makeunder step one: create a vision

[originally posted May, 27th 2009]

makeundercreatevisionYesterday I explained how I became inspired to makeunder my life and why others might want to do the same. This is the part where I get into the nuts and bolts of making under. The steps look something like this:

  1. Create a vision
  2. Exfoliate stuff
  3. Identify intentions
  4. Reflect and evolve

To create a vision, I recommend going to a coffee shop, library, or other off-site location with a notebook and 30-60 minutes to reflect. You can choose to envision a specific part of your life or how you want to design your life as a whole. Either way the same principals apply, your focus just zooms in or out.

I prefer to start by imagining how I want to feel once I have accomplished my intentions, and then identify the steps I need to take to reach that end. There are several ways to solidify these ideas including creating a vision board, mantra, or writing a story. I have used all three of these techniques for different aspects of my life.


Inspiration Board

The inspiration board above depicts my 2009 intentions. It hangs on my wall next to my desk to remind me of what I envision for this year. When I exfoliate at the end of the week, I review this board to identify what no longer “fits in the picture.”

Clipping photos that inspire you or drawing meaningful symbols (like Suzanne) and placing them in a prominent location is an easy way to create a visual aid to gauge what needs to stay and go in your life.


In college I also used the mantra concept while making under my wardrobe. I created a “WWJD” motto or, “What Would Jennifer [Aniston] Do?” Anything I couldn’t imagine Jen wearing was outta my closet. (Which meant an aqua sequined top and orange tie-dye skirt went to Salvation Army immediately.)

Mottoes can be great in specific makeunders like the closet. When looking at each shirt it’s simple to repeat the motto and determine if it applies.

Story Telling

My favorite method for creating an overall vision is letter writing or story telling. I do this the first week of January, but it can be done more frequently. I write a letter to my future self explaining in past tense (as if I have already accomplished my intentions) what I envision for that year. Though I don’t always achieve everything I mention, I am always shocked at how many things do become realized.

If you decide to try a letter to your future self I dare you to dream bigger than what you think is “realistic.” Even if you don’t reach everything you intend, if it’s a real value, you’ll be surprised at how much headway you can make once you put your ideas to paper.

So go forth and vision away!

And let me know, what is your favorite ‘vision’ method?

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  1. Kayla

    I love the vision board method of setting my intentions for the year. It hangs above my desk at home so it a great reminder. To go with this I also have a vision statement that is written down in the front of my journal. I review it all the time and analyze it against my actions every few months.

    Love the beach picture on your board!

  2. Erin

    I love your WWJA do!! As a grad student, I tend to hang onto clothes for fear I won’t have the $$ to ever replace them! I sometimes tell myself that I’ll someday wear them – but I know that Jennifer would NEVER wear them, so I probably should admit to myself that I won’t either! Moving in a few months has gotten me exciting about another round of purging – I’m going to use this new trick to clear out my closet!

  3. Jess

    One idea I saw was to create a family mission statement. This helps to narrow a family (or couple, or person’s) core values. When faced with tough decisions, the family can ask themselves “does this fit with our family mission and vision?” If not, it goes. Great for a young couple like us we are “finding” what type of people we are / and will become.

  4. Kelley

    That’s funny, lately I have been asking myself, “What Would Zooey Deschanel wear?”

    I love your Makeunder my March series so far. ūüôā

  5. Sarah T

    I did step 1!!! Wrote myself a very long letter! Today I’m doing step 2. I have to tell, you this is the best find for me for in a long time! Thank you!!!

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