Amy's Whimsical Musings

#rawthought: Skinny Jean Goals

skinny jean goals copy

In a recent keynote for CUE, in my discussion of learning spaces I mentioned a school I’d read about that posted “mood board” type photos of their aspiring visions of their up-and-coming ideal media center. Not only did these images guide the design process, but they were constant reminders of the progress of the project, and served to inspire hope when the going got frustrating.

My analogy (because I tend to always think in metaphor) was to “Skinny Jean Goals”. This hit home with many in the audience, I think (men, too!), as we all seem to have those certain beckoning bluejeans in the dark recesses of our closets- you know the ones – perhaps they fit you at some perfect moment in your life, or perhaps they are just a manifestation of your innermost wishes to be Heidi Klum-esque.


It’s all about perspective. We tend to think negatively about our “Skinny Jeans” because we feel we can never measure up (or down!), or that the path getting there is too difficult or beyond our control. So why do we keep them? They must serve some purpose. I think that deep down we are comforted by the fact that there is an image of a better “us”, and in the back of our mind we secretly think we really can get there if we try hard enough or are given enough time.

But we need something VISUAL – something concrete.

visual thinkig

We need to see those darn sticks of denim dangling there nested between the wide-legged trousers and forgiving sheath dresses.

Making the abstract into the tangible, articulating ideas visually…

Just as it was crucial for those students to “see” the future of their media center – to see what was possible and shoot their arrows towards that bullseye, we need something “peering” at us – looking back, and “cheering” us on.

Whether you use lists or post-its, doodles, or photos, Pinterest or a Moleskin…I’d love to hear from you.

What are your “Skinny Jean Goals” for 2015 (if you’d like to share) and how do you articulate them in a visual way?

Just in! @traintheteacher (Stephanie) posted this lovely piece:


3 comments on “#rawthought: Skinny Jean Goals

  1. aarondavis1
    January 1, 2015

    Although I have managed to come up with my goals (, I hadn’t thought about visualising them. Can I appropriate other people’s images when ‘visualising’ or does it need to be sketched?

    • amyburvall
      January 1, 2015

      I think the point is to visualise them- whatever means…for me it’s going to be sketches but for others it might be photos or appropriated imagery or iconography…go for it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: What is your new year question? #oneword2017 | Teaching the Teacher

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