Contrary to what the common conception might be, vision boards aren’t about magically getting your wishes granted, or expecting the perfect house, career or love interest fall into your life as soon as you put up a picture. Like all intention setting, making a vision board is an act of focusing your desires.
How are you ever going to get what you want if you don’t even know what that looks like? You might want success in your career, but does that look like climbing the ladder at your current company, going back to school, changing fields entirely? You want to be happier, but will this come from reconnecting with old friends, discovering a new hobby, focusing on a creative project that’s fallen by the wayside, making more time for self care? When we make a conscious commitment to putting our desires and needs into visual language, when we express ourselves by picking one image out of millions that feels the most correct to our inner selves, we are making a statement. We are telling ourselves what is most important to us, and we are creating a reminder to respect and honor those choices every time we pass by the vision board in our home.
When it comes to setting our intentions, there’s no wrong way to do it. The most important element will always be what feels right to you. However, here are a few ideas that might help you create a vision board if you’re new to the practice or looking for a new approach.
Divide Your Vision Board Into Different Sections
When it comes to vision boards you can be as general or specific as you want, but sometimes it’s helpful to focus on your desires one area at a time. Devote sections to any piece of your life where you want to see growth or change. Personal life, relationships and family goals, career, health and wellness, travel, a move you’re considering; anything that’s on your mind has a place on the board. You can decide the sections beforehand, or find your way to them organically while you’re choosing images. Consider including a section on your vision board for your creative or artistic projects, even if you’re not in a creative field. Everyone has creativity, and everyone can benefit from fostering that side of themselves.
Make a Board for a Milestone, or Any Time You Get Stuck
The beginning of the year is a great time to create a vision board; it’s an inflection point in our lives, a time to reflect on the past 365 days and to think about our hopes moving forward. I make a vision board to start each year as an act of intentionality, but you certainly don’t have to wait for January to start thinking about what you want. I always say: If you feel stuck, either clean out a drawer or make a vision board. If you feel caught in a rut, or things have started to feel stuck and stagnant, taking a moment to think deeply about what you truly want can be a great way to figure out what’s getting in your way.
Include What You’re Grateful For
One of the easiest ways to figure out where we want to go is by looking at all the things we love about where we already are. Noting the elements that are important in your life or things that are already working well, like your relationships, passions, or lifestyle, can help you see areas where you want to invite more growth and expansion and help guide your vision for the future. Be sure to infuse some gratitude into your vision board to balance out the desire.
Look More For Vibes Than Specifics
With a practice that’s so visual, it can be easy to get caught up in the details, worrying about getting the exact right picture of an object or location. Instead of stressing about getting the color right on your dream house, try to focus on the bigger picture, the feelings that each image emits. Look for visuals that resonate abstracts: love, peace, comfort, success, belonging.
Do What Feels Right to You
The most important part of this process is just listening to yourself and doing what you want. Whether you want to pick through old magazines or search online for images related to different words and print them up, there’s no wrong way to make a vision board. The goal is to make something that resonates with you and you alone, encouraging you and focusing your vision.
So many people in life don’t have the luxury to step outside of the everyday, to look around and examine what they really want. So many of us stay locked in survival mode, forced to focus on the decisions right in front of us and not the bigger ones that mandate so much more of our lives. Building in time to reflect on where we want to go is the only way to move from where we are; devoting thought and intention into your future with a tool like a vision board is a great way to build your intuition and keep you mindful of the things you really want.
A good vision board helps you formulate your ideas for what you want out of your life. Every time you pass by it, it can serve as a gentle reminder not to get caught up in the small picture and everyday choices, but to focus on bigger desires as well.