makeunder step one: create a vision

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. racheljo

    thank you.
    i’ve really been needing this direction and inspiration in my life.

  2. SDG

    Fantastic tips as always. I ditched my inspiration board when I moved. Time to get a new one. I like the idea of envisioning things and marinating on how you’ll “feel” when the goal has been accomplished. I’ve never done that before.

  3. Mikaela

    LOVE IT! Any source of inspiration for a creative mind is def. key!!

  4. Stephanie

    I’ve been reading for a couple weeks now and wanted to leave you a comment to let you know i LOVE your site and the idea of “makeunder my life”. I find it so inspiring and have already begun tackling my closets, drawers, and time management issues. Thanks again for all your posts!

  5. Maureen

    I am just going to second Stephanie. I came across your blog, read through the entire archive, and am so grateful I found you! I’ve exfoliated at least 50 things in the last two weeks and I’m going to my boyfriend’s house next weekend to do the same. This weekend I’m definitely going to sit down and think about your ideas from this post. And seriously, thank you!

  6. Jess

    @ all: Please, send me your inspiration board photos! I can’t wait to see how each of us can learn and be inspired from one another. 🙂

  7. Bek

    Thanks for sharing your steps on making under! I already do some of them, but have started incorporating some of your ideas, too. I even made my mood board last week (you can see it here:

    I think letter writing is a great tool as well. I actually started doing this a couple of years ago on my birthday. So, each year I open a letter from myself and see what I had envisioned for the year. It’s uncanny the amount of things that come true!

    Thanks again for the good tips, I’m sure I’ll be back for more inspiration! 🙂

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