Do you love scrapbooking? Do you love arts and crafts projects with your kids? Do you read magazines and often take out clippings? Yes? Great! No? No worries at all, you are JUST like me! I have a couple of scrapbooking friends and honestly it’s a concept I can’t get my head around. I barely have time to put the photos into an album nevermind add cutesy captions or stickers or whatever else goes into that particular hobby! And don’t get me wrong, I say that with a slight tinge of jealousy because I would love to be the person who has books of documented joyous occasions cleverly and appropriately captioned that makes it fun for current and future generations to enjoy…….but I’m not that person! There are a couple of things in my 36 years of life, that to this point; I have never done! You can probably guess number one: scrapbooking! I also rarely read magazines, apart from the required grabbing of People or Star at the airport, which happens now even less with the existence of two kiddos under the age of five. It doesn't tend to bode well for airplane gossip mag browsing! As for arts and crafts with my kids……hmm, I can’t say I have never done this, but interestingly, I am struggling as I type to think of one single project we have done together, oops! I tend to leave crafty type affairs to daycare and / or my husband. (I have gifts in other areas of mothering so I won’t feel too guilty here!) I tell you all of this to set the stage that the concept of a Vision Board could have been the last thing in the world I imagined I would enjoy and yet, read on!
First, what is a Vision Board? “A Vision Board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on a specific life goal. A Vision Board is any board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do, or have in your life”, www.makeavisionboard.com. I recommend that you make your Vision Board without too much research about what it is or how to do it. I say this because that is what I did. I came across the site above after I had completed my Board and knowing me, I would have gone in an entirely different direction - focusing on whether or not it contained all the key elements and if I followed the right “process.” Instead, I had in my head what a Vision Board was, I purchased a whole bunch of magazines (who knew that magazines became so expensive?!) and started clipping and sticking! I wish I could articulate better how enjoyable the whole experience was and the final product is something with which I am beyond happy. I felt like my 5-year old coming home from school with a new creation he couldn’t wait to show his mom! However, the beauty of a Vision Board is that you don’t need to show anyone, this is something about you, and just FOR you.
Before I share my personal findings I wanted to give you a few of my tips for Vision Boarding:
- Don’t over think it. Just get a big piece of card (or in my case just stick three giant pieces of good-quality paper together, stolen from my kids' art drawer) and purchase a bunch of magazines. I’d advise about five magazines of varying titles and topics. I chose the following: ‘House & Garden’, ‘Success,' ‘Psychologies,' ‘Parenting,' ‘Vogue,' and ‘People’!
- Sit on the floor with a cup of tea (or beverage of choice) and some chocolate; this is essential. (Okay, it’s not essential, but it’s a good rule!)
- Start clipping (but don’t stick yet), cut out anything that appeals to you; a phrase, a word, an image, a picture…. anything that resonates with you. I did not have a focus for my Vision Board (such as career OR family etc.) but you certainly can. I just chose to concentrate on a mesh of it all, as is life!
- Once you have all your clippings ready, start sticking. I started by first sticking the larger images as the first layer and then I started sticking smaller images and phrases over these. You may want a more organized and simpler Vision Board; I went with the "get as much on there as possible strategy"!
- Post the final product somewhere (on a wall, in a closet, wherever you will see it daily), stand back, and admire your awesome creativity and vision for YOUR future.
In all its crazy glory, here is a copy of my final Vision Board:
As you can see, I cheated a little and started my Vision Board with my family; there is and never will be anything more important to me than those three people, so it just made sense they had to be center stage! From this process, here is what I was able to deduce:
- Career. My career is important to me. Working on my own time and my own terms with balance is critical, thus the picture of the active high-powered woman on the top right surrounded by home office pictures and phrases about strength and balance and sandwiched between pictures of a beach and family!
- Knowledge. Read, read, read and learn, learn, learn, I want to soak in as much knowledge as I can. My thirst for knowledge is depicted in the bottom left with a woman on the go, phrases about reading and writing. The ‘quit to win’ represents the leap of faith I need to take in moving from my safe, corporate job into the risky, unknown world of entrepreneurship, where no doubt ‘learning on steroids’ will occur!
- The beach. Clearly, this is important to me as I managed to squeeze in four beach images into the one Vision Board! I have always loved the beach; it’s just my happy place, so I know living near or on a beach needs to be in my future. Apologies in advance to my sister / business partner here who may choose to visit less often!
- Food! A strange future vision maybe? This doesn't surprise me. I know I am not cut out to be a chef, but honestly, I sometimes feel like I should have (or maybe still will someday) work in the food industry in some form or fashion. I love everything about enjoying a meal with friends and family, finding new places to experience, watching shows, movies, and documentaries about restaurants and chefs. It’s important to me that my kids have a healthy relationship with food and that is why I have a picture near the top referencing this. Eating and / or preparing good healthy fresh food (with the occasional chocolate cake thrown in) just makes me happy!
- Community. I have included some pictures of children and activities for kids. The community is partially representing the importance of my own children’s happiness, but it also represents my strong pull towards becoming a child advocate in my life. I am a member of a non-profit organization with a national cause for the prevention of child abuse, but I know I want to and will do more in this area.
- Enjoyment and fulfillment. This is probably the central theme of my vision board. I want to have a balance of the key elements in my life (depicted in the middle by the YOU. FUN. HOME. images). I want to continue my journey of self-exploration so that I can work toward calming my mind and living happily in the present moment. I want to be fulfilled by a purposeful career that allows me to prioritize my time for myself, my family, my friends, and my community.
I encourage you all now to grab some magazines, scissors, and some glue and start carving out a vision for your future and what is important to you. We all deserve to live our lives to the fullest and Vision Board'ing is one small but powerful step in that direction.