There is power in visualizing what you want.
While a lot of people may think that vision boards are too new-agey and “woowoo,” going through the process of articulating your dreams and goals can be life-changing and deeply focusing.
Here are just some of the benefits you can experience creating a vision board:
Clarity. People who swear by vision boards extol their magical powers of manifestation. That if you put a photo of a big house on a poster, you’ll manifest that house into your life. But the real power of vision boards isn’t manifestation (although it would be nice to visualize a mansion into existence...).
What’s empowering about vision boards is that they encourage you to get clear and specific on your wants and inner desires.
We all say that we want a better life but what does that mean exactly? And what does that look like? By collecting images that resonate with you, you’re allowing yourself to get crystal clear and connect with the things that truly matter to you - and also noticing what things don't matter as much - which provides focus.
Visual reminder: Whether it’s a vision board or an inspirational quote on the wall, a strong visual cue can give you the motivation you need to act on your goals. It’s not enough to internally desire a goal--we need reminders that we can ignore, to help us get up off the couch and get into motion.
It’s similar to the practice of leaving your gym bag by the door. The visual cue of the gym bag reminds you that, in the morning, you're going to work out. A vision board or quote or even a journal entry can give you the gentle nudge you need to get moving.
Mindfulness: Scrolling through images on our phone can leave us feeling vacant. But there’s something about the tactile nature of creating a vision board that helps us get into a calm, relaxed state.
Flipping through pages of a magazine. Taking a pause to examine images that resonate with us. Using scissors to cut these images out and paste them to a poster board. Similar to how handwriting can help make our goals a reality, the act of creating a visual representation of our goals can help us commit to them.
Here are some ways that you create different types of vision boards and get closer to meaningful ideas in your life.
Here at Ink+Volt, it’s no secret that we are big fans of journals and notebooks, and the comfort that they provide. That’s why we really love Rachel Miller’s concept of a Heartsong Journal. The author describes a heartsong journal as “a scrapbook of the soul.” Unlike a typical journal, where you would document your day or record your goals and habits, a Heartsong Journal is more like a catalogue of your favorite things or as Miller calls it: “an encyclopedia of you”
- Describe your ideal morning routine
- Make a list of your favorite restaurant meals
- Keep a log of feel-good movies
- Record your favorite cozy recipes
- Write down mindfulness quotes that help you feel centered
- Write down compliments from friends and coworkers
- Make a list of your accomplishments, big and small
- Create a travel wishlist
You can refer to your Heartsong Journal whenever you need a pick-me-up or a reminder of the things and activities that bring you peace, love, and strength. As for how often you use your journal, it’s up to you. You can use your journal once a year, maybe around special occasions like the holidays or your birthday, or you can do it regularly, and incorporate it into your weekly or monthly planning session.
Create a self-care box
A Self-Care Box or Joy Toolkit is like having a toolbox or a doctor’s medicine bag except it’s filled with items that provide comfort, and help you heal emotionally and spiritually. Keep this box handy for regular self-care Saturdays or for those days when everything feels intense and stressful and you just need to take care of yourself.
For the box itself, you can use a simple shoe box and decorate it with pretty images or construction paper, or any kind of storage box will do.
Here are some items you can store in your self-care box.
- A soothing candle
- Packets of chamomile or peppermint tea to help you feel calm. Or turmeric ginger tea when you need to feel energized
- Coloring book
- Pretty glitter pens
- Postcards from your favorite cities
- Favorite magazine
- Nature photo
- Gratitude journal
- Photos and images that make you happy. Maybe it’s family photos or wanderlust photos or a group photo with friends. Whatever brings a smile to your face
5 or 10-year plan
On the Tim Ferris podcast, designer Debbie Millman shared her writing exercise for creating a 5 or 10 year plan. This is an exercise that she learned from her former teacher and famed graphic designer Milton Glaser.
In this exercise, think about a day 5 years from now. Write down the date and the year. Then, describe your day, and be specific and detailed. For example, describe where you are living, what your home looks like, who you’re living with, where you are working. Be as specific as you can. Then, refer back to this entry every year and see how your life has been unfolding.
Here are some tools you’ll need to get started on creating a vision board:
- Poster or construction paper for your board. It can be as big or small as you like, just make sure it’s sturdy enough to paste pictures on.
- Magazines. It might be good to have a variety so that you can have lots of images to choose from.
Flip through your favorite magazines and cut out photos that resonate with you.
Try not to judge yourself during this process. We’ve been programmed to think that wanting nice clothes or a big home is superficial, or that taking a vacation is selfish. Try to quiet any distracting voices and allow yourself to get in tune with what really strikes you. Maybe it’s an image of a sailboat or a pretty sunset or a hammock swinging under a tree.
See what tickles your fancy. You can even cut out photos of celebrities or people who inspire you.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to photos. You can cut out quotes that are meaningful to you or cut out individual words to compose your own mantra.
Then, start gluing the photos onto the paper. You can even get creative with how you arrange them. If you need some inspiration you can check some examples here.
Hang your vision board where you can see it regularly and feel inspired. Feel free to get in touch and let us know which vision board exercise you did and how it worked out for you!