Visualisation is actually one of the most powerful mind exercises there is. Seeing things makes them become more real and makes the mind acknowledge them, meaning they will remain in your memory for longer than maybe something you read.
I’m very much a visual person and my love for creativity, photography and goal setting meant that creating a vision board was the obvious choice for helping me put my life dreams on track, a representation of all the things I want to be surrounded by. It is said that as women, we’re drawn to and motivated by visual inspiration, it connects us to our emotions which gives us even greater willpower to meet the goals we set ourselves.
Vision boards work by focussing your mind on the things you want in your life, not necessarily only the things you want to achieve, but also just the things that bring you joy, that you want to experience in life, have, feel. The simple act of writing these things down and creating a vision board makes you more likely to accomplish them, and also having a visual representation of them, which you can look at daily makes the goals even more prominent.
Including goals that scare you is a good thing, don’t be put off by them but always include goals that are realistic. Using the SMART technique, you can focus in on the goals that are achievable to you, the things you can accomplish, the things you will introduce to your life, rather than the things you feel you ‘should’ be doing. Everything you add to your vision board must have a meaning to you, something you want in your life, not just look pretty. Consider your business and personal life, family, health, spirituality, social circle, hobbies and anything else in your life that’s important.
Lots of vision board fans make them annually, making a list at the beginning of the year of what it is they want to achieve and see happening in their lives over the next 365 days, things they want included in the next chapter of their lives. Creating a vision board is an important part of the annual goal-setting process, of the new year resolutions and help set and prioritise goals, values, and intentions.
The vision boards will always consist of photographs and often words, and if you’re anything like me, pretty stationary stickers and doodle drawings will also be included. Your boards will have a collage style theme but being personal and individual to you and your goals, the look and feel of your board is totally up to you… no rules, go wild, express yourself!
How to create your vision board on paper
Time to get your creative game on!
Step 1 > Set your goals
Firstly, find yourself a quiet place and think about your goals. Think about what you want to achieve, what you enjoy, what you want to be surrounded by. Think about the things that bring you happiness, the things you want to keep doing and the things you need to make a start on. Get healthy, lose weight, learn to sew, run 10K straight might be some of the goals you have this year, but also include the things that you’re passionate about. For me, photography, blogging, making memories, travelling. Open your mind and write it all down, everything, we can narrow it down in the next step.
Step 2 > Prioritise
Now you’ve made you’re giant list, it’s time to prioritise. Grab yourself two of your favourite coloured pens and sort your list into two categories; Firstly, ones you definitely want to do and that are most important to you, secondly ones you’d like to do but will take some extra time and effort, you can always keep these and come back to them at a later date if you’ve fulfilled some of the more important ones.
Step 3 > Plan it out
Work out how many sections you have on your list, for example, Business, Family, Health, etc. Grab a scrap bit of paper and scribble out a layout which will fit neatly on your final board. If you have 8 categories like me, split the paper into 8 sections so you can see how the final board could look. Why not add some colour!
Step 4 > Small steps
This ones not needed for the board just yet, but is an extremely good exercise to get you focused and is something you will refer back to often. Now that you have your categories, make a list of your specific tasks under each that will help you reach that goal. For example, under Business, your goal may be to get one new client each month, therefore what tasks must you achieve to make that happen? Health may say only have one glass of wine each night not three, and Family, for me, is to stop working at 5pm and to settle down for the night (I’m still working on that one!). Once your board is complete with your overall life goals and wants, and you’re looking at it daily, you may want to revisit this task list as a reminder of how the overall goal can be achieved. You can write this one out on a bit of paper, or get yourself a fancy planner and make weekly to-do lists to achieve the tasks, which will achieve the goals!
Step 5 > Images and Words
I love this step, words and pics! You know what it is you now want to concentrate on so here comes the vision bit! Have a search for images that are suited to your goals, these could be from the likes of Google online (be careful with copyright if you’re making you’re board public!), your favourite websites or blog sites that you’ve read, or from your old magazines that you can cut out. Use a photo of a salad bowl for your health goal, maybe an image of the city you want to visit for your travel goals, or a pic of the book you want to read. You may even want to use images you’ve taken yourself, which you can get printed at your local store. Words are also good to add, and your favourite quotes, and again can be found in magazines, printed off or maybe you want to just write or doodle them yourself! This is a good one for the kids to help with too!
Step 6 > Make it pretty
Now that you have all your paper snippets and words cut out, before we get sticking, lets first lay them all out on your board for placement purposes. Now there’s no set rule here, it doesn’t have to be planned out but remember the plan you did in Step 3 where you made sure they would all fit. You don’t have to stick to that, but try to give each section the right amount of space so that there’s enough room for everything. You may want colour co-ordinate it, or like me, you may want to group them, so Health and Fitness would be together as would and Blogging and Photography. You can also cut your images smaller you need to make room, for example, maybe cut out one girl doing yoga rather than having the whole class.
Step 7 > Lets get sticky!
Before you get sticking, to prevent any gaps between images and wording, you may want to first cover your board with coloured paper, or white paper, or even newspaper, anything you like! The next bits easy, get sticking!
Step 8 > Extras!
Now that your board is complete, it’s time for a bit of personalisation! Get your stickers out and your sticky tape, your pens and pencils for doodling and run free customising your board to suit you. Stick things over the top, draw flowers in the corners, underline important words, circle the bits that mean the most and get it perfect! It’s suppose to be fun so don’t hold back, emphasise the bits you want to, the messier the better!
Step 9 > Find your place
Finding the perfect place to display your board is so important! You need it to be placed somewhere you’ll see everyday, a few times a day so that it sends subliminal messages to your mind, which will remind you often of the goals you’ve set. Mine is placed in my bedroom and every day when I wake for my early morning run, I give it glance and a smile.
Step 10 > Just do it
Seeing your board everyday will make it a solid memory in your mind, something you can remember, visualise and think about even when you’re no where near it, and take a photo of it too so that you can look at it on the go if required. The memory alone will remind you always of the goals you have set yourself for a better life and better way of living,. Now that you have spent the time creating your board, be sure to use your task list from Step 4 daily, working through your to-do list that will help you reach and exceed those ultimate goals of life fulfilment.
Ultimately, what you do with your board, how you display it, what you include, the words and images you choose to represent the future you is all your call, you’re in control of it all, just have fun, stick to the plan and get ready to live your best life!
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.