April Jeppson: Put your dreams out there and go after them

Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I attended a vision board class this week. I’ve put together a few in my life, but I felt I was due for an updated one. If you’ve never heard of a vision board, it’s also sometimes referred to as a dream board. I vaguely remember Oprah talking about them when she was still on the air. I believe she even had a website where you could create a virtual one.

April Jeppson

A vision board is a visual representation of your goals. You write down words or use pictures to capture what you’d like to focus on for the upcoming year or so. I did one about 10 years ago that was solely based on my professional goals. I had encouraging words, photos of work friends, sales numbers I wanted to hit and even the position in the company that I hoped to achieve some day. When I worked from home, it really helped keep me focused.

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If I haven’t made it obvious yet, I can be easily distracted. This is true about little day-to-day things, as well as larger projects that I have. I have learned some tricks that help me stay the course and visual cues are at the top of the list. If you’ve ever been into my office or even my home, it wouldn’t take long before you saw something uplifting or encouraging.

Remember how I said “motivation is like showering, it works best when used daily?” Well, I try to motivate myself in every way and as often as possible. I can’t depend on other people to cheer me on. I can, however, depend on other people to add work to my plate and subtly discourage or distract me. So if I’m constantly dealing with people distracting me from my goals, I need to be working hard to motivate and remind myself of what it is that I’m working towards.

I remember another vision board I made about seven years ago. I had a picture of a Honda Odyssey minivan on it. At the time, my husband had a raspberry colored 1996 Chevy Cavalier that had duct tape holding the side mirror on. I had a minivan that was more reliable, but it had a lot of miles and every few months there was something that seemed too expensive that needed to be fixed.

The thought of having a newer, dependable vehicle — I could hardly wrap my head around being able to afford a vehicle like that. It was my goal, though, and I knew that someday I’d have it. I had it displayed in my makeshift home office on and off for years.

As I was getting ready for the class this week, I was thinking about the dream boards I had made in the past, and I remembered that van. It wasn’t a Ferrari. It was practical, yet financially out of reach for me at the time. Last year I was able to purchase a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica with all the bells and whistles. I didn’t need all the whistles, but when you buy used you don’t always have a say, (but I’m not complaining, I like whistles).

The realization that I’m essentially driving the vehicle of my “dreams,” made me smile. Like a full-bodied, close-my-eyes-and-breathe-in-the-gratitude that I was currently living in moment that I had hoped and prayed would some day come. It also made me excited for what I was going to put on my new vision board, knowing that with some work, patience and a lot of focus, I’m capable of achieving anything I set my sight on.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears in the Tribune every Saturday.