The end of a year - or beginning of a new one is a great time for people to get focused on what they want from the year ahead – or even their lives. For me, a Vision Board is a way of teaching our mind to focus on the things that are important to us!
A "Vision Board" can help people:
- Clarify who they are, what they want or where they’re going.
- Get their new year off to a flying start.
- Tap into their inner wisdom and create some focus for themselves.
What is a Vision Board anyway? A Vision Board is simply a collective name for a wide variety of inspirational maps (a collage) that we create from pictures. The map can be WHO we want to be or HOW we want our lives to be but it’s a visual representation of our goals and dreams—a powerful way to make our aspirations more tangible and attainable.
How I believe Vision Boards work: Our minds can only hold about 7 pieces of information at any one time. And yet there are millions of pieces of information available to us at every moment (think about everything you can see/hear/feel for starters). So, to ensure we don't get overwhelmed, our mind learns to filter information and to only show you pieces of information it thinks is RELEVANT. That’s why when we get a new car we suddenly notice little red cars everywhere - just like ours.
THIS is one of the key ways that Vision Boards work. The very act of CREATING the vision board tells our mind what’s important – and it may just draw your attention to something you might not otherwise have noticed.
How to create a Vision Board: Simply get your clients to cut out and collect pictures, words, quotes that inspire them or that catch their eye. THEY MUST NOT ANALYSE! If it grabs them, tear it out! Then ask them to paste and organize these images, words, quotes etc onto a big piece of paper, giving it a title and date.
How much time to allow: This will depend on your client, but when I run a Vision Boarding Workshop I usually allow around 2 hours (this allows for introductions, getting settled in and a little reflection/closing at the end). If someone is doing a vision board by themselves - I would say to allow 1-1 1/2 hours. Finally, it can also be fun for your client to get a group of friends together and make an evening of it - then they should probably allow 2-3 hours for chatting etc.
What they’ll need: A piece of bristol board or cardboard, scissors, coloured pens, glue and a supply of inspirational magazines to cut out pictures from (eg. Oprah, home magazines, spiritual magazines, National Geographic etc.)
- The Vision Board MUST HAVE PICTURES – even if they are just line drawings and stick men/women.
- While they look for pictures, they should allow their minds to run free and dream. INCLUDE ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING that appeals or speaks to them!
- When creating a Vision Board, HOW THEY FEEL is more important that what they think!
- Include PERSONAL AFFIRMATIONS or inspiring quotes to nurture and cherish themselves.
- Use COLOUR! Coloured felt-tip pens, colour post-it notes, colour pictures, make it VIBRANT and exciting.
- Encourage them to look for the UNFAMILIAR – to get outside their ‘normal’ box…
- Finally, remind them this is not about creating an artistic masterpiece but creating something that visually INSPIRES and EXCITES them!
Finished? Well, there are two main schools of thought out there as to what to do next and I have had clients who have had great success with both methods.
SCHOOL 1) Says FORGET about the Vision Board, put it in a closet. You’ll find it in 5 years and things will magically have happened. This is so that we remove any attachment to it and don’t FORCE things or try too hard. After all, when we put something somewhere obvious, we tend to stop seeing it after a while anyway.
SCHOOL 2) Put the Vision Board somewhere you'll SEE IT EVERY DAY – to remind, inspire and focus us. And then every once in a while, just sit down and REALLY LOOK AT IT. Review it, allow yourself to feel it and get excited by it. Just before we go to sleep is a great time to do this as it allows our mind to work on it and absorb it over night.
But whatever people decide to do with their Vision Boards afterwards, the vision has been created. And who knows where that will take them...
"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." Gloria Steinem
If you liked this article about Visioning and Vision Boards, you may also like:
- Our Extraordinary Goal-Setting Toolkit
- Coaching Tools 101: Life Vision Exercise Ideas for Visioning and Life Planning!
- 10 Meaningful Areas to Reflect On as the New Year Approaches…
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