What is a vision board? A vision board is a tool that can be used to clarify the goals we have for our lives during a given time frame. It includes specific pictures or quotes that helps us to envision the lives we’ve always dreamed of living.
The Power of Visualization
According to the New York Times, Olympic Athletes use the power of visualization as a form of mental training to improve performance. They are told to vividly picture a scenario where they performed at their peak or to imagine a future desired outcome. They are instructed to imagine what it would feel like to perform in that scenario. This mental rehearsal is thought to train the mind and the body to perform the skill imagined.
Visualization has surfaced in several different books as well. For example in the book The Secret, the author says “When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”
Why is it important?
Vision boards are powerful because they:
- Provide clarity about what exactly we want our lives to look like – When we have clarity we are able to formulate a plan.
- Help us to work more productively towards our goals since productivity is a result of clarity – When we have concrete goals we constantly prioritize the behaviors or actions that help us get closer to our goals.
- Keep us focused and motivated – There are so many distractions that can take us off the path we intended to take. For example maybe your goal is to save and you have been doing well for the last few months and then all of a sudden you have a month where you get into a car accident and have to shell out extra funds to fix your car for this unanticipated event. This can be disheartening and frustrating and can make you want to give up on your goals all together. Having a vision board can help us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I encourage you to create your own vision board. If you need a little push, tell your friends about your idea and host a vision board party.
What you’ll need
- Cork board or Poster Board
- Markers, colored pencils, crayons, sharpie, pens etc.
- Magazines/Books that can be cut up
How do I create one?/What does a vision board include?
What are your goals in Education? Finances? Community Service? Relationships? Health? Career? Think about your goals in each area. If you need inspiration feel free to revisit my blog post on defining success. Once you’ve determined your goals, you should find pictures or quotes that support those goals and begin pinning them to your cork board.
Consider the 5 senses when creating your vision board. It’s just as important to focus on how you want to your ideal life to feel. For example, I want to feel as energetic, motivated, and focused as I’ve felt when I attended a workshop last year, so I included a wrist band from the conference.
Take it a Step Further:
Make sure your goals are SMART. Smart is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound.
Specific – Is your goal clear? What exactly are you trying to accomplish and why? If your goal is to loose weight, how much weight would you like to loose? Your plan or workout regimen will be different depending on whether you would like to loose 10 or 20 pounds.
Measureable – Your goal needs to measurable so that you are able to assess whether you are making progress. When you are able to measure your goal you are able to determine how far away you are for completing it.
Attainable – You should be trying to determine how your goal can be accomplished. As you think of answers, you should assess whether your abilities and skills match up with the actions you need to take. It’s great to push yourself out of your comfort zone but make sure your goal complements your skill set. For example it wouldn’t be very attainable to have a goal to sell out concert tickets in madison square garden within a year if you have no musical background, talent, or training.
Relevant – Make sure the goals you set align with who you are as an individual. You should be asking yourself if this goal will help you get closer to your overall vision for your life.
Time bound – You should give yourself a timeline for your goal. Its great to have a goal to write a book but you should give yourself a deadline so you’re not writing this book for 20 years and it never gets published.
Be sure to put your vision in a place where you can see it everyday. It should serve as a reminder of where you want to focus your efforts and how you want to spend your time.