Vision boards were popular when I was in high school. They seemed to disappear but are now making a comeback. I forgot how much I enjoyed making them and how they helped me to focus on a goal or task.
So what is a vision board? It’s a visualization tool that uses pictures and words in a collage form to represent your dreams and goals.
A few years ago, when I was struggling with an issue, a friend suggested I make one. The rules were simple, just collect pictures, words, phrases, and trinkets that drew my attention. Then paste them on a board (mine was just a piece of construction paper) in whatever pattern felt right to me. The end result was a little surprising. When I started, I thought it would be a hodgepodge of pictures and words. That’s what I gravitated towards in life and I assumed it would carry over into my vision board. I ended up with a very structured, organized, simple piece of art. The final piece had my goals at the top and a very defined stairway leading to them. It made me realize that in order to achieve my desires I had to declutter my life and focus on my goals.
The ironic part is that my friend did her own vision board. She is a very tailored, organized person and her board ended up being a scattered mess—kind of what I thought mine would be, to be honest. She had so much crammed on her board that she even had pictures hanging over the edge. It reminded her that she needed to break loose every once in a wild and go nuts.
Neither one of us ended up with what we anticipated. My friend loved her wackadoodle piece of art and I loved my structured, refined end product. In fact, I still have it. When I see it in my office, it reminds me of what I need to do to accomplish my goals.
Whenever I’m facing a new challenge or struggle, I fall back on this exercise. It is easy to do, provides insight into the situation, and can be a permanent reminder for the future.
If you have a goal or project that you are working towards or facing internal turmoil, I recommend doing your own vision board. The great thing about these devices is that there are no rules. There are no requirements. And there is no right or wrong addition to the piece.
The only thing you need to do is decide to do one. Your board can be any size. The one I made in the story above was only 8×11. I have one in progress now that is a full-size poster board. Your vision board doesn’t even have to be physical. You can have one on your computer if that’s more to your liking. Your board can also be fluid. You can use a bulletin board and change it as you deem necessary or as your goals progress.
You decide what is added to your board and what isn’t. Although, I said there are no rules, I would like to add one. Okay, maybe it’s not a rule but a suggestion. Keep your board positive. The idea behind this exercise is to motivate you. It’s not a punishment or a way to degrade yourself. The idea is for the board to inspire you so leave out all the negativity and naysayers.
Your board can consist of all pictures, or all words, or a combination of the two. On the one I have going now, I’ve included trinkets that were given to me. They remind me of the generosity of the person who gave them to me and that’s something I want to hold on to.
The only timetable for completion is one that you put on it. You can keep your board going indefinitely or you can set a firm deadline. The one I have in progress is for a project I’m working on now. It’s an ongoing board and I add to it as new developments occur. I knew this endeavor would be tough and would have its setbacks, so I started the board to remind me of the positives. It lifts my spirits when I need that and is a reminder to get to work because sometimes I need that too.
Vision boards are designed to inspire you. You don’t have to share them with anyone else but can do so if you like. Again, no rules. You also don’t have to keep your boards. I know some people who prefer to destroy them once they have achieved the goal. It’s cathartic for them. Whatever works for you is okay.
If you have a goal or challenge that is eating at you, you may want to try this exercise. Start your own vision board. Keep an open mind and just have fun with it.