When it comes to your ultimate goals, sometimes you really have to see it to believe it.
Whether it’s dreaming about your ultimate job and what it will take to get there or travelling to your dream destination, a little visualisation can go a long way.
Close your eyes and think about a dream that you have – a goal that you want to turn into a reality. You’re probably seeing different images in your head, visualising the feelings you might have as you achieve this dream and what it would mean to you.
What you’re seeing in your mind is essentially a representation of a vision board and you can, and should, turn the ideas and images you’ve just seen in your head into a reality. Not just by achieving the goals, but also by creating a visual representation of the objectives you want to achieve.
So what is a vision board all about? Let’s delve a bit deeper into the concept of vision boards, the benefits they will provide you with, and the steps you need to follow in order to create a vision board…
What is a vision board?
As the name suggests, vision boards are essentially a board full of images. But instead of having random pictures on this board, the aim of a vision board is to focus on your dreams and goals. Vision board images should be the images you see in your head when you think of what you want to gain, create or achieve. The vision board is there to be used as a tool for defining, maintaining and concentrating your focus on these dreams. It’s about making your goals and ideas in your head more concrete.
Your goals can relate to any area of your life. You can have a vision board about the career path you want to take or your business objectives. Your vision board can also relate to aspects of your personal life. You could create a board around the things you want to achieve in your life, whether that’s in the relation to travelling a lot of having a family.
Your vision in life will be different to my vision in life; therefore, your vision board will look completely different and highlight your specific goals with the images you see. The important thing to understand is that a vision board is a visual expression of your goals.
What is the point of a vision board?
You’re probably thinking what the purpose is for this board. Earlier on, I asked you to close your eyes and imagine your ultimate goal. So why can’t you just do this when it comes to achieving a specific ambition? What’s the purpose of putting it on a board? A vision board serves three main purposes. The objectives of a vision board are:
To identify your goals – visualising your goals on a board will make the goals more concrete. You turn the abstract thoughts in your head into real images. The through ‘I want to earn more money’ can turn into a much clearer goal when you’re staring at pictures of cash and the things you would buy with it, such as your dream home, holidays and nice cars. You’re clarifying that goal. Instead of saying ‘I want a good career in insurance’, you can use the images to identify what you mean by a ‘good career’ and what specific areas of insurance you’re looking to work in. A vision boards purpose is the take a goal or ambition you have and turn it into a concrete objective that you’re able to clearly visualise. The purpose is to know exactly what happiness or success looks like to you.
To reinforce your daily affirmations – the purpose of a vision board is also to act as a daily reminder of your goals. Think about it; when was the last time you sat down to think about your dreams? You probably thought of them earlier when I asked you to close your eyes but it’s unlikely that you do that every day. Who can blame you? Our lives are busy with work and time with friends and family; we can’t constantly be thinking about our goals. But this is important for you to achieve your goals. With a vision board, you’re creating a visual representation of all your goals and you’re reminded of them every day. You can glance the board and get confirmation of the road you’re taking.
To maintain your focus on the goal – As well as reinforcing your daily affirmations, the purpose of a vision board is to help you maintain your focus. If you’re just thinking about your goals, it’s easy to sidetrack or to accept less than you actually wanted. You may end up telling yourself ‘Well I’m now a director, I should be happy with that because it has made my life comfortable.’ A vision board helps to keep your eye on the ball. You don’t want to be a director, you want to be a CEO. The daily reminders of your hopes and dreams ensure that you don’t settle for less and you work towards the objective you actually want.
How to create a vision board
Creating a vision board isn’t difficult. However, you want to take enough time for the creative process to guarantee the best possible results. You don’t want to end up rushing it, as this could lead to a half-hearted attempt and can generate negative results. You need to put a lot of thought into your vision board and really look at what you’re looking to achieve from it in order to make it work.
So don’t try to rush it or complete it on a tight schedule. If necessary, take a breather and get back to it a bit later if you’re unable to focus your thoughts.
So what needs to be done to achieve a vision board?
Step 1 – Define your goals
The most important part of the whole process is defining your goals. You may think that this is the easy bit – you might be thinking “I know what I want!’ But do you, really? The truth is that a lot of the time we think we want something when we actually don’t. this isn’t our own fault, as a society and the people around us can pile the pressure on. You should have a solid career, be married and have a family by the time you’re 30, and so on. There are all sorts of messages around is, making it confusing to know what’s real and what’s not. Do you really want to own that snazzy car or is it just because everyone else wants it?
For the vision board to motivate you, it’s important to have a vision that you actually care about. In order to visualise your goals, you need to select the kind of vision board you want to create, Do you just have a general theme in mind or are you sure of exactly what you want? Essentially, you want to have an idea of what you’re visualising: a short or long-term goal and in your private life or business?
Once you’ve established this, you can start looking into your goals in detail. It’s important to note that you can decide how broad you want your vision board to be, Some people create one about their goals in all areas, while others may focus specifically on their career or their family.
So how do you know what your true goals really are? A good way to start is by answering these three big questions:
Who do you want to be? – define the kind of person you want to be and how it relates to your visions. Are you hoping to be kinder, for example, to your colleagues? Do you want to be someone who is always helping others? Think about the attributes that you want people to attach to your name.
Where do you want to be in life? – you so want to think carefully about the place you want to be in life. This doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of a physical location, but the kind of life situation you’re aspiring to. Do you want to be surrounded by a large family? Do you want to live your life free from any responsibility? What are both the physical and non-physical surroundings you aspire to have? Again, for a team or business, this is about the place you want to be. A family run, locally known small business or a multi-million, central business? What is your main aspiration for the future?
What experience do you want to gain? – Also think about the experiences you want to gain, not just the feelings and skills you want to achieve. Do you want to try out new things and test your limits? Are you someone who wants to explore the world? It’s helpful to think about the experiences you want to gain when you’re establishing your goal. Perhaps you’re looking to travel the world before you settle down and start a family. Life isn’t just about the material things or feelings, it’s also about the things that we go through and experience.
If you find answering those questions or thinking about your dreams in detail a bit difficult, don’t be afraid to look for inspiration. You don’t have to wait for the ideas to just pop into your head. Gather inspiration from different sources such as:
– Newspapers, books and magazines
– Your old photographs
– Online images, websites and blogs
Be open to ideas and stop and pause when you come across an idea. At the beginning, you may find it helpful to scribble things on a notepad. Writing things down can be helpful when establishing your goals.
Step 2 – Gather your materials
Once you’re clear on the purpose and function of your vision board, you can start gathering the necessary materials. Browse some of the sources I listed above with an open mind. Look at the quotes or images, thinking about which ones appeal to you and which don’t. Don’t be too strict to begin with, unless you’re definitely clear about the exact words, images and quotes you want to use on your vision board.
If you’re looking for a picture of someone sunbathing on a beach in the Maldives, find that exact picture and don’t settle for less. However, if you’re not completely sure about the pictures you want to use on your board, simply cut out the ones that appeal to you for one reason or another. Don’t think about the text or the image too much, just set it to one side and continue looking.
The key to a motivational vision board really is about the feeling – what photo speaks to you, for whatever reason. You need to select the kind of material that brings out an emotion in you. There is no point in using an image to visualise your goals if the image doesn’t speak to you. So remember to keep your thoughts and ideas at the core.
Don’t cut out a picture of a lion to represent strength just because it’s generally considered to depict strength. You need to pick the images that speak to you and those that create a specific visual image in your head. If a tall building means success to you career-wise, then go for that!
Once you’ve got enough material, text or images, you can start going through them in more detail. You need to specifically consider them in relation to your goals and objectives. What was the main vision for your board? Perhaps it was the place you want to be in with your career in five years time or the things you want to have achieved ten years down the line. Now think about how the quotes or images you’ve chosen relate to this goal?
Ask yourself these questions to establish the purpose of each image you’ve chosen…
What draws you to the image or text? What’s the meaning of the image or text in terms of your goals?
You may notice a specific pattern, which may help you identify the purpose of your vision board clearer. You might have a few mages or quotes about physical health and your wellbeing – perhaps you’re looking to live a healthier life and now you know exactly what it looks like.
At this point, you should pick the materials that relate to your vision and remove the ones that don’t. Don’t necessarily throw them away, just in case you ever want to come back and update your vision board or even create a new one.
Step 3 – Glue, stick and paste your vision board
You’re almost there! The difficult part is over and the fun can now begin! It’s time to design your vision board and create something special to help you in achieving your goals. If you’re designing a digital vision board, the process is pretty much the same. But instead of having to cut out and glue your images, you can simply copy and paste them. Alternatively, you could create a private Pinterest board. Try out some different designs and a variety of ways to group and organise your photos. You can set out your board and place the photos without glueing them first, to get an idea of what the final product looks like.
This is a good point to take a step back and carefully consider the images you’ve chosen. Are you visualising exactly what you wanted? And does it speak to you the way you hoped it would?
If you don’t feel the vision in your images, keep trying until you find the texts, images or designs that work. Like I mentioned before, you don’t want to opt for something that ‘will do’; you need to have a vision board that speaks to you and highlights exactly what you’re hoping to achieve in the future.
Read the text and quotes out loud and talk yourself through your vision board. Tell yourself the stories behind each image. What does it represent? What does it bring to your goals? How will it change the way you work and live? By thinking these through, you can guarantee that you’ve chosen the right designs for your vision board.
How to use a vision board
You’re not done yet! Developing a motivational vision board isn’t just about the process of creating the board. But what you do with the board after it’s done is also increasing your chances of success. You need to make the vision board part of your everyday life in order to gain the rewards.
Look at your vision board regularly – your vision board should become a central part of your day. You don’t want to spend a lot of time designing it and putting it together, only to stick it in the back of your wardrobe. The whole point of a vision board is on the concept of visualisation – of you spending enough time looking at the objectives and going through them in your head. But how can you visualise if you’re not even looking at your board?
So you need to ensure that you look at your vision board regularly and spend a bit of time focusing on the images. Don’t just glance and it and think you remember all of the images with their specific meaning to your goals. Take a good look at your vision board and spend a few minutes analysing and thinking about the images you choose.
Why did you cut out that picture of the Range Rover? What does that image of lots of money mean to you? By focusing on your images and visualising the concepts in your mind, you reinforce your goals and your intention to achieve them.
To guarantee you do the above regularly, you shouldn’t just try and remember to look at the vision board. You need to make sure that the vision board is placed in a way that makes the effort of looking at it effortlessly.
Therefore, you should place the board somewhere where you can see it without having to remember you must look at the board. If you’re using the vision board for personal goals, you could hang it on your wardrobe door or even the fridge door. Amy place like that, which ensures you come face to face with your vision board regularly and without having to make an effort is a suitable place.
If you’re using a vision board for a business or team project, you can place it somewhere for everyone to see. It could be in the staff room, the meeting room, or perhaps even in the hallway. The point is to make sure the people who are part of the vision board regularly come into contact with it and spend a few minutes analysing the board.
What’s the best time to look at your vision board? You should look at it either first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. These are both the times where you’ll be open to confirmation and you might be looking for that extra bit of focus. Starting your day by visualising your dreams can ensure you spend the entire day working towards these goals without thinking too much about it.
However, night time is also a good time to spend a bit of time reminding yourself of the dreams ahead of you. By focusing on them just before bedtime, you can ensure your sub-consciousness continues to think about these objectives while you’re sleeping.
Vision boards are powerful tools for solidifying your dreams and slowly turning them into a reality. The process is perfect for identifying your goals and understanding exactly what you want from life.
The process and the actual vision board will help you to focus – something which is essential. You don’t lose sight of what you really want to achieve or settle for less. Above all, the vision board supports you in your journey towards those goals. It provides reassurance; you get that boost of self-belief when you look at the images you’ve chosen and remind yourself of your dreams ahead of you.
The good thing about vision boards is the flexibility that they offer. You can use them for a variety of goals, from achieving your dream career to just becoming a better person. The visualised format for achieving dreams can be used for personal goals or created for a business or team as guidance to achieving success. So, don’t waste any more time, start thinking about the dreams and desires that you want to visualise!
Don’t let any anyone tell you that your dreams are too big. Only you know what you want to achieve the most, so have no shame! Fill your board with things that will spark your creativity, and help you come up with ways to achieve those dreams. After all, life is too short to limit yourself.
So what do you think? Will you create a vision board if you don’t already have one? I hope the answer is yes.