The Art and Science of Creating Your Vision Board

I understand the excitement that comes at the beginning of the year.  It is an opportunity to start fresh.  Turn over a new leaf. Take the lessons from the prior year and aspire to do things better.  It all starts with a vision.

It is a particularly special time for me.  In addition to looking forward to the newness of a calendar year as everyone else, I celebrate my birthday.  So I literally start fresh with a new year of life!  Leading up to this, I spend the holiday season winding down, reflecting on the past year and reliving family stories and memories. I gain a new appreciation for family stories each year especially those around the effort that went into paving the way for me. By the time the new year begins, I’m newly inspired and I like to transfer that inspiration into energy and action so I can accomplish my goals.

I literally start fresh with a new year of life!

I’ve found that creating a vision board really streamlines and frames the process for next steps.  It is a fun way to translate your aspirations and dreams into an actionable to-do list.  It lets you envision your life and goals and visually represent these in something you can see daily to reinforce what you need to work toward and why. And on the days when you’re not doing your best, it is a great motivator.

I shared the idea of creating a vision board with my bf and he was up for the challenge!  This would be his first vision board and the concept was new to him so he was excited. So on a quiet evening, after joining him to watch football playoff games, we lined up our snacks consisting of guacamole, chips, wasabi peas and goat cheese and started creating our vision boards!

First, we gathered all the magazines we could find. One was from 1998!

We started without a long list of rules.  The idea was to find words or images that represent things you would like to accomplish. If you could not find the words or images, writing the words with a marker was another option. Once we were done, we debriefed to share what we observed in the process.  I realized there’s an artistic and scientific approach to creating a vision board.

I realized there’s an artistic and scientific approach to creating a vision board.

Here is what my bf and I noticed in the process of creating our vision boards.

Art of creating a vision board:

  • You can be completely free with how you allow your vision board to develop.
  • Consider the aesthetics and presentation of words and images and if they are more visually pleasing when placed horizontally or diagonally.
  • Place images and words haphazardly.  Color in empty spaces with markers or colored pencils.
  • Cut out blocks of color from your magazines that you can use to fill empty spaces.
  • Use large, representative images as your background and build on them with words.
  • Challenge yourself to fully express what’s important to you on your vision board. There’s a difference between what you think is important and what is truly important. Dig deep.
  • Have fun.  Creating a vision board is a fun and cathartic exercise.

Science of creating a vision board:

  • I’ve placed my words and images on computer paper in the past. This time I used cardboard and it is a lot more sturdy so it helps with the structure, making it much easier to prop up your vision board.
  • Creating a vision board on cardboard is a great way to reuse boxes from your Amazon orders. I know you have those around the house following the holiday season.
  • If you don’t have boxes, order something from Amazon that ships free with Prime. Donate the item to charity and use the cardboard box for your vision board.
  • Once you’ve cut out your words and images, organize them by theme and eliminate duplicates (think lean process and efficiency).
  • Plan out your word and image placement. You’ll see that certain words change the message you’re trying to convey when placed next to other words.
  • If you’re creating your vision board with others, ensuring each person has their own tools and materials makes for a more efficient process.
  • Purposefully choose the magazines you plan to use. If you like business and fashion, Forbes and Vogue will make sense. Note that fitness magazines tend to be very motivational with “you can do it” words and images throughout. If you have specific interests and hobbies, use magazines such as travel, wine, science for relevant inspiration.

In the end, I created a vision board that I was happy with.

Good luck with the creation of your vision board! I’d love to hear about your process and takeaways!

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