Vision boards are fast being recognized as more than just a bit of creative fun and credited by leaders of our time a powerful tool for transformation. Notable celebrities including Olympian Rueben Gonzalez, Jim Carey, Oprah Winfrey, and Arnold Schwarzenegger frequently reference the important role that creative visioning has played in the realization of their dreams.
When I was very young I visualized myself being and having what it was I wanted. Mentally I never had any doubts about it. The mind is really so incredible. Before I won my first Mr. Universe title, I walked around the tournament like I owned it. The title was already mine. I had won it so many times in my mind that there was no doubt I would win it. Then when I moved on to the movies, the same thing. I visualized myself being a famous actor and earning big money. I could feel and taste success. I just knew it would all happen. --Arnold Schwarzenegger
A vision board is quite literally a collage of pictures, phrases, poems and quotes that visually represent what you would like to experience more of in your life. The physical process of creating a vision board can be extremely powerful in uncovering hidden desires and making contact with inner guidance to help clarify the details for the road map of your future.
Anyone Can Create A Vision Board
Some people are initially hesitant to take time out to experiment in making a vision board, especially if they don’t naturally think of themselves as a ‘creative type’. If this is happening for you, then I want to reassure you that anyone can create a powerful board. Devoting a few hours to the process will be time well spent because the results that follow are often truly profound.
When created in alignment with one’s true values, positive beliefs, inspired goals, positive intentions, heartfelt aspirations and an attitude of gratitude, vision boards support not just positive thinking but crucially also support the development of inspired strategies and goal setting, providing a plan for the positive action-taking required to bring about desired results. Create a board that corresponds with the highest vision your heart holds for you, rather than an ego-directed shopping list.
Getting Ready To Make Your Vision Board
I have been running vision board workshops and courses for several years, and participants never cease to surprise me with their ingenuity when creating their boards and the powerful transformations they experience as a result of using their boards to help them stay focused and inspired in their lives.
You may wish to put pictures that you have drawn or painted on your board. Alternatively, they may all come from external sources like magazines and brochures or images that you have found online. Regardless of the source, the key to creating a truly powerful board is to use your inner navigation system to help you intuitively select images and phrases that most inspire you.
I recommend allowing about three hours in total for the creation of your board, so that you can do it at a relaxed pace, without feeling rushed. Some people finish much quicker than this; some feel they need a little longer.
Here is a breakdown of a guideline for timings:
- 30 Minutes – Preparing Space
- 1 Hour – Tearing Out Images
- 1 Hour – Sorting Through and Positioning Images
- 30 Minutes – Sticking Down/Fixing in Place
The most popular formats for vision boards are:
- Intuitive Board – Stick what you want, wherever you best feel it goes.
- Mandala – meaning ‘circle’ in Sanskrit. Position your images, words, and phrases in a circular format.
- Balance Wheel Board – Section your board into separate areas of your life
7 Simple Steps to Create Your Board
1. Board Basics – Choose a large piece of card, poster board, corkboard or canvas about the size of a large newspaper opened out. Your board needs to be big enough to spaciously arrange your selected words and images.
Gather approximately 10-20 assorted magazines. Use a variety of genres, (e.g., House & Home, Woman’s Glossies, Spiritual, Men’s Magazines, Health & Fitness, and Hobbies). Include a few travel magazines into the mix which are great for images of animals that can often represent qualities you would like to embrace more of and that uplift and inspire, energize or relax you. Hair and beauty salons, libraries and community centers are often happy to clear out old magazines.
You will also need pens, scissors, glue or pins, sticky tape and a current photograph of yourself.
Many people find that there is something incredibly cathartic about creating a board using their hands. However, some people prefer to create their board using a computer. Both methods work well.
2. Prepare a Space – Find somewhere quiet where you can be undisturbed and completely relaxed. Prepare a special space to work on your board. Gather all the materials you need together so that they are within easy reach. Do whatever it takes to make the space feel as comfortable and special as possible. Play some uplifting music without lyrics. Place a vase of fresh flowers in the area. Light a candle. Wear clothes that you feel good in. Open a window and allow fresh air to circulate through your space to shift any stagnant energy.
3. Mindset Magic – Let go of anything you feel you ‘should, ought to, or must’ aspire towards. Give yourself permission to explore the things that you really want to welcome more of in your life. Review your responses to the exercises that you have completed as part of this section of the book to help guide you towards images, words and phrases that are aligned with the things you really value and want to focus on, prioritise and develop in your life.
If you receive the inspiration and feel the desire to be, do, or have something in your life, then you absolutely can make it happen – even if you do not yet know how. As Walt Disney once said, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ Believe in the possibility of your dreams becoming reality for you. Believe that you are entitled to them. Fill your board with the energy of those dreams and the excitement and anticipation that they bring you.
4. Flick, Snip and Stick – Have fun flicking through magazines (or searching online) for images and words that inspire you. Tear or cut out anything that jumps out at you and make a pile of clippings. When you feel you have enough images, begin your board, put the magazines to one side and sit for a few minutes sorting through your images.
You do not need to know what the image represents for you at this stage. Simply focus on keeping all the images you love looking at and trust your intuition on any pictures that do not feel right. Sift through the pile so that only the images and words that really inspire you remain.
5. Arrange – experiment by positioning the images, words and phrases on your board in whatever way feels good. Once you are happy with the positioning of your various images it is useful to take a snapshot of your board using a digital camera. Images can easily move when you start sticking, so having this photo will help you remember where they each go as you start to glue or tape them down.
There is no right or wrong way to secure your images. Some people like them to be easily changeable – fixed with scotch tape or drawing pins. Others like them to be pasted down with glue and varnished for a professional-looking finish. Trust your gut feeling.
The important thing is to arrange your images with plenty of space in between, symbolising your intention to stay open to receiving more!
When you have finished your board place your purpose statement accompanied by a current photo of yourself at the centre of your board to symbolise you being the creator of your experience.
In addition to having a photo of yourself in the middle of the board, you can also add photos of yourself to some of your chosen images, (e.g., at the steering wheel of your racing car picture or in the middle of the image of a safari scene). This can add extra power to your board because it visually helps you put yourself in the board.
6. Position with Pride – Proudly display your board somewhere in your home or office where you are most active during the day and will see it regularly (even if this is from your peripheral vision). Ideally position it at eye level in a space that is in alignment with your vision – i.e., not above your toilet or inside a cupboard! An alternative to hanging it on a wall is to take a photograph of it and use it as a screensaver on your computer, laptop or Smartphone.
The more time you spend with your board the more movement you will make toward your goals, and the faster they will manifest into reality.
Ensure the space around your board supports your vision; clear away any clutter or things that don’t reflect the words and images on your board.
7. Activate Your Board – Once you have completed your board, take some time to sit with it and connect with the images, words and phrases positioned on it. Visualise yourself being, doing, having and experiencing all the things on your board as if they are already part of your life. State your purpose statement to yourself – out loud if possible.
Anytime when you feel like you need a break you can use your board to help you take a mini mind-holiday. Simply settle yourself somewhere comfy and allow yourself to take an imaginary journey into one of the images on the board. For example:
- Explore what it feels like to be the dolphin in the picture you cut out or how it feels to stand at the top of the mountain in your health section.
- Visualise yourself having dinner with the man of your dreams.
- Experiment with what it feels like to live in that house you would love.
- Play with the sensation of sparkling and shining like the diamond in your wealth section.
Let Your Vision Board Be An Ongoing Process
Allow your vision board to be a continuously moving creation with room to add more images as your ideas develop and change. Whenever you bring something on your board into being celebrate and express gratitude for this success.
You may like to keep a gratitude journal to acknowledge positive things as they come into your life, or alternatively pop a little smiley face or tick mark next to the corresponding image, word or phrase whenever you notice it has manifested itself.
In my experience, it also helps to share your board with those who are supportive of you. Sharing your board helps you declare your desires externally, the process of which makes them feel more real and therefore more attainable.
See It, Feel It, Be It
People who experience most success with their vision boards practice visualizing already having all the things they want to be, do, have and create in their lives regularly – every day. Include looking at your board as part of your morning ritual.
What I love, and what is so powerful about these inspirational, uplifting boards, is that because they come from inside you and are guided by your own inner longings, they are powerful tools for inspiration and change...I use mine as ways of shifting mood, appreciating myself more, and creating gratitude for where I am – as well as for supporting my vision of myself in the future. Other people see them and become inspired too. -- Elese Coit
©2014 by Jayne Morris. All Rights Reserved.
Published by Changemakers Books.
Burnout to Brilliance: Strategies for Sustainable Success
by Jayne Morris.
About the Author
Jayne Morris is resident life coach expert for NHS Online Health Sector, contributor to The Huffington Post and has been featured in leading publications including The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Red, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Fitness and many more. She is a popular international speaker, workshop leader, radio and TV personality. Find our more at www.jaynemorris.com