I like to think about the New Year way before it starts. Usually by mid-September, I’m scouring my mind and making way for thoughts of the New Year.
I’d heard of vision boards some years ago but never did one. I’m a visual person so I thought to try something different whilst I was feeling excited about the New Year.
I wanted to make sure I got it done last year so I emailed half a dozen friends to see if they were interested in a group activity. I got positive responses but in the end only three could make the date I had available. 50% is not bad eh?
I went onto google, as you do, to find out some information about creating Vision Boards and facilitating a group activity on them. Nothing major, I just skimmed through some articles and was ready to go.
Don’t be fooled by the terminology though. They are nothing more than mood boards for goals/ambitions. Interior and graphic designers have been employing them for years. I always marvel at how life coaches turn age-old wisdom into freshly developed pearls of wisdom but I digress. It is simply a pictorial view of something you want to achieve. Works particularly well for people who are quite visual.
I’m the sort a person that you would take to a dilapidated building site and would see nothing but rubble. I need to see designs, swatches, colours, walls and all for it to excite me. If you are that kind of person, this would work really well for you. However, at the end of the day, it’s just a tool.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work, especially as I had other people with me on the journey but I’m always up for learning new things and pushing my boundaries. It’s not like we were going to the North Pole right? Just in case though I was ready with food, drink and good company.
If you thinking of trying this out here’s what you need:
- Card: I went for A2 but I suppose you could stick together a few A4 cards to get the size you want.
- Magazines: loads of different kinds. You can ask your GP or hair salon for copies they are throwing out as well.
- A quiet space to do it with some relaxing music helps
Step 1: Think about what you want to achieve. Could be what you want 2015 to bring, what you want the next ten years of your life to look like, a home renovation project – whatever. It’s whatever you want.
Step 2: Go through the magazines and without really thinking, pull out images or words that jump out at you. This could take about half an hour. Just keep pulling them out. Having a variety of different magazines helps as in our case I found out that having only two types was a bit limiting and it took more time to search through. So ensure you have a wide breadth of magazine choices
Step 3: This is the fun part. Start cutting out images and sticking them on your card or board. You might find that you have some sort of theme running through your pictures and could arrange them according to that. Or there might be no common thread at all so just stick them wherever and however you want. Don’t fall into the trap of creating a board that people want to see. It’s your life, your board.
Step 4: Once you are done sticking, take a step back and look at your board and see if anything resonates with you. The key is to be open to whatever it may bring your way. One of my friends, discovered that whilst she was doing a lot of things and was mega busy, she had been spending time doing things that didn’t please her. The board helped her to realise this and I’ve already seen her make changes to her life.
Step 5: If the board worked for you i.e. it inspires, tells you something new about yourself, validates, etc. then stick it up on a wall where you can see it regularly as a reminder of what you want to achieve.
I’ll have to admit that one evening wasn’t enough for me. I ended up sticking my images and words by theme but I didn’t have enough pictures. However, once my themes were in place and I realised these were the things I wanted to accomplish in the next phase of my life, I went back to the magazines looking for images that matched my vision.
I’ve also gone a step further and done a vision board with my children which I’ll blog about soon. That was quite enlightening.
After the vision board comes action without which this is just a pretty picture on your wall. However, I do get a boost each morning by looking at it so in that sense it brought clarity to me as well as motivation.