Vision boards are a visual representation of things that we want to accomplish and/or acquire. More than just an art project, vision boards are a creative way of projecting that which we want to achieve. They help to bring clarity to our dreams, desires, and goals. But why would we want to do this now? Isn’t this something that should be done at the beginning of a new year? Yes and No. In my case, going into a new school year (which starts in August in South Carolina) is the beginning of my year. I settle back into routines and say goodbye to the “open time” of the summer. For me, if I am going to set a goal and take steps to actualize, it has to happen now.
The Vision Board Mindset:
Vision boards and their creation are meant to be an intentional process. They help us connect with emotions we want to engender or habits we want to change.
We begin first by “checking in” with ourselves. What is it that we truly desire? What is our vision of ourselves that we want to actualize? Is there something you want to own – a tangible product? Or is there a trait you want to cultivate – patience, or kindness? Are you quick to anger or pass judgment? What are the habits you wish to form? Visualize what the end result would look like.
Personal Vision Boards:
There is no right or wrong way to create a vision board. It is a creative expression of where you have been and where you want to go. However you choose to express your goals or your values, is completely up to you.
I am a big fan of the temporal boards that display some representation of the past, present and future. It allows for a chronological connection and celebrates past successes. What are you proud of in the past year? Is there something you accomplished you want to be reminded of? This is a great confidence booster when you consider future challenges and how equipped you are to meet them.
What is working for you now? Are there habits you have cultivated that you are honoring and that you want to continue? Show it off! Is there a theme or a word that you want to align with as you proceed through your day and your tasks. Put it up there – make it big and bold.
And finally, what do you want for your future? It is something you want to accomplish, learn, cultivate? Add it to your board. Granted, we may all be tempted to throw up the Ferraris and mansions, but I urge you to consider smaller goals as well. When you look at this board, see yourself achieving these items.
Family Vision Boards:
Vision boards do not have to be done alone. In fact, the creation of a family vision board is a great way to get everyone involved in family plans. It can even be done as part of a family meeting.
Since you may do it prior to the start of school, reflect on the summer and what things brought you joy, what did you enjoy the most? Use family pictures on the board from your events to reconnect with the joy of that moment. Every family member can make their own contribution to the board.
Reflect on the things you enjoy doing as a family and add those items to your board. What are we doing well as a family? This could be something as simple as “we eat dinner together every night.” Vision boards don’t always have to include pictures, feel free to put text on there as well. Are there words that you are important to your family? Are their private jokes that you share? Go for it! What is important to your family?
Now take it to the future. What do you want to do more of? Are there family goals you want to achieve? Do you have a theme for the upcoming year? Sometimes this can be one word or a phrase. For instance: “We can do hard things.” Write out the words. Display some of the hard things you want to do or accomplish. If you have a family mission statement, you can add that on here as well. (https://www.artofmanliness.com/people/family/creating-a-family-culture-how-and-why-to-create-a-family-mission-statement/)
Make sure to display this board in a room where you tend to congregate, perhaps a living room or even a dining room.
Vision Board Creation & Usage:
Go nuts! This board is YOURS. When doing the family board, you may want to do a little more consultation so that it comes together more cohesively. However, with the personal boards, this is your time to shine. Maybe you are not very artistic (as I am), but you can use this as a creative outlet.
What pics should I use? You can take things from magazines, print things from the internet, draw them yourself. The options are endless! The only “requirement” is that they evoke something from you and they align with your intentions. You have to feel something when you see it.
For the items you are celebrating from your past, you should be able to smile when you remember how well you did. For the present, that smile should widen when you consider how well you are doing something now. And for the future, you should be grinning like a Cheshire Cat, ear-to-ear. You have so much ahead of you.
Put the board where you can see it in your line of sight. You should look at it once a day. I often sit with it after my meditation. It helps to ground me. I visualize myself accomplishing the goals. And then I ask myself “what can I do today to get me closer to that goal?” In this way, my board helps me to chart my roadmap to my goals. The more I work with those goals in mind, the easier it is for me to align to them. Eventually, a future goal gets moved to the past because it was achieved.
I update as needed, typically a few times a year (maybe even once a quarter). Maybe my goals have shifted. Maybe I have accomplished something. Tell your story. Your goals will evolve as you change to meet them. That is healthy. Let your board chart this evolution. For the family boards, once a year may be enough to update and realign with your goals.
Vision boards tend to go hand-in-hand with the laws of attraction. It is said, “you are what you manifest.” Creating a vision board allows you to see your future path (that which you desire to manifest) and begin taking the steps to make it a reality. And should those steps prove more difficult than originally thought, consult a professional to walk with you.