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 that year 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 woman sitting on a dock, her face upturned to the sun, 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. That woman sitting on the dock with her face turned towards the sun? That image was the perfect visual metaphor to show how I wanted to feel in my life. 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 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. My professional board featured words 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 mission 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. My personal vision board featured words like Before You Take on the Morning, Take Care of You, Find Your Strong, Where the Living Is Easy, Soul, Dwell which referenced my desire to not let my self-care go when things got hectic, my desire to make life as easy as possible by creating space and balance, pleasant space and happy times. The images really spoke to the feelings I most wanted to have in my life and some of the things I wanted to do like paddle board, yoga, run, and spend time with friends. Mostly, the board gave me a feeling. A feeling of clarity and space and what was true for me. Perfect.
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 my little nook of an office, and then it expands, encouraging me to get closer to it with ever sighting. 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.
Today, I want you to make your own vision board. Is a vision board new to you? If so, follow these steps.