, Sunny South!

    I am a big believer in this type of activity and have had great success. I’ve gotten lazy and complacent, and need to get back at it. Thank you for the kick in the pants!

    • Well, I don’t think there’s any chance they’ll ever come south since my son would have to take the GA bar exam. Plus, he hates hot weather, they both do. They both love the cold and love playing in the snow. Sick people! 😉
      Thanks, Tammy! I have to say, it was a lot of fun collecting the photos and dreaming to create the board. 🙂

  12. Since bath reno’s are not your thing, why not sell your home “as is” and let the new owners make the new baths “theirs?”

    • I thought about that because I personally never like the kitchen or bath renovations done by others when I’m “shopping” for houses online near my son. But my baths are almost 36 years old so I have to do something. I may just do a very neutral renovation of my son’s old bath and spiffy my master bath up a bit, then maybe provide an allowance for the next homeowner to do what they want, because if I renovate my master bath, I will probably sacrifice a bedroom and I’m not sure that’s a good idea. That would make a great post. I think I’ll create a post about that dilemma and see what everyone thinks.

  13. I have had a vision board for many years and it’s very specific. One day it will happen.

  14. So many variations could be done on this theme, like some of the above suggestions. Much to think about. So those Ohioans think they won’t ever move? You could travel to warm places in the depths of winter.

  15. DeLayne Hulst says:

    Try Houzz for bathroom ideas. You’ll be overwhelmed with all the ideas.

  16. Anne Langan says:

    Well, having recently moved to Atlanta area after my husband died to be near a son, at his urging..he just mentioned he would love to move to Colorado! It threw me into a tailspin. Then I realized that I am truly on my own, really, and will have to count on friends as my support system as I begin that journey into true old age. So I am trying to build a network here…and if worst comes to worst, move back to north Florida where my best support network is because I lived there many years. All of this to say…moving to be near grandchildren is a wonderful goal, but today’s families relocate so often…
    My other thought..vision boards are great..and even just writing down wishes/goals or articulating them out loud works too…I am changing some of my wishes to include non material things…like positivity, caring, health, kindness, etc..as I try to evolve to a better person!

    • Oh, no…I hope he changes his mind, Anne! I’ve often wondered about that, but my son and dil insist they have no plans to ever move. My son would have to take another bar exam if they moved to another state, and I don’t think he would want to do that. But you never know what the future holds. That sounds like a lovely board to create, Anne. 🙂

  17. We have very similar travel bucket lists! Happily we r heading for Athens and an island small ship cruise later this year to celebrate our Unbirthdays and big anniversary. Next year it will bee Peru. Maybe u can join us on the Overseas Adventures trip next June?

    • Ohh, unbirthdays are the best to celebrate! I love unbirthdays! 🙂

      Peru is almost always on their last minute travel deal page. Were you able to get a good deal? I would love to see Peru one day! Wonder how hot it is in June?

  18. Deena Salvatore says:

    Good morning Susan! Oh yes! I do believe in the power of positive thinking. It’s very true there are some things in life we just cannot escape, but if we stay in faith, we will get through those times too. I just want to say I was smiling looking at your vision board. I’ve been wearing my Cartier bracelet for 30 years and only take it off to have it polished. I love your dream SUV. I drive the same one. PLEASE buy it, you’ll absolutely love it! Mine is Luna Blue and I had an artist paint thin red and gray stripes above the handles on the sides with the word “Blessings” very small just below the driver’s window. The striping makes all the difference. It’s even to the point that I’m getting annoyed when my husband assumes he’ll drive and gets behind the wheel. The nerve. Travel for me though, makes me tick. We were in Athens and Santorini last year. Greece is a magical place. Egypt is on my bucket list. Can’t wait to hear your report! Don’t fret about leaving Georgia to live closer to your son, dil and grandchildren. You’ll know when it’s time and I promise you’ll be ready! I wish all of your visions become a reality for you. You deserve nothing less. Deena

    • Also, I love that you added striping! I bet it looks amazing!

    • Thanks, Deena! Sounds like we like a lot of the same things! 🙂 Do you ever have any problems going through security at the airport with your bracelet? I’ve heard they just wand you if needed.
      Regarding the SUV, the car that I mentioned driving for 16 years was a Mercedes diesel sedan. I purchased it when my son was 1 year old, then gave it to him to drive when he turned 17. 🙂
      At that point, I ordered a Mercedes ML320. It was the very first year they created the SUV and sadly, it was a lemon. It actually made the Consumer Reports “Do Not Buy” list two years in a row! It had a lot of repairs the first few years and then ultimately would not pass the required emission inspection. So I’ve stayed away from Mercedes SUVs since that terrible experience.
      My current SUV has been bulletproof, mechanically the best car I’ve ever owned, but I do prefer the safety features of Mercedes, so that’s why I’m thinking of giving them another try. I figure by now they’ve had enough time now to work out all the problems.
      The only thing that has me worried is they are completely making over the 350 GLE as we speak, so next years model will be built on a new platform, will have a whole new dash, a new grill, new everything. The GPS screen will now be built into the dash.
      I may end up buying a Certified Pre-Owned 2018 car to avoid buying the first year of the new redesign–don’t want to have a repeat of the ML 320 nightmare. Have you seen the new design? If not, you can see a few photos here: https://auto.ndtv.com/news/new-gen-mercedes-benz-gle-spotted-with-partial-camouflage-1848497 Do you have a GLE?

      • Deena Salvatore says:

        Hi Susan! Yes, I do set the security alarm off at the airport EVERY single time! My boys just groan and roll their eyes, lol! Believe me, it’s worth the inconvenience.
        I didn’t know they were redesigning the 350 GLE. I’ll definitely find out more about that when I take the car in for it’s 20,000 mile check-up in 2 days. Let me say that I’ve never had a single issue with my car and I absolutely love driving it. Whenever my friends and I take a girls’ trip, we all pile into the Mercedes, it’s the most comfortable and we have a blast. Last year we sailed all the way up to Montreal in it. We never felt the road beneath us. I think the idea of getting a certified pre-owned model is a great idea. Rule of thumb is never buy a new model the first year it’s out. Before this car I drove Volvo XC70s. I had 3 over the course of 10 years. I like to trade my cars in every 3 years so they still have a good trade in value. I loved my Volvos, I just got tired of looking at the same dash for 10 years and decided I needed a change. I didn’t like the new XC90 when I drove it. It was an aesthetic issue for me, not the car. The Volvo is a great car and the Mercedes was comparable that’s why I switched to it. Good luck Susan, you know I’m always cheering you on! Deena

        • Thanks, Deena! Which SUV model do you have currently? Is it the GLE?
          Your girl’s trip sounds awesome! That SUV is definitely a great touring mobile! 🙂

      • Deena Salvatore says:

        Hi Susan! Yes, I do set the security alarm off at the airport EVERY single time! My boys just groan and roll their eyes, lol! Believe me, it’s worth the inconvenience.
        I didn’t know they were redesigning the 350 GLE. I’ll definitely find out more about that when I take the car in for it’s 20,000 mile check-up in 2 days. Let me say that I’ve never had a single issue with my car and I absolutely love driving it. Whenever my friends and I take a girls’ trip, we all pile into the Mercedes, it’s the most comfortable and we have a blast. Last year we sailed all the way up to Montreal. We never felt the road beneath us. I think the idea of getting a certified pre-owned model is a great idea. Rule of thumb is never buy a new model the first year it’s out. Before this car I drove Volvo XC70s. I had 3 over the course of 10 years. I like to trade my cars in every 3 years so they still have a good trade in value. I loved my Volvos, I just got tired of looking at the same dash for 10 years and decided I needed a change. I didn’t like the new XC90 when I drove it. It was an aesthetic issue for me, not the car. The Volvo is a great car and the Mercedes was comparable that’s why I switched to it. Good luck Susan, you know I’m always cheering you on! Deena

  19. I can so relate to this entire post. I have had a cat my entire life until my favorite one also developed cancer but died within weeks of diagnosis. Heartbreaking can’t even describe my pain. I too said never again would I go through that ever again. I still dream about him on a regular basis. Do you think that using bathroom renovations is an excuse for not moving? We needed to downsize for health and financial reasons, but again I was in a house for 21 years that was my dream home. After almost three and a half years of procrastinating and making up all kinds of excuses not to move, we did it! Even built another new home. Best decision we ever made! We live in Ohio and remember this…..snow melts! And after a cold snowy winter, I promise you that you will enjoy spring, summer and fall, like never before!

    • Beverly, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I still dream about Max occasionally, dreamed a lot about during the month after he passed. The dreams felt very real, as if he were coming back to see me.
      I don’t think they are an excuse but they are a big job to get done before I think of putting the house on the market. I think I could get excited about moving if I could find a home I loved to move to, but so far that has not happened.
      We get snow here, too…I just like that it melts in a few days and usually doesn’t occur again that season. That’s how I like my snow, a one time event that’s short and sweet. 🙂

  20. I love the idea of a Vision Board! It’s so much “prettier” than a To Do List, and is a great visual reminder of hopes and dreams. Pulling up your roots to move near family is a tough decision. I have two daughters and two grands who live in South Carolina, so a similar decision may be in our future when (if) my husband retires. For now, there’s nothing like visiting Nana’s house in Florida!

    • It really is a tough decision! Maybe I can lure them down for visits each summer for Six Flags and White Water. lol Thanks, Rhonda!

  21. Susan,
    this is by far one of my favorite posts – not that I wouldn’t love all of your posts – but this is a real eye-opener that made me cry: life is too short to postpone our dreams! Fortunately, there aren’t many material “things” I wish I had in my life (except the beach house I dream about since years! lol) but we are struggling with our future’s plan, too, especially with where to live after hubby’s retirement. We really can’t decide whether we should go back to Italy or stay in Germany… of course, we love both countries, but Italy is our homeland and we miss it terribly! But on the other hand, our son will stay in Germany and I am not ok with it. Not at all! Next year we have to come to a decision and this already gives me sleepless nights! ~Sigh~

    • That is so true, Cecilia. Time is going by way too fast! That would be a very hard decision. Maybe you can go back to visit Italy a lot but stay in Germany to be close to your son. Tough decision, I know.

  22. Vision boards are effective from my own experience. I did one for a trip to Israel and have now been twice. I couple mine with prayers because He says to pray about everything and He cares about the desires of our hearts.

    Your office is on my vision board!!! I love the yellow and white and how you have everything arranged.

    Great post!! Thanks for sharing your vision board.

    • Thanks so much, Gail! I’m still really happy with how the office turned out so can definitely recommend it. I know you will fulfill that vision, have no doubt! 🙂

  23. Hi Susan! Your inspiration board is a great idea! I know you don’t plan to downsize for a while yet, but I’d suggest you leave the bathroom “as is” and let any new buyers choose their own bathroom.

    • I was thinking about that, but I will need to do a little something since these bathrooms are as old the house…36 years old. I may just do a moderate renovation so the next owners can go all out and do what they wish. I know I personally never like the kitchen and bath renovations I see online when I’m looking at houses on the market where my son lives. So sometimes it is just better to let folks do there own renovations.

  24. Oh my mercy Susan! I laughed out loud about your driving your vehicles so long! GIRL, me too! I am on 15th or 16th year now with my SUV. I will drive one till the wheels fall off too. As my husband said when he was MUCH older (past the “gotta have that certain vehicle mentality) “I have no pride in my ride”. LOL! Love your VB. And yes, I totally get that part about MIND doing all sorts of things and of course it’s when I lay down at night. I will sometimes say “MIND….shut off….But not completely…just for me to rest. LOL! Have a great day. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    • That’s awesome, Cindy! Just think of all the money we’ve saved by driving our cars so long…more fun to spend it on travel and other stuff.
      That’s too funny, love your hubby’s saying! 🙂

  25. Alright, Susan. I have to know where you found that pretty bulletin board. The frame makes it look so appealing.

    • Thanks, Pam! I found it in a Ballard Design Outlet back in 2011 when I was working on creating the office. I’m not sure if they still carry them. If not, they may have something similar.

      • Thanks for letting me know. I have to say, there is something inspiring about having a pretty board to start with, even before you add your pictures. 😀 And thanks for convincing me to make my own vision board.

  26. Susan, do you still use your Panasonic vacuum cleaner. Would you recommend it? Thanks. I like the concept of the vision board.

    • I do. I liked the first one so much, I purchased a second one so I’d have one on each floor. I always hated trying to carry a vacuum up and down my stairs. It works great on carpet and on hardwood flooring. I love how easy it is to change the bag…don’t like a vacuum where you have to empty the bag…so gross and messy! Also, one of the main reasons I purchased it was you don’t have to wind up the cord. I’ve had vacuums both ways and I much prefer the type that rewind the cord back up when you press a lever. Saves so much time and frustration! If one of mine eventually dies, I would buy the same one again. So far, both are still going strong.

  27. Cyndi Raines says:

    Love the idea of your vision board. Have been thinking along those lines myself. Yes, time is flying by and since experiencing hubby’s stroke and recovery, life does need to be lived to the fullest each day. LOVE not having a car payment! Our truck is 17 years old and our van is 11 and will continue with them until no longer possible. Had to laugh at the comment above, “No pride in my ride.” Regarding updates to bathroom, I agree, do minimal as next person may not like it and end up redoing it anyway. Save the money for your travels! Rock on Susan!

    • Thanks for that advice, Cyndi…that would make a mini-bath renovation less stressful, saving the big renovation for someone else to tackle.
      I think I’m going to just keep driving my current hybrid SUV until that battery light comes on, then deal with trading it in. It’s so old already that the Blue Book value is quite so low, so might as well drive it until I can’t! lol

  28. Rosie S says:

    Oh, I am SOOOOO using that line..No Pride In My Ride’.. LOL!!! Cars have never been our thing….we drive them into the ground and even have bought ‘beaters’ to fill in our new car buying gaps! One time, we were waiting at a stoplight and a guy was there collecting money for a Lion’s Club charity…looked at our decrepit car, and walked right by without asking us for a dime! 🙂 WE STILL crack up over that. Love the vision board idea…will have to start one soon. Our 16 year old, three legged cat keeps me close to home, (I AM that cat lady!), and travel will figure high on the list once she is gone…..but we never wish for that any time soon, we love her so. Give cold weather a chance! Up here in Minnesota, it is gorgeous, but WILL say, driving can be a pain. Thanks for another great post Susan!

  29. YES!! I love the vision board idea. I look forward to your updates!!! I purchased a HUGE framed cork board at Hobby Lobby specifically for this purpose….It so heavy I need to get the husband to hang it on the wall. I have been cutting out gorgeous pictures from magazines that pertain to my goals and dreams. It is such a fun project that will change as I do….Great tool!

  30. Susan can you tell me about the bracelet with the 4 leaf clovers and the bee that is pinned to your inspiration board. Thank you.

    • The little bees are pushpins I purchased from Ballard Designs in Atlanta several years ago. I’m not sure if they still carry those but they did for several years. So you may find them online.
      The bracelet is by Van Cleef and Arpels and is their Alhambra bracelet in Malachite. It’s one of their classic pieces and comes in a variety of styles using different types of materials for the clovers. For example, one of their Alhambra bracelets uses Mother of Pearl for the clovers while another one is in all gold. They also make necklaces of various lengths in the same clover design. You can see both the Malachite version and the Mother of Pearl in this post at Sarah’s blog here: https://www.classygirlswearpearls.com/2016/03/arriving-to-ocean-house.html

  31. Dear Susan, did you forget a vision board photo of your dream beach house?? I’ve been waiting to go on that journey with you!!

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