Are you looking for ways to increase your motivation and productivity? Do you struggle with goal setting and goal achievement?
There is a simple tool you can use to help you build the life you want.
A Vision Board.
Now before you roll your eyes and call BS, know that visualization techniques (including the use of a vision board) have been well studied and proven to increase performance and success. (If you feel like nerding out, just check out this study, this one and this one.)
What is a Vision Board?
A vision board is a visualization tool that can help manifest your dreams into reality.
Essentially, you find images or phrases that represent your ideal life. These images and phrases can represent everything from your smallest goals to your biggest and boldest dreams.
All these images and words/phrases are put into one place, either on a paper or cork board or in electronic file. Your vision board will include images and words that make you motivated and excite you to reach your goals.
You can have a vision board for your life as a whole or just one area of your life.
For example, you could have a vision board for your health and fitness goals. Or it could be a complete life vision board that includes images of your dream house, dream job, or a feeling you want in your life.
The basic premise is that when you see the pictures on the vision board they elicit a certain (positive) feeling. And when you are tuned into that feeling or the achievement of that goal, you are more likely to draw more of that feeling into your life and move towards the goal.
The Power of A Vision Board
Visualization is a well studied and well founded technique that has helped many successful people reach their fullest potential. In addition to being used by celebrities and CEO’s, this technique is often used with high performing athletes to help with performance anxiety.
But how does simply imagining something make it happen?
Studies show the brain cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality.
In a visualization, you draw your focus towards those goals and dreams you want more of in your life, thus creating new neural pathways in your brain. The more you practice visualization, the stronger these pathways become and you begin to form new habits or see the world differently.
Have you read The Secret? This idea is central to the law of attraction. The law of attraction is based on the premise that wherever your thoughts lie that’s what you attract into your life.
A vision board is a tool to help with visualization. Using the visual cues in a vision board in conjunction with your thoughts helps to strengthen those neural pathways and aid in your success.
If you are interested in reading up on visualization and visualization techniques, here a few books to help you get started!
How to Create a Vision Board
The great thing about a vision board is you don’t need much to get started! Use these simple steps to help you create a vision board that will allow you to strengthen your visualizations and achieve more.
Decide What Goals You Want Represented On Your Vision Board
Will this vision board be for one specific goal? Or will it be for your overall life?
Try to make a list of ten things, either feelings or goals, that you would like on the vision board. I recommend using the 5 minute rule and jotting down everything you can think of in 5 minutes. Don’t over think this list!
The goal here is to put down what you really and truly want, no matter how big and scary it is. Don’t worry about how you are going to achieve these goals. You are not trying to come up with a plan right now. All you want to do is be clear in what you want to achieve.
Decide Your Medium
Will this be a digital file? Or something physical? How big do you want the vision board to be? Will it be on paper or on some kind of board (like a cork board or poster board)?
I like to use Google slides. I find digital images and copy them into the file. I can play with fonts and layouts really easily and I can update it as necessary.
I also like to use Google slides because I have a digital copy and a physical copy. I have the digital copy as the background on my computer and a copy I printed out hanging in my closet.
Find Pictures and Phrases
Find pictures that represent the things you want in your life. Be thoughtful in the pictures you choose.
Because a lot of the visualization and the law of attraction is based on provoking the subconscious mind, you want to make sure the pictures fully represent what you want.
Also, be sure NOT to include pictures that show what you don’t want.
For example, if you want to eat healthier your vision board may include pictures of healthy meals. What you do not want to include on your vision board are pictures of unhealthy foods with a big X.
Why? Because by having pictures of unhealthy food you are focusing your attention on the unhealthy foods which will attract more unhealthy foods. Instead, if you have pictures of the foods you want to eat more of (fruits and vegetables etc) you will attract more of that into your life.
You can do a simple image search in Google to look for images for your vision board. I like to use these sites to find beautiful free pictures online:
You can also pick up a few magazines and cut out pictures from those magazines. Or use a combination of online photos and magazine photos.
Whichever image source you use, make sure the images provoke a good feeling in you. You don’t want images that make you feel bad or jealous or anything like that.
Pick A Place For Your Vision Board
Where will you see your vision board regularly and where can you spend a minute or 2 focusing on it?
As I mentioned above, my vision board is the background on my computer (I’m on my computer A LOT). I also have it hanging in my closet.
You want to choose a place where you will see it multiple times a day and a place where you will be able to focus and practice your visualizations.
How to Use a Vision Board
Sit down when you know you will have a few uninterrupted minutes. Look at your vision board. For each image you put on the vision board close your eyes and take a moment to imagine what it would feel like for that to be your life.
Using the healthy eating example, you might imagine cooking a healthy meal or walking through the grocery store and choosing only healthy foods to put in your cart. Again, it’s important to stress you should not focus on the things you don’t want. Don’t imagine saying no to junk food! Your mind only focuses on the junk food not the “no” that surrounds it.
Once you’ve imagined the experience focus on the feeling of eating healthy. Maybe this feels like having more energy, or better sleep.
It’s also important not to worry about the specifics. Don’t focus on the steps you need to get done to reach that goal. Just experience the feeling of having achieved it.
Once you’ve experienced it, say thank you! At the end of my visualizations I will say something like “I am so grateful I have achieved XYZ in my life”. Read More About the Power of Gratitude.
A vision board is a great tool to help you develop and strengthen a visualization practice.
By creating your vision board you can take the first steps towards creating the life you want!
If you’re looking for more ways to get motivated and stay motivated, check out “How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals”