When you think about what you want to accomplish in the future, can you visualize it? Or are they just words that seem to mean something, and it’s hard to put your finger on what they really mean?
Sometime last year, I realized that although I thought I was clear on what I wanted to accomplish, when a dear friend asked me to describe what those goals and accomplishments looked like, I had a hard time describing them.
That’s when it hit me. Throughout my life, when I’ve had a clear visual of what success looked like and what I wanted to achieve, I would always do it. However, when I didn’t have a clear picture, and I just had an idea or a thought, it was harder to accomplish.
Towards the end of last year, I decided to do a vision board. I had never done one before, and after doing some research, I became fascinated by the notion that visualization is one of the most powerful exercises we can do. I was even more amazed at how fast I started to accomplish many of the goals I had on my vision board.
Why is a vision board important?
A vision board is a physical representation of your dreams and aspirations. It’s like a compass or a GPS that helps you reach your destination by gaining clarity and focus on where you are going.
Creating a vision board helps you think about what you really want and move from vague ideas to concrete expressions of your ambitions. Through your vision board, you will reprogram your brain so that most decisions you make will be in alignment with the goals you want to accomplish.
Through the images and words you select, you will feel excited and empowered to jump into action and do things to help you accomplish your goals.
How do you make a vision board that works?
Creating a vision board is not only about what you want to accomplish, it’s also about how you want to feel once you’re there. It’s the motivation of the experience that will inspire and drive you to action.
Although there aren’t any set rules to making a vision board, here are some of the best practices I found to help make one that works.
1. Define the topic(s):
You can make a vision board that covers your whole life or create multiple vision boards focused on different parts of your life. When I started creating mine, trying to fit everything from my personal and professional into one vision board caused it to become cluttered in an unsatisfying and overwhelming way. So I decided to make one for my personal life and one for my professional life; afterward, things started to fall nicely into place.
Here are some topics you can use as inspiration when crafting your board: relationships, career, finances, home, travel, personal growth (including spirituality, social life, education), health, and well-being.
If you are creating a vision board for your business, here are some subjects you might want to consider: revenue, revenue streams, partnerships, team members, awards and recognitions, locations, organizations, publications, and offerings, amongst others.
You don't have to cover each of these topics all at once; you can explore breaking them down into two vision boards: one for this year and one for the longer term.
Search for images, words, and quotes that not only reflect your goals and aspirations but also reflect how you want to feel, how you see yourself when you’ve reached your goals, and most importantly, why you want to accomplish them.
Many vision boards lack motivation because they don’t include how you want to feel or why you want to accomplish your objectives. For example, it’s not the same adding an image of money vs. an image of the places you want to visit.
Keep in mind that when you see your vision board, you should feel joyful, energized, and excited about what you want in life.
Your vision board should come with some form of action. It is essential, experts say, that it includes images associated with an action. For example, instead of a photo representing you in a perfect new job, you could add an image of your résumé to represent the job search. Instead of a photo of a toned fitness model, add images of fitness equipment or yourself working out.
It's important to identify short and long-term action steps that will help paint a clearer picture of the path to your goals. Don’t forget to include inspiring call to action phrases that will invite you to get going. So… “don’t stop until you’re proud!” and “be stronger than your excuses.”
After creating your vision board, put it in a place where you can continuously see it – your nightstand, your home office, or use it as a screen saver on your computer, tablet, or phone. I recommend that you take a few minutes every day to intentionally look at your board and take a small action that gets you closer to your goals.
Keep in mind that you can update your vision board regularly. As your life changes, so should your board.
So, as you think about the year ahead, what does success look like? What inspiring and exciting images and phrases come to mind?
"Create a Vision that makes you wanna jump out of bed in the morning"
Ilhiana Rojas is a certified Executive & Career Transformation Strategy Coach with a lifelong career of guiding people from ordinary to extraordinary.
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