Visualization. Manifesting. Willing into existence. These terms may conjure up imagery of a new-age shop with pungent incense and forest fairy statuettes. But don’t be so quick to dismiss the idea of visualization and its crafty offshoot: the vision board. We’re not saying that wanting something will magically make it appear. But by creating a visual representation of your goals, you’re building a mental roadmap to reach your destination.
Specifically, a vision board will help you do three main things:
- Narrow your focus down to a specific goal or goals.
- Visualize and practice how to achieve those goals.
- Stay focused on that goal.
And with all the distractions in our busy lives, it couldn’t hurt to have a tool to better focus our energies. So how do you get started, what does it look like and how do you keep it up? Let’s dive in.
What do you want?
It’s a big question. Like, really big. It’s one of life’s most difficult multiple-choice questions out there, no doubt. But a vision board is there to help you sort through and better define the things you want to accomplish. Find an hour or two without distractions (turn off the TV) to really think on this and maybe even draw inspiration from friends and family. Here are a few categories to mull over:
- Emotional well-being
- Material goods
- Skills and education
Once you’ve got a healthy handful of aspirations, write them down on paper. There’s something impactful about using a pen and paper to define your goals. All done? Voila! You’ve just made the centerpiece of your vision board.
What does it look like?
Find a piece of cork board or foam board that’s big enough to hold your dreams! But seriously, half the fun of making a vision board is getting artistic and pulling inspiration from the things around you. It’s a chance to release your inner child and go full-on arts and crafts! Maybe you want to make your living room the envy of the neighborhood — you might cut and paste from a designer furniture catalogue and include a few carpet swatches. But just remember not to get hung up on material things. Physical reminders are great, but also fill your board with inspiring tidbits that encompass how you want to feel. Let’s say you want to have a better relationship with your mom — find an image that reminds you of a nice memory with her.
What does it sound like?
One important part of any vision board is the affirmation. Make declarative statements that tell the world (and more importantly, yourself) who you are and what you’re capable of achieving. After all, you’re pretty awesome right? Use positive phrases like “I am beautiful and I deserve this” or “I know I can achieve this without a doubt.” You can also include inspirational quotes from others, so long as they fit within your personal vision. Here’s one to get you started:
“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
How do you keep it in focus?
A vision board won’t do much good if you pop it in your closet once it’s been made. That’s why to keep your goals in sight, you need to… well, keep your goals in plain sight. In other words, put your board where you’ll see it every day. It could be hung next to your mirror in the bedroom or on the front of your refrigerator. Maybe you want to wake up envisioning your future, so you tack it on your ceiling above your bed to wake up to inspiration.
It’s all about making your vision an ever-present part of your day so you can slowly work your way toward your goals. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep your eyes on the prize you’ll find little ways to inch your way closer and closer to where you want to be. Keep your board a living, breathing thing by adding in new inspirations and making changes to it when necessary. If you discover a new goal, you can add it in whenever you’d like. There’s no set time to refresh your board — just follow your intuition and be true to your inner compass.
When all is said and done, it’s your life — you choose how to live it! A vision board is just one way to help take control of your future and push it in the direction you’d like. What are some other methods you’ve had luck with? Do you keep a vision board around your house? We want to hear about it!