There’s often a lot of pressure around the new year to overhaul one’s diet, get fit, save for retirement, to change jobs or be a better parent. This is why we usually wait until the first or second quarter to create ours. It’s a great time to check in and see what is and what isn’t working in our lives. Plus there’s still time to get clear on what the rest of the year could look like. Let inspiration be the fuel you need as you strive to attain the next level of success.
When did vision boarding begin?
Vision boarding became popular in the early aughts, somewhat in conjunction with the 2007 movie The Secret about the Law of Attraction, but it has roots further back than that. In fact, collage was a popular art form whose composition of parts (photos, newspaper clippings, and pieces of fabric, for example) was often glued onto a surface to create a whole new expression. We started making collages (or vision boards, as it’s now known) back in high school and would clip images and words from magazines that fit goals we had or just plain inspired us.
Beyond inspiration and pretty collection of images, is there a scientific benefit to making vision boards?
In a Forbes article, neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart says, “[if you] look at it daily and visualize it coming true, this tracks images to your sub-conscious and primes your brain to grasp opportunities that may otherwise have passed you by.” The other key part of what she calls an ‘action board’ is taking a small step towards our goal everyday so that “you’ll be transforming abundance thinking into reality.”
What is the purpose and benefit of making a vision board?
An important purpose of vision boarding includes activating the powerful faculties within us: imagination and visualization. Often, part of the educational process (and beyond, into our jobs) strips these skills away from us in favor of recitation and regurgitation of facts and figures. Activate the skills of your brain’s right hemisphere – home of creativity, imagination, and artistic ability – by sparking a bit of creativity and learning how to dream and have a little fun again.
How to vision board effectively
Take a moment to think about how you want to live. Maybe close your eyes. Visualize the types of relationships you’ll have, how you spend your time, and where you’ll travel in the world. A great place to start is by imagining big goals you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime. This will help you focus on what’s truly important to you and help you to set up clear goals for the coming months and years.
You can use those big lifetime goals for your vision board or, and this is encouraged, break down the goals into what you can accomplish in the coming months or years. The shorter-term visions and plans can set you up to succeed, versus feeling completely overwhelmed.
You can make a vision board online using templates and maybe a photo manipulation site like Canva or you can go more tactile and old-school, creating a vision board with poster board, magazines and a glue stick.
Remember, part of the ‘magic’ and neuroscience of this is to keep the vision board visible to you. You may want to make it your phone or laptop background. Or put the poster board up at your office where you’ll see if often.
What should I do with my vision board after I make it?
A quote by Henry David Thoreau provides a partial answer: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”
If you already have your vision board visible, you’re on the right path. The next step can involve ‘foundational’ planning; taking your big dreams and creating action steps, habits, and routines to get you where you want go in all areas of your life.
Use your vision board to motivate you. It’s personalized to your unique desires for your life. When you feel down-trodden or unfocused, it can remind you of what you want – and inspire you to take action.