Vision Boards; unheard of or well known, common or abnormal, ridiculous or extraordinary. All terms brought to mind depending on whether or not you have any experience with them. When explained in droll tones with too common themes it turns into a generic, lifeless, and drab board constituting our culture’s idea of a happy life. We all know we are not drones with the same hopes, desires, ideals, and wants. We are individuals with common goals, true, but we each have a unique vision of how to reach these goals and how the results will make us happy.
You dream of a healthier body; many of us have the same desires. We want to wake up in the morning and feel refreshed, be able to bike a favorite trail, chase after our children, or learn a swim stroke and have the energy for the activity. We want to walk into a store and find the clothes that are pleasing and not have our size be as much of a factor. To look in the mirror and be happy with what we see instead of critical, which then sends our self worth spiralling into the abyss. We want our children to see us as role models instead of the perfect example of what not to become. We want to be happy inside our own skin. Though it may seem pointless to those of you unfamiliar with the technique the use of vision boards, in conjuntion with visualization, can be a great tool for setting your mind into a state of change. This becomes your visual motivation and is the steadfast reminder of why your goals are worth achieving.
Lets use something you can see now as an example. You may dream of living in a grand and spacious house that practically cleans itself. I see myself happy with two homes, neither too large, that reflect and soothe different moods. One on the beach overlooking the ocean with trees and lush grounds; an open floor plan, hiding nothing. The other locked in a forest constructed with large, impressive logs and overlooking a lake; away from neighbors, but invitingly excessible when I wish for company. We both dream of a perfect and beautiful home, but our ideals of size, construction, location and beauty differ (the same as our opinions of a beautiful and healthy body). As should our vision boards. If it is not reflecting your personality, catching your breath when you glance at it, and invoking your most private dreams you have accomplished nothing.
Do not start with a grand gesture that is empty in substance. Take it slow, flip through magazines, go for a walk and open your eyes, scan through stock photos on your favorite search engine. Make note of anything that invokes only the best responses; a heart thump, a double take, a gasp. Not just any skinny body frame will do, not your average vigorous activity. Do not settle for just any well cut clothes or popular style. Do not settle for a magazines ideal for health. It is okay if you prefer starigh arrow while I prefer curvy. Who cares what everyone else wants? You will not get anywhere unless it is what you want. Nor will you get what you want if you can’t actually see yourself trying on those clothes, shopping in that store, catching that wave. You MUST see yourself as that ideal.
Next, is make it physical. Print up the pictures of what you want your life to be once you have accomplished your goals. Only print those pictures which elicit the best responses. A web page will not suffice and neither will a flimsy page in a notebook or planner. This must be “visual” so it needs to be big, available, and eye catching. Go out and pick up foam or poster board and get creative. Bring out your creative flair and decorate it with the pictures you find stimulating. Simply pasting them in rows on your board may not be stimulating to you. Feel free to add borders, doodles, anything that will draw your eye, but not distract from your printed goals. These pictures are your focal point and should remain center stage, but they should be pleasing to your eye when you catch a glance.
Display is the next important factor for success. Once your board is pleasing to you it should be placed where it will be seen by you. This place should be private, but not secluded. You want it to been seen as you live your life, but it is still private. You created this masterpiece for your purposes and not for public display. It should be placed where it will be regularly passed without drawing unwanted attention for anyone who would not understand. This may be a bedroom, hallway, home office, private work space. Make it seen- by you.
Once you have accomplished this you must work. No dream was ever achieved with idleness. Your vision board is a reminder, not a genie in a magic lamp. Its purpose is to remind you to keep your sites on your end results, much like a cart horse wearing blinders. The vision board is a blinder that will help you refrain from forgetting or shelving your goals. It is that thought in the back of your mind, always in place without keeping you from living. Knowing that your goals are not realized overnight or even in a year, it will be the reactivation of your future when disturbances and setbacks bring disappointment and despair. It is your friend telling you to never give up and never stop believing you are capable of greatness and what you desire can and will be yours one day.m