Using a Vision Board for Goal Setting and Achieving
Let’s talk vision boards. Like selecting a word for the year, this has become a guiding structure for my goal setting and achievement. In this post, I’ll share how and why I create a vision board and use it throughout the year.
Why should I create a vision board? This seems to be one of those ubiquitous Pinteresty concepts that can be anything you want it to be. And that’s not a bad thing. When I did my first vision board in 2013, it was the first time I’d heard of visualization. As best as I understand it in the vision board context, this is the idea that what you picture in your life is what you will attract to your life. I’m not one to poo-poo the “dream it, do it” mentality, but I believe there are a lot of steps between the vision and making it your reality. In my version, this is the one place where I bring together the end result and what it takes to get there.
What is a vision board?
Pictures: At the most basic, it’s like the collages you created in middle school. Flip through a magazine, glue down some images of things you want in your life, and bam, there’s your vision board. Mine inevitably includes a picture of a toned, sweaty, determined-looking woman whose very demeanor screams, “I kick butt and take names.” Often also a happy couple participating in some activity together, a well-behaved kid or two, and a pen and paper or other indicia of creativity. But just select whatever images speak to your goals. For example, last year I chose a boxer throwing a punch. I’m not getting in the ring anytime soon, but the picture said “decisive action” to me.
Words: In addition to images, my vision board features words. You might be surprised how many inspirational phrases show up in the women’s magazines that grace my mailbox. Especially in the cosmetic ads. “What are you afraid of?”, “Conquer”, and “with purpose” are on for 2018.
Goals: For me, the most important section is where I write my goals. This brings everything together. The cut-out of Ms. Sweaty Determination isn’t doing me much good if I don’t have a plan to exercise a certain number of times a week or register for a race. Throughout the year, I find myself able to check off certain goals, while others are establishing habits that might take the whole year to accomplish.
What do I do with my vision board? As soon as the glue dries, put your vision board in a place where you will see it regularly, like in your closet or on your bedroom wall. This year, mine is next to my desk, so it is eye level as I’m working. I even have a photo of it on my phone’s home screen. This way, my goals are top of mind. This also gives me a framework for cutting out the clutter when I might otherwise get sidetracked. (But keep in mind that your goals can change. I create a new vision board in January, but you can modify yours or make a new one at any time that is right for you.)
Vision loves company. If you have a trustworthy friend who would be motivated by a vision board, get her onboard to make and share one herself. My husband and I made one together for a couple of years. We still like to plot out our plans and dreams together, but the paste-and-scissors approach just isn’t his thing. So this year, I hosted a vision board party with some girlfriends, an afternoon sharing our goals over mimosas. It was a blast to see how many different dreams – and vision board designs – were in that room.
I can’t guaranty your biceps will be worthy of that magazine picture by this time next year. But I hope you’ll try this creative and fun way to visualize your dreams and help make them a reality.