Tool to Use: Draw Your Future

Tool to Use: Draw Your Future

After having the chance to attend my first NGen Conference, I wanted to share my favorite tool from the conference than can be used by individuals, local YNPN chapters or organizations. Before I went to NGen, I heard whispers that NGen was fresh, innovative and on point. The Conference did not disappoint.

One of the activities I most enjoyed was 'Networking Reimagined,' where a series of three artists led small groups through different hands-on activities that allowed them to network while looking at trends in the sector, creating collaboratively, and using art in goal-setting. This is where I was introduced to "Draw Your Future," by Patti Dobrowolski.

The concept is simple. You start with one blank piece of paper. On the left, you have your 'Current Reality.;' on the right, you have your 'Desired New Reality.' Starting on the left, you write 1-2 word representations of where you're currently at. After writing each word, you also draw a small picture to visually represent it. It doesn't have to be an exact visual, it could be a question mark or exclamation point around an area of tension, confusion, etc. You do the same thing for the other side, drawing what you want your future to be. In between the two sides are three arrows. After finishing writing down as many words and pictures as possible, you use the arrows to write three "action steps" that can help make that imagined future a reality.

I chose to do my exercise on the individual level. As an example, my 'Current Reality' included graduate school, lack of time for self-development, and financial concerns. In my envisioned reality, I had successfully graduated, landed a full-time job and had time for hobbies (complete with a stick figure yoga woman). You can see my example below, complete with visual proof that even the most un-artistic of individuals can have fun participating in Draw Your Future!

Draw Your Future
What surprised me most was when Patti shared that studies show people are more likely to complete their goals if they draw it -- even if they don't consider themselves visual learners or artistically inclined. This exercise is great for individuals, YNPN local chapters or organizations. And best of all, Patti has provided a free template of the printed out on her website, so you can get started today! Thanks for sharing your time and talent with us, Patti!

Visit Patti's Ted Talk on Draw Your Future here:

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