Why Create a Vision Board?
Visualisation (or imagination) is an incredibly powerful tool for getting your whole self on the same page. By imagining the future you desire, you plant that message in your subconscious, which can then work towards it outside of your everyday awareness. That way, you achieve success with greater ease.
Visualisation has been used by athletes for decades, and is considered a foundation of many psychological approaches, as well as NLP (where it's called future-pacing). A life coach can help you define what you want to achieve, so you can make your visualisation as focused and effective as possible.
Not everyone is naturally very able to create visual images in their mind, though. Not a problem - with a vision board you find the images externally, and then use them for your inner work.
How to Create a Vision Board
1) Get yourself into the right frame of mind!
Neuroscience shows that when you feel happy you are more creative, so think about what makes you happy. It might be looking at pictures itself will help you in this regard. Or maybe watching something funny on TV or reading a bit of a good book, or simply lighting a candle and thinking about the fact that you are dedicating some time to you.
2) Make a physical vision board
Your vision board can be a physical thing: a cork board with pins, or a white board with magnets, or pictures stuck on your fridge. It’s good if you can have it somewhere you can see it often. And while a dedicated space is fabulous, your kitchen can also be just fine. If you are creating a physical vision board, you’ll need to find images, for example in magazines. You could also use postcards, or photos (though you may not want to stick pins through them :o)
3) Use tech to make a vision board
Another option is to get a bit more techy. For example, you could create a board on Pinterest. Or a collage on BeFunky or PicMonkey (both free at a basic level). Or use Photoshop, if you have the software and know-how. Another option is that there are now lots of vision board apps, many of them free, or at least cheap. With all of these, you can pick images from the internet, finding ones that are just right for you.
4) Get your senses and your emotions involved
When choosing images or words, go for things that move you: images that touch your emotions, phrases that make you feel something! You want to imagine the things you want to achieve, to really feel and sense them. Choose images that inspire you: that represent what you want to feel in the future, how you want to look, what experiences you want to have.
This is also where hypnosis can help: a hypnotherapist can guide you into a state where you can more easily create a multi-sensorial imaginal world from those images and words you've chosen.
5) Add some inspiring words
However, it’s not just about pictures. It can be really good to have a few quotations or inspiring statements on your vision board, too. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by text, but a few key words can work wonders. Words are processed in the same brain centres as images - both are symbols, after all.
Overall, pictures are more powerful, and should make up more of your board. This is because you can absorb them more quickly - you get the point straight away. Also, they work at a number of different levels: you can get more than one meaning from a single image. This can happen with words, too, but not to the same degree.
6) Keep it simple
Remember, too, to keep it simple! If a picture is worth a thousand words, you don’t need hundreds of them. You can only take in so much at once (some people say 7 pieces of information, plus or minus two). While you can focus on different images at different times when viewing your vision board, it’s still a good idea to keep it clear and uncluttered. After all, you don’t want your life to be cluttered and chaotic, either.
What you visualise is what you draw to you, so make it beautiful, inspiring and clear.
What to Do With Your Vision Board
Once you have created it, there are several things you can do with your vision board.
7) Put it somewhere you'll see it regularly
You can simply place it in a dedicated space, or in a place where you will see it frequently. You could also take a picture of it to have on your phone or as your computer wallpaper.
8) Create an affirmation to use with it
Whenever you see your vision board, stop for a second to let the images and words sink in. You could say something like, “I am making this vision come to life,” or whatever makes sense to you.
You can also make your affirmation specific to the topic of the vision board. Combining the affirmation with the images will make each more powerful, as they reinforce one another.
9) Keep your vision board up-to-date
You can play around with your vision board, tweaking and changing it, or giving it a thorough refresh, as often as feels right to you. This is good because it both keeps it relevant, and also keeps you actively engaged with the vision for your future.
10) Create a game plan of how to achieve your vision
As well as having a vision, it helps to get practical and strategise the next steps to take. Keep these steps small and simple - as you get closer to your vision you'll figure out the rest of the path. For now, think about what you can do today, what you can do this week, and what you can do over the next fortnight or month. Make sure these plans are SMART - be specific about what you're going to do, how you will know you've achieved your goal, make sure it's realistic and that you know how to go about it, and set a clear time frame for each goal.
I hope you'll give some of these tips a try, as vision boards really are a powerful way to help yourself achieve your desires. With a vision board, you can clarify what you want, get your subconscious on board, and if you also set out practical steps to move forward, then you're well on your way!