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  • Writer's pictureLaura Burke - Coach

Having Vision

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

Do you have a vision board?

If not – read on for lots of ideas on how to get started creating one!

If you do – read on to see if any ideas resonate with you to help you take yours to the next level!

I always start with “Why”

What is the purpose and benefit of creating a vision board? Well, aside from being something visually appealing (which simply brightens our day), the vision board leverages our RAS – Reticular Activating System. This is the part of our brains that tells our senses what to notice. There are billions of things we could notice in any given moment, so our brain limits what we see, hear and smell by what we tell it is important. By putting images on a vision board, we are telling our brain “this is important.” Our brain then starts helping us notice anything related to that image which allows us to see – and act on – opportunities to make that come to fruition. Sometimes, it helps us see ways in which we already have our dream, or at least some of it. That helps us be grateful for what we have, which in turn helps bring more of that to us.

A vision board can also be described as leveraging the Law of Attraction. Very simply, the Law of Attraction assumes thoughts are energy, and like attracts like. So, the vision board is helping you think about your dreams frequently – these thoughts, then, are energy and will start attracting ‘like’ (aka your dreams) to you!

The process of creating a vision board involves a little thought before actually getting to it… Take a few moments to acknowledge your tendencies and preferences so that you don’t go down a rabbit hole trying to follow someone’s “one size fits all” step-by-step instructions and end up with something that doesn’t really do it for you. Or worse, get so frustrated with the process that you give up before creating a masterpiece! There is no limit to what the vision board can be, how you can create it or how you can use it. That would be pretty contradictory, huh? The right vision board for you is the one that works for you. So, start by thinking about a few questions.

Where will you see your vision board the most?

The point of the vision board is that you look at it. A lot. Go back and re-read the “why” explanation above if you don’t get that. So… the vision board will work best for you if it is in a place that you see it frequently! This could be above your desk. Your bathroom mirror. Your computer ‘background.’ Your living room wall. Or kitchen wall. It could be the screensaver on your phone. Or… do you want to see it in multiple places? Where do you want your vision board to live?

Do you prefer digital or physical media?

Vision boards can be physical or they can be digital. What do you like most? Use this to help guide your creation.

If you like physical media, some popular options are a cork or foam board that you can pin images to, a poster board where you can glue images, or even a picture frame. Digital vision boards can be created in a simple word document or slides program, in design apps like Canva – or even created physically and then scanned to a digital file! (they just have to be small enough to fit on your scanner)

Do you have long term dreams or shorter term ones?

Your choice of media may depend on your horizon. If you tend to have long term dreams and goals, having something that is static can be great. Pictures glued to a poster board, for example, are harder to swap out if you change your idea (or achieve your dream!); but they are sturdy for the long run so you don’t have to worry about them falling off, or curling at the edges. That can create a sense of permanency which strengthens the purpose of the vision board. If, however, you have shorter term dreams that you achieve more quickly, or you’re not sure how serious you are about these dreams and want more flexibility to swap them out easily then choose something that allows that. A cork board with pictures pinned to it, or an easily editable digital file could be good options.

What kind of images do you want?

Some vision board instructions tell you to get magazines or catalogs, and cut out pictures. Others tell you to find images online. Both have merits and pitfalls!

Magazines or catalogs are physical so they activate certain pathways in our brains associated with touch. They are available for any category you might want to put on your vision board – travel, gardening, skiing, whatever you want. Pictures can be representative – like a picture of a beautiful beach because you want to someday spend a month on a tropical island. But you are limited to what is in the printed materials you have.

If you go online and look for pictures (to either use in a digital format or print for your physical vision board), there is no limit to what you can find, and you don’t need to go to a store and buy anything. The warnings here are that it can be an unending search for the ‘perfect’ image (which you may never find) and there are infinite tangents that can derail you. Again, what sounds like fun? Flipping through pages? Searching online? Both??? Vision boards are definitely more about “and” than they are about “or.”

What if you want 3D images? Or images you draw or paint yourself? Go for it! Do you like things neat and orderly – all lined up and such? Or do you like things at all different angles? The choice is yours. I don’t advise overlapping images – let them each stand unobstructed.

What are those dreams of yours?

Hopefully by now you have an idea where you want your vision board, what it will be ‘made of’ and how you want to go about getting the images. Now you can go Google the 3 or 5 or 12 steps to create one of this type. In a nutshell: get the stuff and put it together. The really juicy part though – is figuring out what those images are. Again, you get to decide how simple or complex that process is.

You can go super deep, retrospective, take plenty of time to think about your 5, 10 and 25 year goals. Unless trying to take a long time is not your cup of tea… in which case you might get bored and never finish.

You can simply just listen to your heart, your gut, and perhaps you already know what should be on a board like this. You’ve always wanted to own a sailboat. You really want an herb garden that supports your culinary needs. Then just go for it! … Unless doing something quick might make you feel like you skimped on the process, like you left something out, or that something might be missing.

Your last decision, then, is how long you want to spend on it. You are not carving anything in stone so if you try something and it just doesn’t end up being right? You can always create another one. Go with your instinctual answer to each of the questions above and give it a shot!

Last tip… actually look at your vision board!

The vision board does much more when you intentionally look at it. Take a few minutes (or a long time) to take in the images on a regular basis. Use your imagination to feel, hear, smell, experience what those images represent. It will still do some good even if it is only passively in your periphery, but why not maximize the power of this amazing tool?! Use your imagination to picture these dreams as reality. Use your imagination like you did when you were a kid.

You are unique and you deserve to absolutely love your life! This is why I love working 1-on-1 and in small groups to help you find ways to create beautiful, dynamic balance in your life! If you are interested in a discovery session to learn about working together, please contact me.

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