This is part of a four-post series detailing how to create—and make the most of—your business plan. Read other posts in the series: 

The first time I asked my wife to be a part of building our vision board, she thought it was corny. Most people do. But this stuff works. 

When you take time every day (30 seconds or so) to look at it and internalize your commitments, you will be amazed at how many things you can check off in a twelve-month period. 

My wife is now a believer because we’ve used it for multiple years and checked off multiple goals and accomplishments. 

When your vision board aligns with your business plan and goals, you up your chances of checking off everything on the list. Here’s how to set it up. 

Setting up the 3-section vision board

I mention the wife, spouse, or family member because when you build out this vision board, you want to have communication around what it is that you want. There’s a very specific reason you’re going to do that. 

Before I give you that reason, go ahead and build the three-section vision board, as pictured below. Use a large piece of cardboard or large cardstock paper, and draw a large box with three sections like in the image below: 

3-section-vision-board

The Top Section: Your Spouse/Partner/Family

In the top section of your vision board, write down everything your spouse wants and needs over the next 12 months—similar to your must-haves exercise. List everything your spouse wants that you’re willing to help make sure it happens. 

This section can also include anything your family wants. If you have kids and want to do things with them or for them, those wants will go in this section—right at the top. 

As much as possible, find images that go with the things in this section, like a picture of your favorite vacation spot, the car your spouse wants, or the kind of pet your family wants to adopt when you’re in a position to do so. 

Google images for every item listed in this section, print them out and fill your board with those visuals. 

The Middle Section: You

The middle section is for you and the personal things you want. Maybe it’s a car for yourself. Maybe it’s a commitment to improving your health. Whatever your personal commitments are, put them here in the middle. 

Just as with the first section, Google and print out images that relate to the wants in this section. This makes your wants and needs more visual, makes them feel closer, more real, and more motivating than words alone.

The Bottom Section: The Foundation

This section is the foundation of everything else. 

This section will contain all the numbers and money that needs to be generated to support everything you’ve listed in the top two sections. 

The foundation piece is so important when you sit down with your spouse and family for your conversation. When you sit down and say, “Hey, what are all the things you want? What is going to change our life if we accomplish it here, and I stay committed in the next 12 months to making it happen?”

Maybe your spouse has a ceiling to their income. You, as a real estate professional, have no ceiling. So, you’re going to ask yourself, “If I stay committed and make all this money, and we get all these things, what’s it going to mean for our life?”

Then, figure out how much time, how much effort, and how much energy you’ve got to put in to make the money and execute on the things you want—and that’s a visual for everybody in the family to see—you can reference it if you run into conflicts along the way. 

The vision board begins with communication

This is a changeable plan; it serves you and your family, not the other way around. So, if your spouse tells you they want you home and available more often, you can revisit the vision board to discuss whether it makes sense to remove some items in order to have more family time.

When the foundation is clear about what you’ve got to get done for work, you, your spouse, and your family will know why you’re working X number of hours weekly. 

The vision board starts with real and respectful communication between you and the people closest to you. This isn’t just your life. For anything to work—any team, any marriage, any relationship—there’s got to be a fluid and high-level understanding of communication. 

This is an opportunity to communicate with your family about what that foundational commitment should look like. 

It should be reasonable, too. You can’t say, “I want to go out and make a million dollars this year, and I want to work the Tim Ferriss 4-hour work week.” It doesn’t work that way. 

Your foundation—your level of commitment—has to equal the ambitions at the top of that vision board. And when they match up, you will find that you’ll be checking off the items in those first two sections.