“A vision what?”
WELL. If you don’t know what one is yet, prepare to be delighted. A vision board is a physical representation of a goal that you’re aiming to achieve, usually splayed out across one of your walls so you can stare at it on a daily basis.
Think of it like a Pinterest board, but in the real world: something you can pin photos, magazine cut-outs, keepsakes, and other bits of awesomeness to in order to keep you inspired and motivated towards something you want to do, to be, to have, or to otherwise manifest.
Let’s say that your goal this year is to take a trip to the Caribbean. You might put up a corkboard and pin pages from travel brochures onto it, as well as cutouts from travel magazines, or postcards. Maybe some pictures of fancy drinks, or beachwear, or a few must-see places you’d like to explore.
The problem that most people have is that they get really excited about a vision board when they first create it, but then that sense of excitement sort of… wanes, over time.
When you look at anything for too long, it ends up becoming part of the periphery, ye know? “Oh look, there it is again. Meh.”
In order to stay focused, motivated, and excited, you need to put a few tricks into play so your vision board keeps inspiring you instead of blending in with the furniture.
Dividing your vision board into a few different sections (or even having a few boards arranged together) can be incredibly helpful, especially if you keep updating it as the date or goal approaches.
As an example: a wedding vision board may have one section for wedding gowns, one for clothing and accessory ideas for the bridal party, one section for décor and food, and one section for venue options.
This can be updated as you find your venue, your gown, your bridesmaid outfits, the cake you’re going to order. It helps to keep building excitement, but also reassures you because it’s like ticking off all the boxes you need to address as that date looms closer.
Putting these sections together is also really helpful because seeing all of these images on a regular basis can reassure you that you’re making the right decisions, rather than leaping in hastily. You might think initially that the sequined mermaid gown you saw was just brilliant, but after staring at a photo of it for a couple of weeks, suddenly realize that an A-line gown would be a lot more flattering.
What better way to stay excited about your goal than to put yourself onto the board? Take photos of yourself and pin them on there, along with little mementos of your journey towards your dream.
Have you started university in pursuit of a degree you’ve always wanted? Have someone take a photo of you on the school steps, smiling your face off. Pin it on there.
Print out your class timetable and pin that there too, along with a picture of your textbooks piled up on your desk.
This can be done so easily with whatever path it is that you’re pursuing: document the journey and refresh older bits so you are always inspired to move forward.
Are you reaching milestones with your health and fitness goals? Are you transitioning gender? Travelling around the world? Do you have a baby on the way?
Take pictures of your progress, and of wonderful moments that have inspired you. Post travel tickets, receipts, notes. Whatever makes you smile and brightens your soul.
Move It Around!
If you create your vision board on a hanging corkboard ” as mentioned earlier ” you can relocate it to different areas in your house now and then. It might be great to hang it in your bedroom at first, but how much time do you really spend in there?
Try shifting it to your kitchen or living room so you can catch glimpses of it throughout the day instead of just before passing out with your iPad on your chest.
Add Affirmation Words And Phrases
Photos and mementos are great, but you know what? Words have power, and putting power words (or even full sentences) up on your vision board can have a remarkable effect on your psyche, even on a subconscious level. You can cut letters out of a magazine, or print out full words in a variety of typefaces: whatever makes you feel the most inspired.
Choose a variety of different words, depending on the type of vision board and what it is you’d like to feel, and achieve. If you’re working on a self-acceptance/self-love board, words like “sacred” or “whole” are great. If you’re trying to excel in school, or are working to find your dream job, words and phrases like “integrity,” “self-confidence,” and “dedication” may keep the fire in your belly lit to spur you onward.
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Pair It With A Journal To Track Your Progress
Having visual inspiration that makes you dance your way through each day is wonderful and helps to keep your enthusiasm up, but pairing it with a journal can take things to the next level. Hopes and dreams are great, but they require action to make them a reality.
In your journal, determine which steps you need to take in order to attain your goal, and list them in the order that they need to be achieved.
Then create sub-lists of all the things required for each step. This will allow you to prioritize your actions, and give you small, attainable goals to strive for so you don’t end up getting overwhelmed by the bigger picture.
Let’s use a trip as an example. For creativity’s sake, let’s go back to the idea of that Caribbean vacation. Write down the steps you need to take in order to make that a reality:
- Establish how much money you need for the trip, and set that aside. Perhaps you could put aside a certain portion of each paycheck for X number of months to make that happen.
- Find out the set of dates that would work best for you, along with any companion(s) you’ll travel with.
- Book that time off work.
- Book tickets, hotel, activities.
- Buy supplies, and get any vaccinations if required.
Link both elements together by adding something to your board for as many of the steps as possible. As you attain each one, celebrate it! Write a little note in your journal and consider picking up a pack of gold stickers to place on the relevant part of your board every time you achieve a milestone.
Heal Stumbling Blocks
This is especially powerful if you’re using a vision board to help you accomplish a goal that you have tried to attain in the past, but the time wasn’t right for you to do so then.
An example of this might be if you’re trying to complete a creative project, like writing a book. Once you’ve hit milestones such as character creation, plot development, and your antagonist’s motivation, what else is it that has you stumped?
Be compassionate and gentle towards yourself, but also honest. Do you find that you self-sabotage because you’re afraid? That if you don’t finish the piece, you won’t be rejected if you try to find a publisher for it?
Are you procrastinating out of a lack of self-confidence?
Are you being too critical about your work?
As you come across these stumbling blocks, sit with them. Cry if you need to, talk to friends or healers to see if they can help you push past what’s holding you back. Where you identify such blocks, see if you can find some way to incorporate a relevant motivational image on your board.
Worried your book is no good? Photoshop a mock-up of an Amazon page showing a 5-star customer rating next to your title. If nerves have stopped you from speaking at an event, perhaps you could photograph yourself against a green screen and have an audience added in the background. Want to overcome a fear of flying? Maybe you could arrange to sit in a plane or go in a simulator and have your photo taken. Be creative.
Vision boards aren’t just to help you reach a goal, but are excellent tools for personal growth and development. By working towards a dream, you have the opportunity to clear out old energy that may be weighing you down, heal old wounds that might still be hurting on some level, and discover new, great truths about yourself.