How to Make a Vision Board

Keep Your Goals in the Forefront

Making a vision board is one of the best ways to get clear on your goals and keep them front and center in your daily life. Create a vision board.Making a vision board is one of the best ways to get clear about your goals and keep them front and center in your daily life. If your goals are part of your every day focus, then you are able to use them as a reference point in making decisions. If you want to publish a novel this year, then deciding between sitting in front of the television for a few hours in the evening versus sitting in front of the computer (or typewriter? or notebook with pen?) to write is made easier if you are reminded that your goal is publishing a novel. What facilitates this process of keeping your goals visible? A Vision Board.

What is a Vision Board?

Quite simply, a Vision Board is a board (physical or digital) that holds or displays pictures. Those pictures represent goals you want to achieve:

  • Obtaining something material, (like a new iPad)
  • Completing a project (like a kitchen remodel)
  • What your life looks like when you achieve your goal(s) (sipping drinks from the beach)
  • What you want your life to feel like (calm, peaceful, relaxed, healthy)

Any or all of the above. It’s your board, so you get to make the rules. If you are creating a physical board, then you need something to contain and display the pictures. I have used poster board and glued photos to it and I have done boards using a cork board and push pins which allowed some flexibility in arranging and changing the pictures if I needed to.

How to Make a Vision Board

How to Make a Vision Board
My business goals vision board for 2016

1. Gather Materials Needed

It’s pretty simple, really. You just need some picture sources (magazines, printouts, catalogs, photos, etc.), a background (poster board or cork board work great), a way to adhere them (tape or glue or push pins), and a place to hang your finished board.

2. Figure Out What Your Vision Board is About

Does your goal involve material things (car, iPod)? Are you trying to capture a mood or feeling (serenity, energy, abundance)? A place you want to visit (Ireland, Paris, Australia, Napa Valley)? Or a combination of these? Make a list so you can find the inspiring images, which is the next step.

3. Find Appropriate Images

Clip images from magazines or catalog, and/or download images from the web. Anything that inspires you to think about a particular goal. One of  my business goals is to offer weekend retreats for women on topics like Overcoming Fear, and Finding Your True Self. I have an image of women around a table enjoying a meal together, as that photo represents the sense of community I want my retreats to have. Additionally, I have the words “FEAR NOT!” clipped from a magazine ad that fit my retreat goal.

4. Lay Out Your Board

Now that you have a pile of images, you can arrange them any way you’d like on the cork board or poster board. Play around with this a bit to find an arrangement you’re happy with. Don’t spend too much time to perfect the layout as it’s more important to just get the images onto the board so you can begin to display it.

5. Look At It Every Day

Your board does no good if you set it in the back of closet, buried under out-of-season clothes. Put your board somewhere you will see it every day. It has to serve as a daily reminder of what your goals are, that way you will recognize opportunities that lead to goal achievement as well as be able to make goal-based decisions.

Now Go Do It!

To help you along, I’ve created a little video tutorial (see below) to walk you through the steps. I know that there are some of you who are still overwhelmed by the thought of actually doing a vision board. So I have created a How to Make a Vision Board booklet with step-by-step instructions, along with three layouts for you use with some ideas for things to put on the board.

Do vision boards work? Well, I have a picture of rolling green pasture that I put on one of my vision boards about two years ago to represent my bucket list item of going to Ireland. Guess who’s going to Ireland in June?!

Last year’s vision board captured the mood I wanted for the year: peaceful, calm, relaxing, healthy. I’d have to say that overall, those are words I would use to describe 2015, even though there were plenty of upheavals and uncertainties.

Are you ready to get started on YOUR vision board? Watch the video…

How to Stop Procrastinating: Finished is Better Than Perfect

Hung Up on Perfect

I start a lot of projects; I don’t always finish them all. Sometimes I get bored or I “figure out” the project before it is completed and the project looses its appeal or I get distracted. Often I get hung up on perfect.

In my mind, I’m not a “perfectionist.” I don’t feel the need to be perfect or have everything be perfect. I do, however, often feel I could complete a project better if… I had more time, more money, more resources, more…. something. Lately I’ve been taking this problem – because it is a problem – head on. It’s time to stop procrastinating.

Let me just interject here that “project” has a fairly loose definition. It can be anything as mundane as cleaning out a closet to something way more interesting, like writing a book. Size and scope of the project seem to have little bearing on my ability to complete it!

Tactics to Stop Procrastinating:

1. Don’t get distracted: Keep the original goal in the forefront.

Why did I take on the project to begin with? Cleaning out my clothes closet is not on the “fun project” list, but I know I need to get rid of stuff that’s not being used. The “do it better” me wants to completely re-do the closet: new shelving, new hangers, new containers, and everything will look like it could be on the cover of a DIY magazine on organizing. “Realistic” me knows that just going through and pulling out the clothes I no longer wear (ever) and the things I no longer use (why did I buy that wide-brimmed hat?) will make a world of difference.

Unfortunately, “realistic” me walks into that closet and “do it better” me butts in within minutes. The trick is to keep “do it better” me in check. There is always more that can be done. And truthfully, until the closet is decluttered, you can’t know what the “right” closet organizers are. Furthermore, if any other unfinished projects emerge from the closet (that box of photos that should be scrapbooked, for instance), “do it better” morphs into “that’s more fun, do that instead” me.

No! Stand firm! Goal for this project is: get rid of stuff. If I keep reminding myself of that, then “do it better” me can sit in a corner and pout while “realistic” me tackles the goal.

2. Plan ahead to make the process smoother.

This is one with which I’m getting better. Nothing is more discouraging than being all pumped up about a project only to dig in and find you are missing something. It can be disastrous if that something is critical; or potentially enlightening if you figure out a way not to need that missing something. Either way though, it is frustrating and time consuming, both of which take away from “getting it done.” So take a moment to think about what you need in order to complete the project before you delve into the project itself.

3. Set time boundaries.

What is the amount of time that is appropriate for the project? For writing a blog post, I like to set aside a couple of hours. It should probably take less than that, but I feel that’s a reasonable amount of time. If the post seems to be taking much longer, than it either needs to be broken down into multiple posts (perhaps I have a lot to say?!), or it’s not ready yet (the words just aren’t flowing). I also have a time boundary in the sense that I set a deadline for when I want to post. Without that I am likely to put off publishing a post so I can tweak it a bit further. Nope. Have to get it done today. Which leads me to my fourth point:

Stop procrastinating: finished is better than perfect4. As is, is better than not at all.

Which is, of course, much like saying finished is better than perfect. Only this doesn’t have to apply to finished. My closet is better even if I only get to clean off one shelf. It’s not finished, but it’s better than not cleaning that one shelf at all. Publishing this post today, even if some part of me thinks that four tactics is somehow not as good as five (odd numbers are better, right?) and I’m sure with a little more time I could think of something else to add… Nope. It’s time to hit the “publish” button (as soon as I find an appropriate photo to accompany this post, of course).

[By the way, one can come back a year and a half later and tweak things in the post. Just saying.]