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Christmas Catalogues, Wishes, and Vision Boards

December 12, 20235 min read

Do you remember your first encounter with vision boards?

I do. I recall the details vividly, even though at the time, I didn’t know what I was creating.

Let's travel back in time way back in time, way back to the early 1970s, and I share my story with you.

I was a single, teen mother with a little boy who was my inspiration and motivation to keep on going through some very difficult early years.  

My son and I lived in a basement apartment, in a low-income neighborhood, where most people didn't have jobs or dreams of changing their lives, much at all.

I had a steady job, but the modest salary barely covered rent, food, and a bus pass.

The apartment walls were painted flat nausea green, and the floors were battleship grey tile over cement. I furnished our little home with discards and hand-me-downs. I was particularly proud of my creative upcycling of cardboard packing drums for end tables and nightstands.

The view from our windows was dirty snow and pet droppings, from cleared walkways and hunks of grey ice and salt frozen to the undercarriage of cars parked just a few feet from the glass.

Winters then seemed so much colder. Five days a week I battled Mother Nature to get to work.

I scaled snowbanks with a squirming toddler in a snowsuit, wedged us into already crowded city buses, and held on tight ‘for two’ until we reached our stop.

Then, I began sprint ‘number two’ with my precious burrito under arm, and tackled another three blocks of frozen walkways, until my son was safely checked in to the daycare, I’d been so fortunate to qualify for.

Relay part-three was another sprint back to the bus stop, and a shorter but just-as-crowded bus ride to my job.

By 8:00 am, I felt like I’d run a marathon, and now, smoothing my hair, I composed myself to give my best for the next eight hours.

At the end of the workday, I started marathon number two of the day – in reverse; bus ride to day care, day care to bus, followed by extreme sport ‘icy street sprints’ into the sanctity of our partially subterranean home.

A simple dinner, bath time, bedtime stories, and then my little man was tucked in for the night.

Now, in the chilled stillness of the basement apartment, the exhaustion and sadness had time to sneak up on me.

Alone, I’d sit there with tears silently flowing, wondering how I’d sum up the energy to repeat it all again tomorrow.

This was not the life that I wanted for us. I desperately wanted to give my son so much more.

This was the era before Amazon, online shopping, and Pinterest.

But fortunately, it was a time that retailers like Sears, Macy’s, and others produced glossy, colorful catalogues to showcase their wares.

My dream book was the annual Sears Christmas Wish Book.

And a wish book it was!

Those pages held my dreams for a better, easier life.

Sears Wishbook

Each cold night, while my son slept, I poured over those pages, making written lists of all the things that I would buy to make our life more beautiful, more colorful, more fun, . . .

I made lists of all the toys that I would buy my son so he could play, learn and develop with all the advantages that kids with two working parents would have.

Fisher Price came out with the coolest stuff each year, and I so longed to buy him big theme sets that weren’t in my budget.

I made lists of all the Christmas decorations and holiday clothes we’d have. I so wanted us to have Mother and son outfits, so we’d look great at all the parties we’d get invited to.

I did love velvet!

I poured over those pages and planned the layout of the new furniture, drapes, lamps, and real end tables and nightstands that I would buy.

No item was too small or unimportant.

Things that may seem insignificant to me today could have an impact then.

I visioned the dishes, pots, and pans, the coordinated sheets and towels, everything in those pages that would help me to create the warm home environment that I longed to give my little guy.

I so treasured those catalogues. I memorized the page numbers and item descriptions.

In my mind, I clearly saw the image of the items, and visualized how they’d feel and change our lives.

Back then, I had not heard about Vision Boards.

I did not know that Bob Proctor would one day say, “If you can hold it in your head, you can hold it in your hand.”

I did not know that I could cut those photos out of the catalogue, glue them on a poster, and create a visual reminder of the way I wanted to feel as a parent and a provider.

I had no idea then, fifty years ago, I was developing the mindset and processes that would become part of an online program that helps others today.

From a scared teen to living proof of “See It, Believe It, Achieve It” practices,

From accidental entrepreneur to successful, global business owner,

I refined the process of creating a visual representation of the future I desire, with a plan to translate subconscious desires into conscious actions.

If you don’t like the view from your window,

If you don’t like what you see in your mirror,

If you want to change your circumstances,

Start with a plan and a vision of what’s next – Your Encore!


The Visual Encore Plan is 50 years in the making. It keeps improving, and delivering all year long.

christmas wishes, vision boards
blog author image

Isabel Alexander

Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander (Banerjee) cultivated an award-winning, $10+ million global chemical business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms. Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate and nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds. With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor, and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence. Founder: Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement) and Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact. also Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com) LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

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Isabel Alexander

Women of Influence Award, Canada’s Top 100 Business Women, Profit Magazine

I will guide you to reclaim time and energy and focus on actions  that support the lifestyle and interests that you love.


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