It is my honor to introduce Kaylee Sherwin, longtime friend and the creative mind behind Visionaries in Action, VIA Plan. Despite facing some arduous obstacles along the way, Kaylee has always inspired me with her constant positivity, gratefulness, and beautiful outlook on life. VIA Plan can and will help you become the person you want to be. You’ll definitely get a good feel for her powerful energy as you read on…enjoy!
Do you remember the first time you accomplished a goal you set for yourself?
The first long term goal I remember achieving was buying my very own laptop in the 7th grade. I remember begging my parents to buy me one, only to hear them say,” if you want it, work for it”. What a genius way to make your kid do all the things you hate doing. So, I became the go-to dog poop scooper, car washer, leaf raker, back scratcher – the list goes on and on. I would literally do anything they asked for a few dollars. I had that laptop envisioned in my head and wouldn’t stop until I got it. After months and months of saving (it felt like years), I finally walked into Walmart and bought my very own Acer laptop for around $700! I felt like I was on top of the world.
I didn’t know it then, but it gave me the goal setting bug that really hasn’t stopped since. That feeling of working hard every day to get something you really want is such an amazing feeling that doesn’t occur when you receive a gift.
Fast forward to college…Like most students, I always used a planner to keep track of homework assignments, important dates, and that week’s house party theme. I never thought to use it for long term goals, or even short term goals beyond that semester. Personal goal setting is not something they taught in school, and if they did…I was definitely too busy socializing.
It wasn’t until midway through college that I created my first Vision Board. I had no idea what I was doing, or why I was doing it, I just thought it would add a little character to my 10×10 college room (and I think Oprah used to do them, so that was enough for me).
Little did I know those quotes, pictures, and written out goals motivated me so much more than I expected. I remember keeping it right next to my mirror and reviewing them every day to make sure I contributed at least a little to the goals I set for myself.
In the last few months of my undergraduate degree, I found out that I was not accepted into the only graduate program that I applied to. This doesn’t sound like a huge deal until you realize you just spent the last four years of your life working to become a Speech Language Pathologist that can only be achieved after you get your master’s degree. A realization that you literally cannot get any job in your field without that second piece of paper! I was totally crushed, but didn’t let it knock me all the way down – that turned into my new motivation! I vowed that I wouldn’t put myself in another situation that allowed someone’s thought of me to predict my future.
Shortly after, I stumbled upon a self-help book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. It made me realize that if you take the right steps forward, you can be just as successful as anyone else! The biggest key is mastering the mundane tasks that are easy to do, but easy not to do.
I then started to perfect my routine and continued to soak up any and every bit of information about being successful. I quickly came to learn, there was always a common denominator in these books/podcasts: set goals, envision them, and hold yourself accountable until you achieve them. These books provided me more than enough resources to be successful, but not enough tools to put the thoughts into action.
That’s when I turned back to my Vision Board! I started to add more and more to it and broke it down into sections labeled: Now, Soon, Future, and Motivation. I filled those sections in with as much detail that I could possibly think of. I wrote out all my life long goals, my official Bucket List, and short sayings that held enough meaning to keep me motivated. This bulletin board was organized, intentional, and filled with the pictures that I chose, not just any old pictures from a magazine. I didn’t know it then, but I was creating a tool that would not only help myself but also help all the people out there looking to achieve their goals too!
This Vision Board then turned into a well thought out 12 month VIA Plan.
One of my main goals on my VIA Plan was to find my dream job! I had no clue what I wanted to do but I knew that if I wrote the qualities of the job down, the Law of Attraction would work in my favor and make these things be a part of my daily duties. So I went to my VIA Plan and wrote down these qualities I needed in a dream job.
- Helping people become better: Since I spent the last 4 years of my life preparing to help people speak, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up a helping profession. Growing up with a grandfather who was a paraplegic and couldn’t speak, it was normal to see my family hold up a sign for him to scan with his eyes and create conversations. I was amazed at how a simple sheet of paper, love, and commitment could change a person’s life! I always dreamed to do the same for someone else one day, in his honor.
- Ability to Travel: This was huge once I started to travel to new places with friends and family, my bucket list just kept getting longer and longer. Traveling is so good for the soul and helps you realize there is a whole other world outside of your little bubble that you need to take into consideration every day. I knew my job would either allow me to travel for work or provide me the financial resources to do so.
- Money!: One of my main goals was to make more money than I would have made as a Speech Pathologist. It is just one of those personal goals to let myself know those professors couldn’t take that away from me. I read in ‘You are a Badass at Making Money’, that you should not be afraid to write your money goals down. Don’t feel ashamed to ask the universe for that cash flow so you can spend it on the people and things you love!
- Collaboration with like-minded people: I truly love teamwork and sharing each other’s passions to benefit a collective audience. There is power in numbers, and being in a job that builds on other people successes will always result in a positive outcome.
This goal has been accomplished! After years of searching for my dream job, I now have created VIA Plan as my side business and also landed a full-time job in sales, that combine all the things above.
Here are all the things that VIA Plan has given to me, and I hope will give to you too.
VIA Plan has helped me stay positive on the days when I felt more sadness than happiness. The days when the loss of loved ones weighed heavy on my heart, I was able to see their faces and hear them tell me to get up and be happy. Your motivators should be strong, so even on the hardest days, you remember why you were put on this earth.
VIA Plan has helped me travel to places and make memories that I will cherish forever. I was able to set financial goals to allow myself to check those places on my Bucket List. VIA Plan helped me see how much money I needed to save over the long run, and break that down into small achievable tasks. Let me tell you, once you step off the plane in your dream vacation that you worked hard to save for- it’s like buying a laptop in 7th grade on steroids.
Huge tip I learned about saving for vacations: evaluate your spending! Break down that $400 flight over 6 months, that’s $2.30 a day. DON’T BUY THE COFFEE AND YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR A FLIGHT! Sorry to yell, but it is so much easier than you think. I hear people all the time say they cannot afford to travel, but post a photo of their Starbucks every day. Be smart and intentional with your actions!
VIA Plan has helped me collaborate with like-minded people/companies like co-mads! People who know their values, passions, and purpose in this world, and work every day to show that. There is a special feeling when you get encouragement from people you care about. The Law of Attraction states that the energy you put out into the world, is the energy you receive. Be intentional with the people you surround yourself with. Enjoy the talents they are sharing with you, and help them to achieve their goals.
VIA Plan has helped me land an amazing job at a company in Boston, MA doing something I never knew I was good at until I went into the unknown and tried. VIA Plan has taught me to be brave and try new things. Thomas Jefferson said it best, “if you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”.
Above all, VIA Plan gave me the power of that single sheet of paper, just like the one my Grandpa used to communicate. VIA Plan is a tool that gives people the power to communicate their goals with their future self, motivation to achieve them, and the ability to see themselves living that amazing life. I may not be a licensed Speech Pathologist, but I truly believe VIA Plan has the capability to change lives!
Let’s just say, I wouldn’t be writing this guest blog post for co-mads without VIA Plan! I am so happy to share my story with you, in hopes to someday hear your VIA Plan success story.
So, where can you find VIA Plan?
Head to viaplan.org to order your digital copy of the 12-month VIA plan! I would absolutely love to hear your goals, visions, and motivators, so feel free to contact me at Kaylee.firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the free VIA plan Eguide that gives you step by step instructions on how to start your very first VIA Plan!
If you are interested in some of the self-help books that motivated me to create VIA plan, keep an eye out for a “Book Recommendation” blog post coming soon on viaplan.org/blog.
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Thank you to co-mads, for letting me share my story! Enjoy creating your VIA Plan and hope to see you on a co-mad trips in the future!