Have you heard of vision boards? They are not some kooky-fairy-hippie craft projects. They are a powerful tool to help you achieve your short-term goals and those Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goals (BHAGs)!
I am a big believer in goal-setting. If you don’t think about what you want to achieve, you will never get there. Putting something down on paper is the first step to acknowledging that goal, and then identifying the steps to get there. How can you get from A to Z, if you don’t know that Z is where you want to be? So if you want something, you need to write it down, share it with your partner and family, and start working towards it. The key to success is consistently working towards your goals.
Lady Gaga didn’t become a superstar overnight. She struggled for years playing local gigs, being signed on to labels and dropped, but she kept at it, always keeping her BHAG in mind (which was probably to be the biggest pop star in the world). We have also heard the story that actor Jim Carrey wrote himself a $10 million dollar check when he was a struggling actor in LA. When Carrey was young his family was so poor at some point that they were living out of their van on a relative’s lawn. Even at that age, Jim knew then that he had a greater calling. At the age of 10, he mailed his resume to the Carol Burnett Show. Now that’s audacity in your dreams! So in 1990 he wrote himself that check and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995, and carried it in his wallet from then on. In 1995, he actually made over $20 million and achieved amazing success with movies such as Ace Ventura and The Mask. That check was a visual daily reminder to Jim that he had a BIG DREAM and it motivated him to keep at it. A vision board is that check- times a hundred! Here are some reasons why you should consider making a vision board:
1. It helps with goal-setting
As I mentioned earlier, goal-setting is the first step to achieving your goals. When you create a vision board, you are forced to think about what your goals are. Since balance is key to happiness, you should think about goals in all areas of your life: health, financial, personal/partnership, career, and spiritual. Write down how these areas of your life are doing right now, and how you would like to change them. If you want to switch careers, write that down. Also write down what your ideal career would feel like, not just what that would be, but how it will make you feel. Are there colors associated with those emotions? Textures? Write it all down!
2. It unleashes your creative energy
Remember when you were a kid and you drew, colored, painted, and did all sorts of craft projects? Wasn’t that fun? Doing something creative like making a vision board is an awesome way to connect with that inner child and to harness your creative energy which unfortunately is dormant in many adults. When is the last time you were doing something and lost yourself in that task? That feeling of timelessness is called “flow”. Being in the state of flow is when your brain is fully engaged and you come up with your best ideas. As adults, we should try to participate in creative activities (singing, dancing, writing, drawing, painting, playing an instrument) on a regular basis to activate the right brain.
3. Visualization is a VERY powerful tool
You may have heard that the most successful athletes and entrepreneurs visualize their success. Professional athletes are taught to visualize them making that shot, the lay-up, the slap-shot- over and over again. They have to imagine themselves making that perfect play in order to execute it seamlessly in real-time. Vision boards help you find the images and words and colors to create a vision of your future. You put down on paper what your dream home looks like, or what the dream-mate looks like their characteristics, their personality. Visualizing your goals as vivid images and text, and looking at them daily is a powerful tool to activate your subconscious and keep that desire to achieve these goals alive! It’s best to put your vision board somewhere you will see it every day, ideally before you sleep and also first thing in the morning to help set the intention for the day.
4. It’s incentive to take action
It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks, errands, and issues of everyday life and forget about why we are working so hard, to achieve what in the end? Are you working your butt off to buy a villa in France? Then put that villa somewhere you will see it as a daily reminder of what all this is for. That is your carrot at the end of the stick. That is your reward for the daily grind. A vision board will remind you every day of your short-term and/or BHAGs. Each day you will see your intended future and be reminded of the big picture. It will motivate you to keep making those cold calls for your own business, keep going on those blind dates, keep saving up for your own home.
5. The Law of Attraction
I am a true believer in the law of attraction. When you think positive thoughts, positive things happen in your life. Not everything that happens to you all the time will be honkey-dory, but changing your outlook and putting out positive energy WILL profoundly change the people you attract, others’ attitudes towards you, and most importantly your actions. Even if you don’t believe that there is such a thing as the Law of Attraction, its common sense that you need to have a can-do and positive attitude to be successful – that could mean being a good influence on your children, being good at your job or attract the right mate. No one likes a Debbie Downer! A vision board is a method for thinking positive thoughts, and putting them down on paper in the form of inspiring images and words. I have experienced first-hand the power of creating a vision board and seeing those goals manifest right in front of my eyes. When I created my first vision board, I was frustrated with myself as I did not know what my calling was. I had spent years trying to take evening classes and find “my passion”. On my vision board, I chose images that represented a fulfilling career, living my passion, and helping others. Within a year I enrolled at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and was on my way to becoming a nutritionist!
6. It’s FUN!
If nothing else, creating a vision board is a fun exercise to let out your creative energy and imagine what you want your future to be. If you do it with your partner you can come up with individual goals and goals as a couple, as a team. Thinking about your ultimate vacation or that beach-front cottage can be a lot of fun and bring you closer together. A vision board helps you think beyond the normal constraints of what your goals should be, and lets you dream past your current limitations.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook, poster board, inspiring magazines, glue, and markers! Here are some resources to help you walk through the process of creating a vision board:
Here are some awesome inspiration ideas from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/scrappinmichele/vision-board-samples/
I put together some inspiring magnets on my fridge so that I can see these positive thoughts daily. So you can create a vision board on your fridge, magnetic board, or even on Pinterest! Share your awesome and creative boards with us!