GUEST BLOG by Stephanie Cox: What's Your Vision for 2021?

December 29, 2020



Stephanie Cox, ICUL Education Events Manager

On New Year’s Day 2020, you could have found me sitting on the floor of my living room, fireplace burning, my favorite inspirational movies playing in the background and cutting out images from magazines. Yes, I was in fact, creating my 2020 vision board. I’m not big into the idea of resolutions, because they’ve never really worked for me, but I love affirmations and the idea of manifesting what you want. Give me a posterboard and some glue, and I’ll dream some dreams.


2020 was going to be my year. I was so proud of my vision board and hung it up in my bedroom to inspire me every day. Then the world shut down, and it served as a daily reminder of my goals that would never come to fruition. Perhaps the biggest slap in the face came a couple weeks after we were sent to work from home – my new passport arrived in the mail. Just in time for me to travel back and forth between my couch and my fridge….


You might think that after this year I would ditch the tradition to create a vision board for the new year. You’d be wrong. Recently, I took a moment to look at all the individual images, words, quotes and so on that I included on my vision board and I was astounded. So many things showing up on my vision board came true this year in ways I had not anticipated. Some examples include:

· A picture of a happy cat simply included because I wanted to make sure my cat, Avery, would have a happy year. Instead, I adopted a second cat and named her Phoebe – and yes, I do sing “Smelly Cat” to her quite often.

· Two pictures of yoga to encourage myself to continue my yoga practice. Instead, I took two virtual courses to become certified as a yoga and barre instructor. I guarantee I never would have done this had 2020 gone differently.

· Lots of words about keeping life simple, being cozy, and creating time for myself after a year where I felt I had lost touch with myself and my needs. This one is easily explained in one word – quarantine. Enough said.

· Images and words about taking things international after having saved up some money to make this possible. I may not have traveled, but I did get to work with a couple credit unions in New Zealand and the Philippines due to this global pandemic. That, to me, is just very cool.


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced my fair share of challenges this year. Feel free to reach out if you want to swap war stories. We all had so many expectations for the new decade where everything would be fresh, exciting, and fantastic. Obviously, 2020 couldn’t handle the pressure and became the year none of us will ever forget. It’s no wonder people want to wish away the year 2020 while at the same time being fearful to put all their hopes into a brighter 2021.


I’m here to challenge that thinking as we head into the new year. Reflect on the last few months – what positive feelings do you associate with this year? Were you able to rekindle some relationships with family and friends near and far while embracing the virtual world? Did you finally get to clean out that junk closet that you never had time for? Were you able to adopt a dog, read that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand, or have your family around the dinner table together because nobody has anything else going on? I venture to guess that you can find a few rays of positivity hiding in the chaos of 2020 if you give it a chance.


Have I convinced you yet? If, like me, you want to reframe your mindset in 2021, I encourage you to create your own vision board. Unsure where to start? Try picking a word that will define your year. Include that word prominently somewhere on your board and build upon that idea with other words, phrases, and images. Cut out pictures from magazines, write your favorite quotes and affirmations, or utilize your artistic skills by drawing, painting, or crafting. This vision board is yours – you can make it whatever you want. Then, put it somewhere you will see often. After a while, you’ll start to walk by it without noticing it’s there. However, I promise by the end of 2021, no matter what happens, you’ll be thanking yourself for manifesting the life events you may not have fully realized were sitting in your heart and mind this whole time.


Friends, I’ll leave you with one final realization I had while reading the book “Live in Grace, Walk in Love” by one of my favorite authors, Bob Goff. He was wondering why we always wait to start or stop something. We wait for the new year to set resolutions. We wait for religious holidays to give something up to show our devotion. We wait until next week to eat healthier or start our workout routine because this week is already a wash. We wait for the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. Why are we waiting? Goff says, “Just do it because it’s Thursday. We all get one of those every week.” With that mindset, my hope is that you’re feeling inspired to approach 2021 with excitement, anticipation, and high hopes for what it can be. Create your vision board and then utilize each day – no matter what day of the week it is – to honor your vision.


If you need me, you can find me on my living room floor on New Year's Day dreaming some dreams for myself and our world. Cheers to the new year!

Contact Us

7745 Office Plaza Drive North, Suite 170, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Tel. 800.860.6180

© 2019 ICUL