Our dreams and goals are what give our lives meaning. They give us purpose and keep us passionate and motivated. Our vision of what we want to achieve in life gives us the courage and strength to keep going in difficult times and fuels our determination to succeed in the face of adversity.
Surprisingly, our digitally-centered world, while simplifying our life in many ways, makes it harder to stay focused on our goals. As we try to keep pace with our hectic lifestyle and unending commitments, we often get sidetracked and lose sight of our vision. We put our dreams on the back burner or shelve them away in our minds. The danger is that we get so caught up in the proverbial “rat race”, we risk losing our vision altogether.
This is why a vision board could be just what you need. As the name implies, it’s a tool that helps you keep your goals and visions alive.
This book will explain how a vision board works and why it can be an amazingly powerful tool. It will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create your personal vision board and how to use it.
Our goals and visions are unique to us. Whether your dream is to create a successful online business, own your own house or become CEO of your company, a vision board can help. If your vision is to become rich or famous, find true love or provide a good life for your family, a vision board can bring you closer to your dreams. The beauty of a vision board is that it can be customized to fit any vision or aspiration.
Creating a vision board is easy, enjoyable and costs next to nothing – but the results can actually transform your life!
Chapter 1: Why a Vision Board
First, let’s get familiar with the basics and benefits of a vision board and understand why it’s such a helpful tool.
What is a vision board?
A vision board is a surface (such as a bulletin board, magnetic board, or even a computer desktop) on which you display images of your future goals and dreams. These can include what you want to be, what to want to have in your life, and even people related to your goals who inspire you.
A vision board works to keep you focused on your goals and aspirations by looking at the images daily and visualizing your future life.
Benefits of using a vision board
• It brings clarity by helping you identify your specific goals.
• It gives your vision tangibility.
• It reinforces your purpose and keeps it strong.
• It relieves stress and anxiety.
• It’s a powerful daily affirmation that wires your brain to recognize its importance.
• It gives clarity on your priorities.
• It boosts motivation and productivity.
• It boosts your creativity.
Who can benefit from a vision board?
Absolutely anyone can benefit from a vision board, even children. A vision board relies on visualization, one of the most powerful tools available to each and every one of us.
For adults, a vision board can help with career, relationship, and family goals. It can help with personal health and fitness goals as well as financial goals. For children and younger adults, it can be perfect for educational goals and personal dreams.
Creating a vision board is a wonderful family activity where you can all get together and create your personal boards. It’s a great creative activity for children as well as a great learning experience where they learn to identify the things that matter to them.
Now, you may be thinking, all of this sounds fun and the benefits seem great – but does a vision board really work? Read on!
Chapter 2: How Vision Boards Work
The vision board is not a bogus fad but it’s understandable that people may be skeptical. After all, how can looking at a bunch of pictures lead to anything effective or tangible? Vision boards are fun to make and use but can they realistically achieve any results? The answer is an emphatic yes.
The concept behind how vision boards work is backed by some very powerful research. Some of these scientific findings give us reasons to take vision boards very seriously.
On the other hand, proponents of the Law of Attraction present a plausible theory, although with less conclusive scientific evidence.
Let’s see how vision boards work according to both of these categories.
The science behind vision boards
Vision boards rely on the power of visualization to rewire the brain. Your brain is an amazing organ that loves to be stimulated by learning and process new information. However, one important study found that the brain doesn’t have the capacity to distinguish between a vision of the future and memory. This is where the magic of visualization can be harnessed.
When you learn something new, such as how to drive a car or bake a cake, your brain makes a new memory of that activity. The more you repeat the action, the more that memory becomes imprinted in your brain. Over time, a new “neural pathway” is formed, which transforms the memory into a learned behavior or a habit.
But remember, your brain can’t differentiate between the real physical experience of doing something and your imagination. When you visualize something, your brain will create a memory in the same way – and respond to it as if it were real!
If you consistently visualize or contemplate a future idea, it will become a reality for your brain. Your brain will form a new neural pathway and begin to create deliberate behaviors that make that vision more attainable. When you begin to use your vision board, you will notice how your brain will come up with creative and innovative ideas for achieving your vision. You will be amazed at how it will fuel your passion and drive to live your vision and keep it top of mind.
This is not an idea from a science fiction novel. It’s backed by a study done at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. One group of participants was asked to do scheduled physical workouts while another was asked to do “visual workouts”.
The group that did the physical gym workouts showed a 30% muscle increase. The group that worked out in their heads showed an amazing 13.5% muscle increase! Yes, this is a real study that was published in Psychology Today.
Just by visualizing that they were working out, the brains of the second group actually believed that they were doing so physically. They rewired themselves to give these participants the results of an actual workout!
Today more than ever, the power of visualization is under serious investigation. Research has already shown that visualization can help relieve aches, pains and other ailments but the potential, especially in healing chronic diseases is mind-boggling.
This is exactly how a vision board works. It allows you to harness the power of visualization by reflecting on your goals every day so that your brain works with you to achieve them.
The Law of Attraction
In a nutshell, the law of attraction states that everything in the universe is energy, including our thoughts. Positive thoughts attract positive energy that over time will manifest into reality.
The law of attraction is a scientifically-proven natural law but whether it applies to thoughts in this way has not been conclusively proven. When it applies to vision boards, it can be viewed more as a philosophy.
The famous book The Secret explains how the Law of Attraction works to manifest physical abundance in your life through positive visualization and gratitude practices.
Many of its advocates report that it has worked miracles in their lives by allowing them to attract and manifest wealth, love and success. Although backed by a very small volume of research, there is no definite evidence that it works – and there are many skeptics who have refuted that it does.
The bottom line: There’s no doubt that visualization, whichever way it works, can create tangible results. If nothing else, the psychological benefits alone are enough reasons for creating a vision board. Thinking about your vision daily reinforces motivation, optimism, excitement and resilience.
Now that you’ve learned how vision boards work and what they can do for you, let’s start creating your own amazing vision board.
Chapter 3: Creating Your Vision Board
Creating a vision board is a super simple, fun activity that will bring out your creative inner child. It’s a simple and straightforward process that requires no specific skills. Best of all, most of the materials needed are probably available in your home and if not, cost very little to buy.
Materials you need
- Any type of board- regular poster board, a corkboard or a magnetic board. 20-30 inches is a good size.
- Glue stick, tape, pins or magnetic holders depending on the type of board you’re using.
- Colored markers, glitter, stickers, bits of ribbon or other decorating materials of your choice. These are totally optional. You’re free to make your vision board as simple or as decorative as you like.
- Personal photos of yourself, friends or places.
- Internet images. Again, this is optional but keep in mind that you will need a color printer for these.
Create your vision board by attaching images and quotes related to your vision and embellish it with the decorations of your choice.
Images and quotes
What kinds of images and quotes should you add to your vision board? Basically, anything that inspires you! Here are a few tips to help you along.
Your photos should clearly reflect your goal or future vision. For example, photos of beautiful houses with pretty lawns if your goal is to buy a house.
If your dream is to travel to France, –images of the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, the Louvre and French cuisine are perfect. You can also add quotes about the beauty of Paris and so on.
You can also include images that reflect the steps required to realize your vision. If your goal is to become a doctor, images of medical schools or medical degrees can be used, as well as images of graduating students. If the goal is a new car, you can add images of cash or write down the sum you need to save for your new car.
Remember to choose positive, motivating and inspiring words and quotes that will work as an affirmation of your goal.
Positioning your images
There’s no right or wrong way to arrange images. Just let your creative instinct guide you. There are no set rules for the number of images you can use.
Some people prefer to create a jumbled collage with their images while others prefer to divide their boards into sections, with each representing a different vision. Some people opt for a limited number of photos while others like their board overflowing with images.
In short, be as messy, organized, minimalist or elaborate as you like. The goal is that your vision board should fire up your motivation and excitement when you look at it.
Personalizing your vision board
Adding your personal touch is key for making your vision board a perfect reflection of your dreams. Here are some suggestions:
- Add photos of yourself.
- Add mementos that reflect your journey such as photos of degrees you’ve earned or awards that you’ve won, which affirm progress towards your goal.
- Add photos of events such as a graduation or wedding that speak to your goals and represent important milestones.
- Write personalized messages to yourself to keep up your motivation.
That’s it – you are now ready to start making your vision board. Grab the stuff you need, find a spacious work surface and enjoy!
Chapter 4: Using Your Vision Board
Where to place your vision board
When your vision board is completed, the first question you’ll ask is, where should you put it? Your vision board needs to be placed where you can see it every single day.
Looking at your vision board every day doesn’t mean glancing at it in passing. In order for your visualization to be effective, you need to look at your board for a few minutes at least on a daily basis. This means placing it where you can comfortably look at it for that amount of time, or longer if you choose to.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
- The wall across from your desk if you have a home office.
- A kitchen cupboard or the fridge if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
- A small room or space in your home that you can convert into a personal “visualization space”.
- On the nightstand beside your bed where you can look at it every night.
- This suggestion may not appeal to everyone but it could be an option if you’re at a loss for an appropriate space. If the back of your bathroom door faces the toilet, well… why not?
Something you may want to consider is whether you want your vision board to be a private experience or if you’re okay displaying it where others can see it.
Naturally, if you opt for privacy, this narrows down your placement choices. You will either need to create a small personal space in your home or keep your vision board in a drawer or cupboard. This is okay but remember that you need to make time to look at it every day.
Another suggestion is that you move your vision board from time to time because we tend to become blind to things we’re used to.
Displaying your vision board in a different place every 10 days or so will allow it to catch your eye as you walk into a room, giving you a rush of excitement and optimism.
How to use your vision board
Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or take the more science-backed approach, the results of using your vision board will be the same. Your brain will fire up and work diligently to make your visual affirmations a reality.
Sit or stand gazing at your vision board for 3-4 minutes at the very least. Let your gaze slowly sweep over the pictures and words you have added and really take them in. Feel the pleasure and excitement, allowing it to flood your brain with positive feelings. It will be helpful to keep the following points in mind:
- Really internalize the images on your board and envision that they have already become a reality. Allow this vision to fill you with pride, joy, and a sense of mastery and accomplishment.
- Read the words and inspirational messages on your board out loud if possible. Repeat them slowly and with conviction. These positive affirmations are an important part of the visualization process.
- Don’t limit your visualization to just once a day. Look at your vision board often and for as long as you can to keep yourself inspired and your brain fired up.
- Visualize yourself already in the future you have planned on your vision board. Embellish the images with vivid scenarios of you living your future. You can visualize other people, events and even conversations that take place. But always remember that you are the star of your story. Make sure that the scenarios revolve around you.
- Feel grateful for all of the good things you already have in your life and give thanks for the wonderful things that will come to you soon. Gratitude is very powerful for promoting hope and optimism. It helps your brain believe what you are visualizing because it recognized that it’s good for you.
- Ideally, some experts say that you should use your vision board before going to bed so that the positive affirmations will be the last thing your mind registers before you fall asleep.
Now for the million-dollar question: when can you expect to see changes in your life? Well, using a vision board is a very personalized process. The results depend on a number of factors, such as how often you look at your vision board, how deeply you immerse yourself and the goals themselves.
Give yourself and your brain time to get the hang of it and be patient. The first change you’ll begin to see will be in your mindset and outlook. You’ll find that you are becoming more hopeful, optimistic and motivated. This will reflect on your productivity, decision-making and resilience.
Gradually, your goals will begin to manifest. There’s no set timeframe within which this will happen – but it will happen for sure!
Chapter 5: Cool Tips for Making an Awesome Vision Board
Here are a few additional tips and tweaks that will help you make an awesome vision board and use it more effectively.
Make it a ritual
Using your vision board is like taking some quiet time for meditation or prayer. Look at your visualization time as a ritual and create a fitting ambiance. You can light candles, diffuse some calmness-promoting essential oils or play soft music.
Make your visualization a relaxing ritual that not only nurtures your emotional and spiritual health but also helps you de-stress at the end of a hectic day.
Give yourself time
When creating your vision board, don’t put a limit on the time you need to put it together. Really put some thought and effort into choosing your images and words. You can space out the activity over a few days while you collect the perfect images that really inspire you and speak to your goal.
Additionally, you don’t need to fill your vision board in one go. Choose a few images that inspire you and leave room on your board to add more as you find them. There’s no rush. Even two or three images will work just as well until you find more to add.
Check out Pinterest
Pinterest can be a great resource for awesome images and the collection is massive. Whatever it is you’re searching for, you’re likely to find the perfect photo on this amazing website. If you want to include photos of friends and family, Facebook can be a good resource as well.
Check out what others are doing
If you are a beginner and still not sure exactly how to start, it’s helpful to get an idea by looking at examples. Just remember to rely on your own creativity rather than just copy layouts and messages.
A desktop vision board could be a good option for you if you spend a lot of time at your computer. It’s also a good option to consider if you want to keep it private.
You can create a virtual vision board by using special vision board software. The software is widely available online and some of it is free. Vision board software will walk you through the steps of creating a vision board on your computer.
Most applications are simple to use and require no special technical or design skills. Simply Google “vision board software if you feel this could work for you.
Another way to create a virtual vision board is to use Windows Movie Maker or a similar program. You simply collect images from the web, create a slide show, add some inspiring music and voila! You have an awesome vision board.
Create a workplace vision board
A shared vision board at the workplace will definitely boost group motivation and productivity. If you’re a team leader or simply want to share the idea with coworkers, by all means, go for it! There may be some skeptics in the gang but more likely, you’ll find that the idea will generate a lot of interest and excitement among your colleagues.
First, get together and identify what your goals are. They could be short-term marketing goals, long-term growth goals or goals that represent the company vision.
Next, prepare a blank board where people add images and quotes. Post it up where everyone can see it and show them how to use it.
Using an office vision board is a wonderful way to build rapport and create a shared sense of purpose. And what better way to spend a lunch or coffee break than with a group visualization!
Before you start making your vision board, take some time to reflect on your goals and visions. You may have several so identify the ones that you feel are the most important to achieve.
When deciding on your goals, it helps to be as specific as possible. If you want to become wealthy, specify the sum that you would like to have someday. If you want to be highly successful or famous, specify in what sphere. For example, running your own business – and if possible, what type of business and what product or service it will provide.
Create more than one vision board
Naturally, most people have several goals in their lives. They relate to health and fitness, family, personal relationships, career, and even spiritual; goals are very valid. Some people even create the perfect “holiday” or “wedding” vision board where they envision the ideal tropical cruise or the perfect wedding day.
If you create one of these, add relevant photos of tickets, invitations, wedding cakes and dresses, along with people who will be with you at the event.
Lumping everything together on one vision board can distract your focus and divide your attention between several different things at once.
The better option is to create several! Some examples would be a health and fitness vision board, one for career goals and another for financial goals. Basically, you can work on several priority goals by creating separate boards for each.
However, do start with one at first and use it for a while before starting another.
Change and replace images
There’s no rule that says you have to keep items on your vision board permanently. You are completely free to replace them at any time. Keep your eyes open for new images as you browse the net, scroll through social media or look through magazines.
If you find an image that resonates with you, you can either add it to your board or replace an older image.
A vision board should always be evolving and growing along with you as you progress towards your bright future.
Create a family vision board
Just like at the workplace, a family vision board is a fun way for family members to bond and spend quality time. Get the family together to craft a vision board that reflects your shared goals (you will need a large-sized board for this that will accommodate contributions from each person).
Each family member adds their own images and words that speak to your shared visions and aspirations for the family as a whole. Your kids will love it!
Paste the board where everyone can see it, such as in the family room. Instruct everyone on how to use it and depending on your schedules, you can engage in group visualization or each person can use it in their own time.
Visualization is a powerful tool for achieving goals and aspirations and a vision board is simply the best way to practice effective visualization.
Science has conclusively shown that visualization is an effective tool for rewiring the brain to promote goal achievement. The Law of Attraction confirms that you can manifest the things you want in your life with positive mental imagery.
Don’t let the simplicity and enjoyment of creating and using a vision board fool you. It has the capacity to dramatically change your life. Whether your goal is to lose weight or become a millionaire, a vision board has the potential to manifest your dreams, big or small.
So, go ahead and embark on an exciting, transformative journey. Make your personal vision board today and use it every day. Start training your brain to work with you rather than against you to realize the future of your dreams!
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About the Author
Mark Aquino, RN, MHA is registered nurse in CA, USA with experience in mental health. His own past battles with anxiety and depression led him to working in psychiatrist hospital settings in the Los Angeles region to help others get their lives back and thrive. A majority of the patient population that come in are either homeless or struggling financially, but they have potential to succeed even at their worst moments if only they find the right guidance and counsel to shift their mindset. You don’t need to be homeless or a patient to benefit from a change in mindset. There are many people that struggle in silence with the lack of progress to their biggest goals and can stand to profit from a little guidance from someone who has been there, gone through it, and succeeded.
On top of that, Mark also holds a Masters in Health Administration with a focus on business, entrepreneurship, and marketing since 2011. He is married, owns Factal.net, and lives happily with his wife and daughter. He helps people lead more productive and successful lives to be more valuable members of society.
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