Things like vision boards get a bad rap.
I’ve been interested in self-improvement and highly goal-oriented for more than a decade, but years ago I wouldn’t touch anything as hokey as a vision board with a ten-foot pole.
However, for one reason or another, I was eventually convinced and now stand as a firm advocate for vision boards and their benefits.
The human imagination is powerful, but it works like a muscle. For most of us, that power remains potential power and it’s never fully utilized.
A vision board allows you to exercise your imagination regularly, creating a more vivid vision of your ideal life as you develop your ability that has real, tangible benefits. None of which require you to believe that things will magically arrive in your mailbox or bank account if you think about them long and hard enough, by the way.
If you have a burning desire to realize a cherished, long-held dream, a clear vision is a must. And a vision board can help you develop the skills to define and shape that within your mind, something that will stay with you long after the board comes down.
Have a vision. It is the ability to see the invisible. If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible.
– Shiv Khera
The benefits of creating a vision board
A vision board has several benefits, each incredibly important or valuable in their own way.
Here are the benefits I’ve taken from keeping, and reflecting daily upon, my vision board:
1. A vision board creates an emotional connection that motivates you
Forget attraction, a vision board motivates the crap out of you. Well, it can if it’s done right.
This works especially well if you make your vision board more than just pictures. Make it also about the emotions connected with your vision and the sensory experience of it all. What sounds, smells, and sights are associated with a particular aspect of your vision? What emotions? Relief, wonder, or joy?
A vision board is only as beneficial as the work you’re willing to put into it, so dig in and make it as thorough, exciting, and detailed as possible.
2. A vision board makes real the dream in your mind so you begin to believe it’s possible
When you make something more clear and concrete in your mind, it feels more real and attainable. You start to believe that, hey, I just might be able to make this happen.
That’s one of the most powerful benefits of a vision board. No matter what you believe about yourself, no matter how much self-doubt you have, a vision board done right will slowly begin to transform your inner belief system into one which is more confident, certain, and self-motivated.
3. A vision board helps you clarify what you want out of your life because it forces you to put something down
What if you actually don’t have a burning desire or great, big dream? What if you haven’t really figured it out yet? If you have some vague idea, something you can at least get down on the board, I’ve found it can actually help us clarify our desires.
As you reflect on your vision board each day, certain things pull on you and others become increasingly tiresome. After a while, you begin to notice you don’t really care about this. But that, well that is something you’re excited to reflect on each day.
Go in the direction of those things that pull you and don’t be afraid of modifying your vision over time.
How to create an effective vision board
We’ve touched on a few of the more intangible but critically important parts of creating an effective vision board already.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with the general idea or want to make sure you get things right, here are some basic instructions for putting together a vision board.
1. Get clear on your vision
I assume that if you’re reading this, you already understand the importance of this. However, if you don’t, know that before you can create a vision board you need to have spent a bit of time crafting that vision first.
What are your major goals? Do you have one undying dream for your life? Expand upon that. What will each of the areas of your life — say professional, financial, relationships, and personal — look like once you’ve realized that dream?
2. Create a folder and obtain images with Google search
Create a folder, either digital or physical, and start gathering photos that represent each major goal or element of your dream.
My suggestion is to simply do a few quick Google searches. You’ll find images of literally anything you need in a matter of seconds (don’t waste your time going through old magazines).
3. Organize images onto a poster
Once you have your images, all you need to do is put them together in a way that is pleasing and effective for you.
My suggestion is to take your vision board to a different level and, instead of just collaging a bunch of pictures together, create a page or a section on a large poster that represents each goal.
Type up or write a summary of each goal in these different sections and surround it with your pics. That way, when you’re reviewing your vision, the goals are already written within plain view to read and reflect upon instead of having to refer to a separate page with your written goals.
This might end up being a bit large, however, if you use a graphic design service like Canva.com for the entire process you can make everything pretty tight and uniform on a single large poster. However, feel free to use whatever program or process that works best for you.
Once that’s complete, you’ve officially completed your vision board. Just make sure to spend five to ten minutes each day reflecting on it including the emotions and sensory experiences related to each aspect of your vision.
If you do that, you’ll make full use of the incredible benefits of a vision board to motivate you to action and make your dream more believable than ever before.