Creating Purpose, Fuelling Passion: Goal Setting 101

VisionBoard Shyamala

Do you find yourself setting goals for the New Year only to neglect them completely by the following week? How many times have you said “This is the year I get fit, save money, make a career change, invest in my relationships…?” The list is endless and yet most people find it nearly impossible to follow through on the goals they felt very passionate about in January.


Self-discipline is simply the congruency between our words and our actions. When what you say, matches what you do, voila, you have self-discipline. Easier said than done, right?


Vision boards are a great way to increase self-discipline, by increasing our motivation. They are a great way to keep motivation alive and fuel your efforts towards those lofty goals.


A vision board is a visual representation of our goals. Typically, I recommend that vision boards represent goals in 3-5 areas, over the course of 3-5 years. Did you know that when individuals’ look at a vision board daily, they are 75% more likely to achieve their goals?! 


  • Reminds us of the bigger picture for our lives
  • Encourages us to think outside the box and tap into our dreams
  • Connects goals/dreams with positive emotions
  • Highly motivating, therefore they increase the likelihood of accomplishing goals
  • Provides a visually stimulating and emotion-provoking reminder of our goals


  1. Select 3-5 areas of your life you would like to focus on. Some examples of focus areas would be academic/career, relationships, leisure, recreation, health, fitness, character, spirituality, etc.
  2. List 2-3 goals for each area that reflect your dreams for the next 3-5 years. Remember to use the SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, time sensitive) formula to create workable goals.
  3. Find pictures that represent your identified dream goals.
  4. Paste them onto vision board.
  5. Display vision board in a highly visible place so that you will look at it daily (bedroom, desk at office).

Stay focused on your dreams and live life with purpose and passion

Shyamala Kiru, DMin, RMFT 

Private Practice, Markham

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About Shyamala

Shyamala has spent over a decade working with hundreds of individuals, couples and families.  She is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with the American and Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently serves as their Chair of Public Relations.  She holds a Masters in Counselling and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy.

In addition to her private practice in Markham, she is a consultant for the Health Services Team at a York Region Private School and is a media expert for sources such as Chatelaine, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.  You can also find her the panel of Discovery Channel’s National TV show, Canada’s Worst Driver.   She regularly delivers psycho-educational workshops as well as professional development for schools all across York Region. With an approach that is sensitive and down to earth, Shyamala brings authenticity and energy to her work with people of all cultures and backgrounds.



January 15, 2015

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