I’ve been making vision boards for several years now, after a friend of mine introduced me to the concept when I was pregnant with my first born.
The idea behind it is this: With so many tasks, lists, and priorities swimming around in our heads, our dreams and purpose often get lost . . . or at least temporarily misplaced.
To avoid waking up 20 years from now with gray hair, sagging skin, and a mound of regret, I like to take a little time every year to check in with myself–a reassessment to make sure that even if I haven’t arrived at my end goals, I’m taking the steps to get there.
Essentially, a vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and words that when pieced together provide an outline for the kind of person you want to become, or where you want to work, or how you’d like to live. It’s a visual map of the changes you’d like to see manifested in your life.
While it is a bit mysterious in nature (your subconscious is almost always drawn to images and phrases that you desire on a deeper level than your conscious brain generally allows), it isn’t nearly as intimidating, scary, or voodoo-rific as you might think.
It serves as a tool that puts in motion the law of attraction: that we attract into our lives anything to which we give attention. There are no prerequisites. You don’t have to be an artist or a marketing analyst to put together this treasure map. You just need fodder (magazines, pictures, books, drawings), some scissors, and a little bit of set-aside time to be intentional.
Step One: Gather your materials.
- Foam board, poster board, or cardboard . . . just something sturdier than a sheet of notebook paper and with enough space to hold your lofty dreams.
- Inspiration (aforementioned creative fodder: a stack of magazines, pictures of yourself that represent a part of you that you like, books with favorite quotes . . . you get the idea).
- Glue (I like starting with a glue stick or rubber cement). Elmer’s glue gets wrinkly.
- Sealer (Mod Podge, contact paper, or even a frame . . . just something that keeps everything intact).
Step Two: Set the stage.
- Do you. If you want coffee, get a big cup. If you’re a hot tea person, put the water in the pot and spend the steeping time setting your intention.
- Play music. Whatever inspires you on that given day. I prefer soft and easy instead of driven beats when I’m being creative, but some people feel more creative when the music is loud and crazy.
- Invite a friend. This one only applies if you’ve been doing this for awhile and need a little extra feedback or if you have an intimate enough friend that you can sit for long periods of time without a lot of interaction. You want to get lost in the process, but it’s nice to have a friend to bounce ideas off of as you go along.
Step Three: Set your intention.
- Before you ever pick up the scissors or browse through a magazine, decide what you’d like your board to accomplish. Decide beforehand if you’re looking for career direction, parenting inspiration, or ideas for creating a home that better suits your needs.
- Write the intention on the board. It will be covered up as you begin to piece together your creation, but it will serve as a filter so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Step Four: Start cutting.
- Don’t be too discriminating here. If a word or image in a magazine jumps out at you, cut it out.
- Find pictures that represent feelings, possessions, or experiences that you want to attract to your life, ideals that you’d like to more fully encompass.
- Choose positive words or affirmations that inspire you or that feel.
- Remember you’re creating a vision board of an ideal life, but it’s not just anyone’s ideal life. It’s for you. For now. For this season.
Step Five: Piece it together.
- Begin grouping things together on your board in a way that is pleasing to your eye and that makes sense to you.
- Try to avoid chaos and noise in your board as it distracts you from the overall sense of purpose.
- Glue each piece down separately and don’t affix anything permanently until the final step.
- Once you’ve placed your images and are satisfied with the overall feeling of your vision board, step away for a few minutes.
- Have a snack or another cup of coffee. Just breathe deep and thank yourself for taking the time to set intentions.
- Come back and look at it as if you’re looking at a glimpse of someone else’s life.
- Try to see unique ways the pieces fit together. Words that stand out. See if an overall theme developed.
Step Seven: Use your vision board as a guide.
- After you’ve sealed your vision board, hang it in a place that you visit often. Spend time looking at it and visualizing what your life would be like if you lived in those ideal snippets.
- Take a few minutes ever so often to internalize, affirm, and believe in your goals.
- Acknowledge when something that you’ve placed on your vision board has actualized in your life. Achievement of the goals that you’ve placed on your board will serve as a powerful reminder of what you’ve consciously and deliberately brought to pass in your life.
- Pray over it. Ask God to open your awareness to the kind of life you should be living.
What are your personal hopes for the new year?