How to create your own vision board
I like to envision my story of the future with the help of a ‘vision board’, a visual representation of how I’d like my life to look. Every year I redo my vision board and revisit where I am, what I have put my energy into and what possibilities are next. I update it with new pictures, quotes and words to focus on, and it is my treasure map to guide my next steps. It gives me purpose, clarity, direction and confidence. It keeps me motivated and inspired, and challenges me to stretch beyond a place of comfort.
The result of this simple practice over the past ten years has been a deepening knowledge of my desires, a greater sense of satisfaction and joy as life unfolds, and a growing sense of achievement. I can comfortably say ‘no’, my boundaries are clear and everything is driven towards my core values. It is my map to fall back on when life takes unexpected twists.
Vision boards are also great fun to put together. Positive images pull us forward into new possibilities that fuel us with hope, put us on the road to finding solutions and help us realise that we have the power to make things happen in our lives. A clear vision helps you communicate your intentions to yourself and motivates you to start acting accordingly. After all, how are you going to get where you want to go if you have no idea what success actually looks like?
To get in the driver’s seat of your life, you need to know where you’re heading; without a clear vision, you make yourself life’s passenger. This section is about stretching yourself, stirring up your creative side and mapping your hopes to create the life you most want to live. The goal is to think of exciting possibilities for what could be and to discover the greatest destination for yourself.
How can you start to make your vision a reality? I use my one-year vision board as a means of turning my longer-term dreams into shorter-term realities. It helps me paint a picture of the future I want to achieve, providing a daily touchpoint to inspire and guide me.
For example, if you want to be healthier, an image of the type of food you want to be eating will remind you of this each day. When you can see things, you can start feeling them, and then you can start believing in them and setting up the structures to get you there.
Creativity and visualisation are life skills that can be practised. Remember, ‘like attracts like’. Whatever we focus on, we give energy to. If we focus on stress, we get more stress. If we want joy, we need to feel and acknowledge joy when it is there; if we want wellbeing, we need to feel and focus on wellbeing. What are you envisioning for the upcoming year?
Start by simply printing out pictures or cutting out images or words that inspire you from magazines. Look through books for words, quotes and affirmations that warm your heart.
Think in key themes – like career, family, health, finance, fun and home – of the kind of life you wrote about creating. The more we can see, hear and feel what this vision of our future will be like, the stronger the pull to make it our reality will be. Pictures, words, symbols and colours are a great way to start tangibly creating this new reality.
There are also digital options for creating vision boards you might like to consider if you
want to see yours on your smartphone or as a screensaver. Whatever process you choose, be sure you can see your vision daily to guide you forward.
Questions to ask as you make your vision board
- Where will you be living a year from now?
- What will you be doing for work a year from now?
- Who will you be with a year from now?
- What emotions will you be feeling in a year’s time?
- How will you look after your health in a year’s time?
- Who will be inspiring your journey in a year’s time?
- What will you be learning a year from now?
- What are you telling yourself with these pictures?
- Is this the life you most want to be living?
How active is your vision board? This is your destiny, so make it vivid, vibrant and vital. Make it count.
Once you have completed your board, hang it in a spot where you can see it daily. Mine is in my office; some people hang theirs behind their bedroom door so they wake up to it. When you see it often, you start to commit it to memory; it becomes a part of your destiny and meditation process. Let your subconscious mind continually absorb this new reality every day and night, reminding you where you are heading in life. Allow the opportunities to flow into your life, and because you know where you want to go, you will see them clearly.
My vision board represents the space I need in life, the wellbeing that is at my foundation, my relationships, my role models and the characteristics in myself that I want to develop, my house/car and other belongings, and the places I want to travel. It includes my hobbies and the feelings I want to feel, as well as the basic things I am grateful for in life. It represents my purpose, values and definition of success. It gives me the confidence, optimism and courage to create the life I most want to be living.
You can download free screensavers for motivation and receive a free printable vision board here.
(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to bookdepository.com to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)