Editor’s note: Triangle entrepreneur and thought leader Jes Averhart, CEO of Jes & Co and host of the “Reinvention Road Trip,” is a regular WRAL TechWire contributor who explores topics pertaining to reinvention, especially prompted by the onset of the global pandemic. Her columns appear weekly. [Note: Jes is under the weather. This is a reprint.] 

Note to readers: WRAL TechWire would like to hear from you about views expressed by our contributors. Please send email to: info@wraltechwire.com.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Tis the season for fresh starts and New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the time when we look back at the last 12 months and toy with visualization exercises in the hopes that they will manifest into our wildest dreams.

Visualization…manifestation. I know. These concepts can seem like a bright yellow balloon floating above our day-to-day reality. But there’s a reason why these ideas continue to persist. It’s because they work. Since this is a column and not a novel, I can’t launch into the very specific and very real ways visualization (plus effort on my part) changed my life. But ask me the next time you see me…I love talking about it.

Popularized by The Secret and celebrity testimonials from Oprah, Jim Carrey and Deepak Chopra, to name a few, the concept of visualizing what you want has been around for a while. For decades, athletes, CEO’s and global leaders have used visualization exercises to achieve successful outcomes. The idea at its core is simple. Our minds are powerful. Focus (coupled with deliberate action), can turn our thoughts into reality. Where energy flows, attention goes. Period.

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Now at this point you might be tempted to pull out your big poster board, old magazines and purple glue stick in order to pour energy into this year’s trusty old vision board. I get it! That has been a New Year’s Day ritual of mine for nearly 12 years. And while I enjoy the time to think and dream, I’m often left wondering what sorcery is going to bring my vision board to life. Let’s be honest, yesterday I didn’t have a villa in Southern Spain and by some miracle I’m supposed to believe that I will be sipping wine on a veranda in Cordoba by the end of the year?

It doesn’t work like that.

Vision boards are not a magic portal to your best life. Batteries are required…i.e, deliberate and intentional action.

Alright, now that we’ve established that I’m a critic of vision boards in the traditional sense, let me share the roadmap that personally took me from vision board to breakthrough last year.

Stop #1: Start at Your Wellspring of Gratitude.

Before I start a new chapter or set new goals, I built an ongoing appreciation for how far I’ve come and the people that cheered me on along the way.

Stop #2: Get Grounded.

My son calls this “living in your truth.” Use this stop as the opportunity to honestly evaluate your finances, your health, your relationships, your career and so on. What’s working and what’s not?

Stop #3: Set Your Sights.

Time to prioritize. Remember, if everything is important, than nothing is. Pick three big goals from Stop #2 and begin to imagine what your life will look when you’ve accomplished them. *Back to the vision board…this is a great place to do this activity using your ‘Big Three’ as inspiration.

Stop #4: Go Stargazing.

Choose a word or a phrase that will motivate and inspire you as you pursue your ‘Big Three.’ We can all agree that life is distracting at times and overwhelming at others. Let this word or phrase serve as your North Star – guiding you along the way.

Stop #5: Map Your Morning.

Start your morning with a set of rituals and routines. This simple commitment will lead to more productive days filled with good vibes. Plain and simple.

Stop #6: Invest in Rest.

Build in daily rest stops so you can go the distance. Working from a place of rest versus earning the right to rest should be a nonnegotiable in 2023.

Set It In Stone.

Setting milestones is the best gift you can give yourself. We all need a destination and a reasonable time to get there, otherwise; we delay the opportunity to experience all the new sights and new horizons that lay ahead.

  • So pull out your calendar and build in your rest and morning routines.
  • Then, lay out what you believe are the series of next right steps to accomplish or get closer to achieving your ‘Big 3’ over the next 90 days..

Now, if you’re like me, you want a place where you can easily see and move through your stops. I have you covered. I dropped all six and a 90-day calendar into a creative tool called Reinvention Roadmap. It’s fun. It’s refreshing. And it’s the answer to the disappointment that often accompanies our New Year’s resolutions after the Eleventh day. (smile)

So as you move into these final few weeks and your mind starts to leapfrog to all the possibilities of 2023, take a half day to map out your new year. It’s a journey worth taking!