- A vision board is a collage of photos and words that is an outward symbol of our inner desires.
- Creating a vision board can help us achieve our goals by giving us a daily reminder of what we really want and nurturing the belief that we can achieve it.
- The pictures and quotes on our board keep us focused by putting our priorities literally right in front of us.
- Vision boards are fun and easy to make and no matter what our goals or our age, a vision board can be a powerful tool for achieving our dreams.
What is a Vision Board?
A vision board is a collage of words and images that represent our goals, dreams, and priorities. You can make a vision board by cutting out photos from old magazines, copying inspiring quotes, or printing pictures you find online.
A vision board is YOUR vision. It should represent the real you and what is most important to you. It can be something you display in your office or something private that you keep by your bed side or in your closet where you can see it every morning when you get ready and every night before you go to bed.
How can a Vision Board help me?
FOCUS – A vision board will give you a powerful, daily reminder of what is most important to you. Every time you look at a picture of graduating students tossing their caps in the air or the clear water of a beautiful beach, you remember your goals and what you are working toward. Looking at the words and images on your vision board daily will automatically focus your energy, where you spend your time and money, and keep your goals literally right in front of you.
LOWER STRESS – Feeling like your dreams are within your reach lowers stress and reduces anxiety. We choose the images for our vision board based on what is most important to us. Whether that’s images of travel, career success, a new home, or improved health, those images represent security, happiness, and freedom. Looking at the visual representation of those dreams is a mood booster.
INCREASED DETERMINATION – Looking at images and words that represent the life you want brings a little bit of that dream into today’s reality. Knowing you will get there makes the hard times easier and allows you to remember why you study, save, or make certain sacrifices.
CLARIFY PRIORITIES – When we are tempted to sleep late, overspend, or blow off our to-do list, looking at a picture of why we want to make better choices gives us the motivation to make those choices. What will be more important in a year, the pair of shoes you do not need or the new home you are saving for? Every day we choose where we spend our energy, time, and money, and a vision board helps us make choices that bring us more of what we really want.
How do I get started?
First things first. Where do you want to be, or how do you want to feel in a year? Five years? You have to know what you want in order to create a visual representation of your goals and dreams. Give yourself some quiet time to reflect on what is important to you regarding your health, career, or personal and family goals.
DO NOT RUSH this part of the process. Take a couple days or a week to really think about it. Make some notes, cross things out, sleep on it, add more things. Once you know what you want, then you can start creating your board.
Some people like to think in terms of very specific goals like taking a trip to Hawaii or getting a promotion. Others want to focus on general things like health, happiness, and adventure. You may want to think in terms of longer stretches of time, like five years, or just stick with the next 6-12 months. Maybe you want your board to just focus on one area, like your health, or maybe you want to cover several areas of your life. Do what works for you – this is your tool and there are many different methods.
I know what I want. Now what?
You may want a cork board, a big piece of posterboard, or a simple piece of construction paper – the size will depend on where you plan to put it and what appeals to you. Remember, this is YOUR tool, so make it appealing to you. Get some scissors, tape or a glue stick, magazines, brochures, or simply do web searches for the images you want. Pick colors you like, maybe some cool stickers, and a style that makes you feel good when you see it. It does not matter if you have any artistic skills, there are great examples of vision boards online for inspiration.
What should go on my board?
Is there a company you really want to work for? Try cutting out their logo from a brochure or making up your own business card with your new job title. Is there a vacation you are determined to take? Print a picture of the beach or a photo of the Eiffel Tower. Want to finish your degree? Find a picture of a group of graduates throwing their caps in the air. Have a challenging fitness goal like losing weight or running your first marathon? Cut out words like “Healthy” or “Strong” and add pictures of a finish line or nutritious meals.
Maybe you love painting but have been too busy with the kids to make it a priority. Cut out pictures of art supplies or add your own artwork to your board to remind you of what is important to you. Were you once playing tennis regularly but stopped? Put an old picture of yourself playing on your board. Sometimes our goals are simply returning to things we stopped doing but used to really enjoy.
Again, this can be as general or specific as you want it to be. Maybe you want to have more joy in your life, but you are not exactly sure how to make that happen. Find photos or quotes that align with that goal and use those. Maybe just put the word JOY in big letters in the middle of your board (in your favorite color, of course). It will keep you focused on joy so that you will look for opportunities to create it and be more open to finding it in multiple areas.
What if my goals change?
Well, that’s why vision boards are made of paper and not stone! You can change your board at any time. If you accomplish one goal and want to replace it with another, simply remove one picture and add something else. Did you run a marathon and now want to learn how to do a handstand? Did you get that promotion and now want to save for a new home? You can update your board or create a new one with each goal reached or maybe each new year.
We grow and evolve and so do our desires. A vision board does not need to make you feel trapped, it should make you feel excited and determined so change it up when necessary. It feels great to accomplish something from your board and then add something new. And you can always keep a picture of an accomplished goal on your board if it makes you feel good to see it. Maybe that reminder of success will boost your determination to work for your next goal!
Vision = FOCUS
Remember a vision board is just an outward symbol of your inner desires, so don’t overcomplicate it. If it makes you feel good to look at it, and helps keep you focused, then you did it right. It’s just that simple!
On the other hand, do not underestimate how powerful this visualization tool can be. A vision board can keep you focused, and like a laser, focused energy is very powerful and usually hits its target. Now go have fun with it!