Imagery is a very powerful force when it comes to what can motivate and inspire you. Creating a vision board is a great way not just to channel your inner creativity, but to also learn more about what you envision your future life to be like. Is it full of love, friends, money, success? The great part about creating a vision board is that it is a completely personal journey. Nobody can tell you how to create your vision board but you. You choose to include what speaks to you!
How I Learned About the Power of Creating a Vision Board
Is anyone reading this a fan of the show "Happy Endings" ..? MAN. That was the best show. #Gonetoosoon, I tell you. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend. (It's laugh out loud funny.) They had a full episode once about the power of vision boards where one character (Jane) asserts that anything you put on a vision board comes true. Penny (pictured below) doubts the power of vision boards, so Jane starts buying her presents and sending her flowers from her crush to prove that vision boards really work. In typical sitcom fashion it gets out of hand and then resolved by the end of the 30 minutes, but I'm in camp Jane. Vision boards work.
I can't tell you how exactly they work just like I can't explain how magic works or why miracles happen or where exactly Cape Cod is, but just trust me on this one. You want to create a vision board if you plan on living your best life this year.
A Creepy-Beautiful Visioning Example from My Own Life
So this is the vision board I made for last year (2016.) You can see I chose different corners of the board to represent the different "areas" of my life - health, happiness, work, and my love life, which got covered up by various to-do lists and business metrics after my ex and I broke up shortly after I made the board.
The break up really got me down, but I didn't stop believing in the vision board. I kept in my home office and looked at it every day.
Then last Fall when my life started to crumble, I put the vision board away. I just didn't have the energy to vision my best life into existence amid the chaos happening around me and it hadn't really worked for me all year long, so why bother, right?
During a recent quarterly de-cluttering project, I came across my 2016 vision board, which I'd stashed in a closet in my new apartment and to my astonishment a lot of the things I'd deeply wished for had come true.
You can't see it in the picture above, but there's a sticker on top of a picture of a beautiful new home. I thought moving out of my old house was impossible, but in August I found some great tenants and was able to move into a lovely new space that I love waking up in each day. It's done wonders for my mood and productivity.
I put pictures of foreign places on the board and in 2016 I unexpectedly got an opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time and it was the most amazing experience.
I'd filled the board with pictures of people in love. It wasn't so much my ex-of-the-moment I was trying to channel back when I put the vision board together, but the kind of connectedness I desperately wanted to share with another person. Perhaps most unexpectedly of all, at the end of 2016 an amazing person who teaches me every day what healthy, considerate affection looks like came into my life.
But, I didn't get everything that I put on my vision board.
The oddest thing to me about all of this "visioning magic" is that it was the things I both strategically planned for in my life and put on my vision board that didn't happen. My business didn't boom last year like I'd wanted, even though I had countless spreadsheets and metrics I wanted to hit, and I never took my health quite as seriously as I would've wanted even though I invested heavily in the area last year.
This is why I think it's important to fill your vision board with only your most outrageous, silly wants. The kinds of things that are so audacious you don't feel comfortable saying them out loud. Get creative. If you're going to Japan in July, don't put a picture of a dojo on your vision board.
It isn't what you expect to come to you, but rather the unexpected that the visioning magic wills into existence. Allow yourself the chance for this to happen to you by creating your own vision board. It's such a beautiful experience.
You can create your vision board around a central theme, or you can put up images that inspire you from all different sources. The beauty of this exercise is that you own it. All that matters is that the images and words you use have a positive association. You want to be able to look at your vision board and feel happy and motivated.
To create a vision board, you need:
Now keep in mind everyone has their own style. The following is a step-by-step guide of how I would work on creating a vision board, but feel free to tailor the process to suit your needs.
Get your favorite music queued up and make sure you have no immediate plans to allow for full immersion in the experience of creating a vision board. If you want, you could even light a deliciously scented candle or some incense to really put your mind at ease.
Cut up the magazines and find any relevant images/words that inspire you. The first step is more about brainstorming than execution, so don’t hold back or do too much filtering. If it looks appealing, cut it up and save it for later. You never know what you may need!
Once you have about 30-40 images or words selected, you can begin gluing on your vision board. You can still continue to look for relevant content from the magazines, but getting some things on paper will help kick off creating your vision board.
Using the markers, you can write on the images. Inspirational words, quotes, song lyrics - anything goes. You can also doodle to bring extra focus to certain messages or images.
After you are finished creating your vision board, place it somewhere in your living space that you frequent regularly. Nobody knows the right spot except for you. If it is helpful, observe your movements inside your home for a day or two. There will likely be a path that you tread more often… is it from the front door to the kitchen? Kitchen to the bedroom? Where do you spend most of your time?
That is where you should put your vision board for maximum effect. If you find that creating one vision board is not enough, you can always make more. You can have one in every room if you wish! The key is creating a positive space for you to go mentally.
And my final tip is - give the board some time to work its magic. You're visioning for an entire year. It isn't going to happen overnight. Be patient, lovelies. Good things come to those who wait.