There are a lot of questions surrounding vision boards. What are they? Do you really need one? How do you make one?
A great vision board doesn’t have to be a mystery. We’ve got some powerful vision board ideas that will help you lay out a successful path for your goals!
What is a Vision Board?
First, a vision board is a physical representation of your desires, dreams, and goals. It offers a clear picture of the changes you want to make and where you’re headed. It’s usually a collage of words and pictures cut out of magazines or printed out from sites online.
A vision board helps you imagine what the future could look like. It takes vague ideas and turns them into real action steps. A vision board helps you self-reflect, get excited about the future, and empowers you to take action on your goals. If you feel positive about the future, the odds of you achieving your goals increase.
How Can Vision Boards Help You Achieve Your Goals?
As human, we are visual creatures. A picture truly is worth a thousand words, as they say. Professional Sales and Leadership Coach Kitty Barrow of Southern Consulting put it this way:
“Who do you want to be? What do you want to do with your life? And what do you want to have in your life? When we have our vision in pictures in front of us every single day, those dreams come true.”
The truth is, visualization works. Professional athletes have known this for years. Visualization is essentially the process of creating a mental image of what you want to happen or feel in reality. By imagining being at bat for instance, a hitter in baseball would imagine the feeling of responding to a pitch a certain way. They’d picture themselves hitting the ball and even hearing the roar of the crowd as they head for first base.
Years ago, Harry Emerson Fosdick said, “Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “You must see yourself winning before you win.”
A vision board is a powerful way to see yourself winning. With a vision board, you’ll see clearly what you’re after. It will help you to believe in yourself and remind you to keep working, day-in and day-out.
Listen to professional Sales and Leadership Coach Kitty Barrow talk about the power of vision board for everyone in Why Real Men Do Vision Boards.
How to Create a Vision Board
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make a vision board. Start by taking a strong self-assessment and explore your goals. List your priorities over the next 1-5 years. Write them down. The things that matter the most to you should wind up in the center of your board or take up a greater portion of real estate. Your goals should line up with your values and motivators. That will ensure that you reach your destination quicker, and that you’re even heading in the right direction.
Once you have the heart behind what you’re creating, you’ll need a few supplies and an empty table or desk. Here are a few things you’ll need.
For your vision board you’ll need an actual board of either traditional poster board or foam board.
Gather a pair of scissors, pins, glue sticks, tape, and possibly even markers. Don’t be scared to get creative with it. You can write your thoughts out or add quotes…the opportunities are endless.
You can cut images of people or objects and quotes out of magazines, as well as print off images that speak to your desires and goals. These can literally be anything that represents what you’re trying to communicate. And remember, words are important too! Glue or tape them to your board.
One important note: Each image on your vision board should be tied to a specific goal or outcome that you’re willing to move toward. Don’t just cut out a bunch of random things you’d like to have someday, like a big house or boat. Your vision board should end up being a collection of all the goals you aspire to. But be realistic with it. What can you reasonably accomplish in the next year, three years, or five years? Big dreams are great, but be specific and genuine.
Make sure your vision board includes these three concepts:
- What you want to BE
- What you want to DO
- What you want to HAVE
Display your board where you can see it every day. It can be at home in your bedroom or at work in your office. Just make sure you can see it regularly! A vision board in the closet never did anyone good.
Additional Vision Board Ideas
Here are some additional vision board ideas to help get the ball rolling when creating your board.
What are some specific milestones you want to achieve?
What needs to change? Take a serious inventory of those areas of your life that need adjustments. Then think hard on what it would take to BE what you want to be in that area and make sure it’s represented on your vision board.
Include goals, but not too many
Having too many goals can be overwhelming. Narrow your list down to the most important. That makes each goal on your board more achievable. Your vision board should insipre you and push you but not cause extreme stress. Consider using a smaller board that forces you to include fewer things and focus on only those goals and desires that truly matter.
Make sure you include images and sayings that motivate and energize you. Make sure your goals contain emotion. They need to strike a chord and make you care.
Instead of: “I want to lose weight,” try, “I want to lose weight to decrease joint pain in my legs and to look better.” Or, instead of “I want to grow closer to my spouse,” go with, “I want to grow closer to my spouse by having a date night each week and spending fewer late nights at the office.” Think of the tangible action or goal behind each picture and what it will realistically take to get there.
We mentioned quotes above, but they can make a tremendous impact and inspire. Choose quotes that reflect what you’re feeling, and choose them from role models, favorite authors, or even song lyrics.
Affirm yourself with quotes of your own
Open yourself up to changing “I can’t” thoughts to “I can.” Reverse beliefs that have limited you in writing and put them on your board. The effect of positive self-talk is powerful.
What to Include in Your Professional Vision Board
Business vision boards are one of the most common types. Know what you want going forward and get it out there in visual form.
Think about what your perfect workday looks like. What images need to be on your vision board to help you get there?
Why did you start your business or get started in your field in the first place? Revisit your motivations. Include some long-term goals for your business and for your career. Maybe it’s growing your customer base by 10,000. Maybe it’s leading a team or starting a new division for your department.
Who is the ideal client? Who are the customers that are the right fit for your products and services?
Products and Services
What do you offer now that works? What would you like to offer someday?
What to Include in Your Personal Vision Board
To include your personal life in your vision board (or make a separate board), you’ll want to touch all the bases of a healthy life. Here’s a brief look at some key areas of life to include:
Start off at your core. Why do you believe what you believe? How will you work to strengthen that aspect of your life.
Your success as a spouse, parent, son, daughter, friend or mentor is more important than your success at work. How will you specifically grow the key relationships in your life, or forge new ones?
Mental and Physical Health
We can’t stress how important it is to take care of yourself. What can you do to help improve both your overall mental health and physical health?
You don’t have to go back and get a master’s degree to improve intellectually. It can be as easy as reading a book a month. What will you do mentally/academically to challenge yourself and help yourself grow? Some people choose to learn a new language. Others take a course on investing. It’s different for everyone, but don’t neglect this area.
What goals do you have financially and are you on track to hit them? Take a moment and take a look under the hood. Are you spending more than you should? How can you improve your financial life? Put some specific goals on your vision board to motivate you.
How Often Should You Make a Vision Board?
Here’s the thing. Your vision board is your vision board. You can revisit it and make changes or rework it any time you like. A good rule of thumb is a 1-5 year timeline for your first board, although many people decide to re-evaluate or create new vision boards every 18 to 24 months. There’s an old saying, “We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in 5.”
If the content on your vision board no longer inspires you or the majority is becoming quickly outdated, it’s time to consider making a new board.
Get Serious About Hitting Your Goals with a Career Coach
We all need extra help from time to time. For more on the power of vision boards and help with goal-setting, consider 1:1 coaching with Southwestern Consulting. We help people get from where they are to where they want to be – it’s our specialty. Our professional life, career, and leadership coaches can help you reach your personal and business goals faster than you thought possible. In a recent survey of those who completed 12 months or more of SWC coaching, clients reported a 58% increase in time management, 49% increase in goal-setting, and 44% increase in productivity.
To see if coaching might be right for you, get a free consultation from Southwestern Consulting today!
If someone had told me this time last year that I could double my sales and not work more, I would have told them they were absolutely out of their minds. You have grown my business more than any one thing I have ever done career wise.The amount of information, and quite frankly the change of mindset that you have opened my eyes to has been life changing.
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