I Have a Vision
I am a big fan of vision boards. Not as a means of making a fantasy life come true, but as a way to reflect on the things in life that make me happy. I’ve been making vision boards for the last few years and find them an inspiring way to clarify what you want and love in your life.
This is as Woo-woo as I get
The idea behind vision boards is by creating a visual representation of what you want to have, do, or be, you will see those things happen in your life. I think it sounds a little nutty. In most areas of life, I am practical to the point of boring, but I like pretty things, and the illusion of control, so vision boards have a certain appeal.
For me, a vision board is about identifying the people and things in your life that are true and valuable and keeping them at the center of your life. When you create a visual representation of the things most important to you, it helps you remember to live your life focusing on and honoring those things.
My husband once joked if he had seen my vision boards before we were married he might’ve labeled me a nut and fled. This was based on his discovery that months before our engagement, I made a vision board with his picture glued onto a groom and mine on a bride in a wedding picture I cut out of a magazine. Just because it came true doesn’t make it sound less crazy apparently.
I knew within months of meeting Bryan he was the person I wanted to spend my life and build my family with. The wedding photo on the vision board was about me recognizing that dream and valuing our relationship so I could create the life I saw was possible.
It’s Not Magic
After my previous success envisioning my marriage, I carefully created boards to reflect my ideal childbirth experience during both of my pregnancies. I ended up with two c-sections, despite various magazine pictures I cut out envisioning natural, easy births. But I had two healthy babies and preparing for them and giving birth to them brought all the joy into my life I had envisioned with my boards.
Why You Need One
In my research for this article, I actually found vision boards to be controversial. There were multiple articles stating not only they didn’t work, but that they are harmful. And cause people to think when they don’t succeed it’s because they didn’t properly visualize it or make the right vision board image or phrase. The second complaint was vision boards cause people to think once the create the board, they are done putting forth any effort and the universe will make their life happen while they sit around and pick their nose.
I have trouble responding to those issues because I think wishful thinking to that degree needs more help than any vision board is going to provide. If all it took to have your dream life was cutting pictures out of a magazine the world would be a very different place. Not necessarily to the good.
These views do not reflect the purpose of a vision board for me. I do not subscribe to a Field of Dreams, if I cut out magazine pictures, it will come true mentality. The vision board is a way to identify the most valuable, joyful, loved people and passions in your life. And to be mindful that how you live reflects those values.
When you envision something for your future based on the things you love, putting it on a vision board can help you live your life in a way that will make that future possible. For yourself, you do the work. My husband and I didn’t marry because I put it on a vision board and the universe made it happen. We made it happen by creating a life together we wanted to keep forever.
If creating a beautiful board full of words and pictures of people and things in your life you love sounds appealing, I encourage you to give it a try. The most you have to lose is a couple of hours and some cut up magazine articles. And it may help you identify your joy so you can bring more of it into your life.
A Vision for the Future
There are several ways to approach vision boards. I’ve done relationship boards, career boards, boards about saving money. The main focus has always been people and things in my life that inspire me and make me happy, as well as things I want to pursue improving.
I’ve made a vision board about once per year since I started. I usually make one when I am facing a major change or life event. It helps me clarify what I truly want. And making vision boards is just plain fun. I still have every vision board I’ve ever made. They are beautiful to me, and personal, like the best kind of art.
Some Ideas for Getting You Started
If you’re new to vision boarding and looking for some how-tos, I recommend starting with a pile of magazines. Go through them and cut out any words or pictures that appeal to you, whether or not they seem relevant. Put them in a container or a bag.
Once you’ve chopped your way through your magazines, collect some photographs of significant people in your life you may want to include. I also type out the names of my close family and friends in fancy fonts and print them out for possible use. And any other words I want I couldn’t find in a magazine.
How to Fix a Blank Page
I use cardstock for my vision boards. I know other people use butcher paper. Find what works for you. When you have everything you want, start assembling it on your board. Eventually, you’ll find an arrangement that feels right. Then I use an old school type glue stick and put it all together.
What’s it all About?
I used to make one larger vision board to reflect everything going on in my life. I would have it informally divided into areas, personal, professional, etc. More recently I’ve been making smaller boards specific to one life event or aspect of life. It might make sense one way or the other depending on what area of life you want to focus on.
Vision Board Party!
If you’re not too embarrassed to tell people you’re doing this, a vision board party can be fun. I’ve worked on a vision board at a gathering where everyone was making one. It was a fun, creative atmosphere. And a unique way to learn more about those close to you.
Even My Husband is a Fan Now
Luckily before our engagement and marriage, my husband did not spot the vision board with his head on a groom and conclude I was nutty. And he now admits, it was a great future to envision. I’ve had enough of my vision boards reflect positive realities in our lives, I’ve made a believer out of him. Even though he still leaves the vision boarding up to me.
What Does Your Vision Look Like?
Have you ever made a vision board? What was your experience with it? Do you feel like it “came true”? If you’ve never made one, does this come across as too out there to you? I’d love to hear some thoughts! Or even see some pictures of vision boards!