Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means….It’s vision board time! If you’ve never created a vision board (a.k.a. treasure map), you’re in for a real treat. Why? Because vision boards are all about dreaming, and making those dreams come true. Best of all, making a vision board is fun and easy!
What is a vision board?
A vision board is a collage of images and words that illustrate what you want to happen, achieve, or become within the next year. It’s a physical representation of your dreams and desires. It’s an effective way to stay positive and focused on what you truly want out of life. If you think about it, we make mini vision boards all the time, in the form of to-do lists. Think of a vision board as the mac-daddy of all to-do lists, but nothing on it is an obligation or a chore; instead, everything on your vision board is a dream or goal that you want to come true.
Now before you roll your eyes and write this off as Some Airy-Fairy New Age Thing, hear me out: There is something to be said about writing down our goals and focusing on what we DO want out of life. On a day-to-day basis, we tend to fall into the trap of bellyaching about our situations. “I hate my old car.” “My house is too small.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I never have enough time.” All this negative talk weighs us down. And as we focus on what we don’t have, ironically, we lose sight of what we actually want, what’s most important to us. Vision boards give us the opportunity to shift our perspective and begin to focus on what we do want.
Do vision boards have to be made in the Spring?
Technically, no. Vision boards can be made whenever the mood strikes you (in fact, the emotions that go into creating your board are very powerful…more on that later).
That said, many vision board enthusiasts swear by creating boards at this time of year. These folks refer to their boards as “treasure maps,” and they do not begin their maps until the new moon in Aries (March 22), which closely coincides with the beginning of Spring. (I know zilch about astrology, but I am sticking to this schedule. It makes sense to me. Springtime is all about new growth and fresh starts.) And, they say, the absolute best time to finish your board is within three days of the new moon. But if you need to, you can take up to two weeks to complete it (until the next full moon, which takes place on April 6).
How do you make a vision board?
Oooh, this is the fun part. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Poster board (any color you like; I’ve used orange in the past; it’s bold and energizing)
- Magazines* (new, current issues are better, but hand-me-downs are fine, too, as long as they are new to you)
- Glue (rubber cement works best)
* Important! If you choose to take advantage of the new moon in Aries, do not buy your magazines until the new moon begins on March 22. Why? Because you want all that fresh, vibrant energy of the new moon to guide you and inspire you as you select the magazines, browse through them, cut out images that speak to you, etc.
Divide the poster board into nine equal squares, like a tic-tac-toe grid. Starting with the top left square and moving from left to right, assign each square one of the following “areas”: Abundance, Fame/Reputation, Relationship, Family, Health, Creativity, Self-Knowledge/Travel, Work/Career, and Angels.
Abundance: This is some thing or concept you see yourself enjoying more of. Most people think of money or material goods when it comes to this area. I’ve always focused on things that were dream-worthy, yet attainable. In other words, I’ve never asked for “a bazillion kajillion dollars.” Some non-material ideas for abundance are energy, good health, time, joy, patience, etc.
Fame/Reputation: This is how you want others to see you. Your outer persona, if you will. How do you want others to perceive you? Successful? Confident? Happy? Positive?
Relationship: You can focus on any core relationship(s) here. How do you see your connection improving with this person or people?
Family: What do you want to happen for your family this year? More quality time together? It’s helpful to include a picture of your happy family, surrounded by images or words that show what you’d like to be experiencing together.
Health: In what ways do you see your health improving? This is one of the areas that always gets a lot of attention from me. I’ve focused on things like a healthy immune systems, more and better quality sleep, increased energy levels, etc.
Creativity: How do you see yourself fulfilling your creative side? What are your hobbies? Are you a painter at heart? A writer? A musician? A gardener? Find images or words that express your desire to create.
Self-Knowledge/Travel: You can focus on one or both of these areas. What trips do you aspire to make within the next year? Self-knowledge refers to how you wish to improve yourself. What aspects of yourself do you wish to cultivate? Your spirituality? Your ability to enjoy the present moment?
Work/Career: How do you see your work or career growing? What are your career goals? As an at-home mom, I wasn’t sure what to put in this area, so I included a little of everything―my “jobs” as a mother, homemaker, assistant to my husband and his business, volunteer, writer. You get the idea. It’s whatever you believe to be your life’s work.
Angels: These are the people who can help you achieve your goals. They can be friends, family members, celebrities, living, deceased, real, fictional…it’s up to you. Choose people that inspire you.
Now crack open your magazines and flip through the pages. Don’t analyze things too much. That defeats the purpose. Trust your emotions, your heart, your gut. Select the images and words that truly move you on a visceral level; that give you a radiant, excited feeling. No emotional reaction? Leave it. And then paste what you find under one of the nine areas.
If the thought of forking over $20 or $30 just for magazines gives you pause, no worries. The Internet is free! You can Google any of your concepts, and then print out the images that inspire you. Don’t forget about libraries, thrift stores, and used bookstores, too. You might get lucky and find some current issues of magazines you are attracted to.
And, if you’re like me and tend to gravitate more towards words than images, feel free to write up your own positive affirmations for each section of your vision board. No cutting and pasting required.
Can kids make vision boards, too?
Absolutely! Every year, T likes to get in on the action of cutting and pasting photos from magazines. One time, he got hold of an AutoTrader magazine and I was sure we’d wind up with a couple of raised mud trucks before year’s end. (Thankfully, we didn’t.) But seriously, vision boards can teach children some important lessons about setting goals and finding out what we really want from life…and what we can contribute.
Do vision boards work?
Yes, for us they have. One year, my husband “visualized” a new work truck, and he got it. He also visualized an annual income (a specific number) for himself, and he got it. This past year, my focus was on my family’s overall robust health and the (relatively) easy, natural birth of my daughter. I am pleased to say that I/we were blessed with both. In short, I’ve seen enough “proof” that vision boards work so that I continue to make one every single year.
If you’re interested in learning more about vision boards, Oprah.com has an entertaining article by Martha Beck (there’s even an online “O Dream Board” tool) and Mothering.com has a wealth of information in their treasure map discussion forums.
One last thing. When (not if, but when) you see the results of your vision board, be sure to take notice. I mean really acknowledge it when it happens, and share with others how it has happened for you. Taking the time to feel appreciation for your gifts feeds the positive-feeling cycle and keeps you open to receiving even more. (Cue sitar music….)
Have you made a vision board before? What was your experience like? What did you goals did you manifest?