the weekly spark: create a vision board

a visionSPARK participant works on her vision board

Last week, I shared with you my Word for the Year tradition (I’ll reveal my word for the year in Tuesday’s post).  This week, I want to share with you another annual New Year tradition I have:  Making a vision board.
If my word for the year is all about intention, then my vision board- go figure- is all about vision.
So often, our approach to goal setting is very task oriented.  Vision boards allow us to be a little more creative in our goal setting, allowing our conscious and sub-consious to speak to us about what we want.  My first ever vision board was actually a vision wall.  My sweet parents let me to transform one wall of my bedroom into a giant collage.  It took me the four years of high school to cover it, but every day that wall served as an important reminder of who and how I wanted to be in the world.  It was my constant touchstone, my always present inspiration.  While my family’s finances couldn’t afford me many experiences, that board made me think anything was possible.  It gave me hope and expectation.

While my current vision boards take up less real estate, they are just as epic for me.  Every year, I sit down and piece together words and images that capture how I want the new year to go, what I want to focus on, and how I want to be.

In my first year of parenting, the board featured images of joyful and active women.  It had words on it like eat well, your time, make life more colorful, finding your voice, raise a great kid, soul, and happiness.  In that year, I wanted to focus on family, on being happy even in the hard places, on living a simple, delicious life.  That board perfectly captured my intentions.

My 2011 board featured images of a little boy reading, a deck chair facing an ocean, art supplies carefully laid out, a woman reading under a tree, a seedling, a woman bent over a desk, creating.  Words and phrases like energize your life, find your motivation, passion, take flight, live healthy, new beginnings, breathing space fill the rest of the board.  What I wanted from that year was mission-centered living both professionally and personally and more time to just be who I was.  I accomplished the mission-centered living but found that I failed at creating a time margin in my life.  Both those truths were part of the inspiration for my 2012 board.

My 2012 board was actually done in two parts.  On one side of my black foam board is my personal vision.  Images of a woman running, a woman and child gardening, a tranquil dock, women stand up paddling, and a woman doing yoga are interspersed between words and phrases like thinking outside the box, clarity and simplicity, be spontaneous, self-awareness, play to your strength, natural beauty, and cozy retreat.  What I wanted in my personal life was simple, wholehearted, healthy living.  On my professional vision board were the words inspire creativity, celebrating women, everyone has a calling, on a mission, life lessons, and reflect among images of blue skies, green fields, and balloons aloft.  My professional goal last year was to make the self-awareness, self-acceptance journey I offer in books and collegiate classes available to all women through in-person workshops and retreats.  I wanted my professional vision board to capture that dream.

Again in 2013, I completed two boards- a professional one and a personal one.  

On my professional board, you see things like So You Want to Change the World, A Beautiful Difference, When You Plant a Seed, You Grow A Movement, Something Beautiful is about to Happen, Reinvent Yourself, Shine On.  These are references to my professional missing of empowering women to embrace their authentic selves, find their passion and purpose, and give their gifts to the world.  The images reflect some of the tools of the trade– horses and art supplies- and the feelings I hope my work evokes in others.

On my personal vision board, you see things like Before You Take on the Morning, Take Care of You, Find Your Strong, Where the Living Is Easy, Soul, Dwell which reference my desire to not let my self-care go when things get hectic, my desire to make life as easy as possible by creating space and balance, pleasant space and happy times.  The images really speak to the feelings I most want to have in my life and some of the things I want to do like paddle board, yoga, run, and spend time with friends.  There’s a young Ethiopian girl on my board which reminds me of the sense of kindredness I feel with Ethiopia.  And that cottage over the water?  Please let me live there one day.
When I am done with my vision board, I feel both a sense of satisfaction for capturing something so big- a vision- tangibly.  And I also feel a sense of incredible promise and possibility.  That feeling comes back every time my eyes flit over the boards while I am working in the Sugar Shack.  That feeling expands.  When you surround yourself with personal inspiration, your life more and more takes that shape because you are paying attention and attention is a powerful thing.

This week, make your own vision board.  Is a vision board new to you?  If so, follow these steps.

1. Start with a diverse array of magazines (friends and family give me their back copies).  Go through and pull words and images that resonate with you.  Don’t over think it.  Just gather everything that speaks to you and collect it in one place.  I typically drop everything into a Ziploc storage bag.
2. When you feel you have enough material to work from, gather your supplies.  You need scissors and double-stick tape or glue.  You will also want a poster board or foam board.  I prefer foam boards for their size and shape and they are easy to rest on windowsills or the top of door frames but poster board is much easier to hang on walls so you might want to consider where you’ll display it to get the right board.
3. Lay all of your words and images out before you and look for duplicated messages, images, and synchronicity.  Hone in on the words and images that most resonate with you and then create your vision board.  And don’t worry if an image totally resonates with you but you don’t know why.  If it really speaks to you, put it on your board.
4. Display your vision board in a location where it will regularly catch your eye so that it can serve as a gentle reminder of what you want for yourself this year.  Enjoy!
Have you ever made a vision board?  Did it inspire you?  Can you see yourself making a vision board this year?  How might it be a good tool for you?
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One response to “the weekly spark: create a vision board”

  1. Shanna Carson

    Hi Rosie,

    I agree that we need a vision board as it helps us to define and focus on our hopes, goals and dreams 🙂

    The Law of Attraction works, but reflects our dominant and most practiced thoughts. We can’t spend 5 minutes on a new thought and 23 hours and 55 minutes thinking the old thoughts and have anything change. A vision board will definitely help to get a positive focus all day long. I know that many people like digital vision boards, but I believe that a physical vision board will do better because it’s easier to keep it in a place where we always see it.

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