Picture This

Jack Canfield originally introduced me to the idea of photomapping in his book, The Power of Focus. It’s the idea to match a picture with each of your goals so you have a visual representation of what you want to achieve.

It sounded like a great idea, but I had never tried it until this year when my company held a photomapping event at work. We brought in all the magazines we could find, cut out pictures of things we’d like to do, be, or have, and pasted them on a poster board that we could hang in our office. The idea behind it is that by seeing what we’d like to achieve, rather than just reading it, we can visualize our goals more clearly.

I can’t believe it took me so long to do this. There’s something about seeing your goals everyday that makes it more real and achievable. I actually have a photomap at work representing my professional goals, and a separate one at home representing my personal goals. As of right now, I’ve achieved over half of the goals, and I’m sure a big part of that is due to these pictures that have inspired me daily.

Here’s some tips for creating your own photomap:

Choose goals from different areas of your life.

Before you begin cutting out pictures, jot down the areas of your life where you’d like to achieve, such as family, relationships, career, financial, travel, and health. Once you have the categories defined, keep your goal in mind so you know what kind of picture you’re looking for. For example, if your goal is to exercise four times a week, you may want to find a picture of a yoga class or someone running a marathon. If you want to eat healthier, cut out pictures of healthy food. Find pictures that inspire you – they don’t have to make sense to anyone else.

Combine pictures and phrases.

If you’re like me, as you’re flipping through magazines, you’ll find a lot of words and phrases that represent your goals. Headlines such as “Raising Your Game” and “Love Your Job” are plentiful and make great additions to your photomap. However, be sure to find pictures as well, since seeing your goals in action shows you what you’re working toward.

Hang it where you see it.

This is huge. Hang your photomap in a place where you’ll see if often, whether it’s your bedroom mirror or your refrigerator. I have mine in front of my bathroom mirror so I see it as I’m getting ready each morning. The more you see it, the more likely you are to achieve the goals you see.

Before I created my photomaps, I knew it was a great idea, but it seemed so time-consuming. However, I finally buckled down and did it one afternoon and am so glad I did. It was time-consuming. I spent at least three or four hours on it, but it’s something you don’t want to rush. And if it helps you get closer to your goals, what do you have to lose?


Amanda is an account executive at MarketWave, a marketing and public relations agency in Addison, TX, where she works on everything from media relations to writing and editing client materials. Prior to MarketWave, Amanda worked as a publications intern atSouthwest Airlines before hired on with the company and working full-time at the airline for two years. Amanda gained experience writing for Southwest Airlines’ inflight magazine, Spirit, while working on her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North TexasMayborn School of Journalism. She’ll graduate in August 2011 with a degree focused on strategic communication and a minor in marketing. Amanda is a member of the Society of Professional Journalistsand is passionate about traveling, writing and nonprofit organizations. Connect with her on Twitter (@amgleason) and LinkedIn.

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