A few years ago now I created my first vision board and I’ve been hooked ever since. They take a bit of time to create but I promise you the results are really special.
Why create a vision board?
Well aside from having a beautiful thing to look at a vision board helps clarify your goals and dreams. Not your employer’s vision (probably written as a one line mission statement on a meeting room wall) or what you think your dreams should be, but your real true vision for the future. It is about giving yourself time to dream, imagine, think ‘what if’. Consider what you really want, not society, or your employer, or friends. It’s something to aspire to, that you enjoy looking at, as well as being an extraordinarily powerful tool to help you achieve your goals and stay focused.
It is also great because it should contain feelings and emotional resonance as well as actual physical objects. For example, I have a photo of a dinner table lit by candlelight because that gives me the feeling of homeliness, togetherness, family. It makes me feel happy. A picture of wonder woman reminds me why I do my work – to empower, make positive change happen.
Then I also have an actual financial figure that I am hoping to achieve as my annual salary from my career.
Your vision board will be completely unique and special to you, your interpretation of the world and where you want to be.
What makes a vision board work so well?
The reason that these sort of activities work is that they use the right side of our brains which helps with creativity, getting those ideas flowing without all that practical stuff and logical barriers getting in the way. You can imagine a time when life is really slow and calm or spending time in a beautiful place or that kitchen you’ve been wanting for years without all those thoughts of “well, we can’t afford that” and “how will we get our youngest through the plane journey” springing to the front of your mind.
It can even help clarify some of what we want or where we want to be if you’re unsure right now without the pressure of having to answer specific questions on what job or whether you should move house or not. Trust your instinct, think about emotions and how you want to feel as well as what you’d like to own or be doing and you might just be able to pick out some clues and themes.
O.k you’ve convinced me, how do I get started?
This is a really nice activity to do either on your own or get a group of friends round and turn it into an evening with drinks (an excuse if you need one).
Here’s some guidance:
- Plan in a couple of hours where you can feel un rushed in a quiet, calm place. Turn on some music and make sure your surroundings feel good. This bit is important, environment is key to doing our best thinking.
- You will need a large piece of paper or ideally card, some scissors, pens and glue.
- You will also need a load of magazines, articles, saved quotes, post it notes, photographs, anything you are drawn to. I asked for magazines in our dentist and hairdressers, plus rounded some up from friends.
- If you’d prefer this activity can be done online too, set yourself up a Pinterest board and get creating virtually.
- Now just get going, stick, colour, write, draw, create a collage of inspiration. There is honestly no right or wrong way, just create something that feels right to you.
- You might want to just focus on work OR home but my advice would be to consider all areas of your life because we don’t tend to live in such strict categories and you also want to get an aligned vision. So consider family / home, you personally AND your work. How do you want them all to look, what will you be doing in 1/3/5 years time? How do you want to FEEL in future? What words spring to mind? What sorts of images are you drawn to? A note on these time scales – for some of you looking at the next year might be where feels comfortable, others might want to think longer. You might not even want to consider a specific time, just create a lovely picture of ‘the future’.
- How do you want to be remembered? What is the impact you want to have on the world? Don’t be afraid to dream big, this is YOUR vision board, no-one need see or question it which can actually be really refreshing in itself.
Once you’ve done the work creating your vision board keep it somewhere that you’ll see it regularly. This might be above your desk where you work, in a room of your house, or if these aren’t an option try taking a photo of it instead. The photo could then be your screensaver or printed and put at the front of your diary or journal. The point is that you look and focus on it as much as possible, notice how it makes you feel, talk about some of the things you see as if they have already been achieved and really believe that you can make this happen.
Hopefully creating a vision board can help you to see where it is you want to go, support you with that focus and faith that you can get there. Just the small amount of hard work to make it happen then 🙂
If you’d like more support with making a change, be that with progressing a business idea, a career change or something more personal then see our Game Changers programme for how we can help you make your vision a reality.