Have you ever done a vision board or written a vision statement? If not, have you heard of either of these? What I personally recommend to you is to do both a vision board and a vision statement, and I’m going to tell you why and how.
Vision boards and vision statements are both great ways to set goals for yourself. In creating both of these, you’re actively participating in deciding how you want your life to be. Rather than letting life happen to you, you’re making what you want to happen come into existence.
You can create a digital or physical vision board. For a digital vision board, all you need is a collage app (Pic Collage is great, and it’s FREE) and the internet. If you have Pinterest, that’s a bonus, as it makes organization easy, but it’s not necessary. In this version, you pick out photos of what you imagine your life being and of what motivates you, save the images to your phone, create a collage, and save the collage to your phone. For a little extra motivation, use it as your background or screensaver on your phone, so you don’t have to go searching for it. For a physical vision board, you’ll need poster board (I recommend going to the dollar store, often times they have 2/$1 on poster board), glue or tape (whichever you prefer) and either magazines or a printer. For the physical version, I recommend using a color of poster board that is going to stand out against the wall you’re going to put it on. Be sure to put it somewhere that you can see it regularly, but not somewhere where it’s easy to ignore. If you choose the magazine route, source magazines that speak to you (ie. if you’re more of a home & garden person than a techy person, choose your magazines accordingly) and tear out / cut out photos that speak to you, photos that inspire you. If you’d rather search Pinterest or the rest of the internet, print the photos you find there. The photos you should be looking for are anything you can imagine when someone asks you to describe your “dream life”. Your perfect car? Your perfect house? What does the inside of that house look like? Is fitness part of your goal? What does “fit” mean to you? Find those photos. What if calm and peace are part of your dream life? What pictures can you find that denote those ideas? Maybe a quote that speaks to you needs to take center stage. Any of this will work – this is completely customizable and completely YOU. This serves as a visual, daily, reminder of what you’re working so hard to achieve. Now, you don’t need a ton of pictures to completely cover the board. Right now, I have a bright green board against a white wall with ONE picture on it. It’s a woman who is sitting and meditating accompanied by the word “BALANCE”. This is what I strive for, and quite honestly, it’s what I struggle with; balance. I look at it regularly, but also whenever I feel “off” or whenever I need a reminder of what my goals are. Looking at it brings me back to center and allows me to refocus.
The Pro/Con situation is pretty straight forward. The Pro is that you’re selecting pictures that you feel are part of your dream, and that these photos enforce your goals and your determination to get there. The CON is that you don’t know what’s behind those photos. As an example, if the photo is two people on a yacht on the ocean and they’re smiling, are they really happy? What troubles did they have to endure to get there? The CON is that there are hidden struggles. I get that. But the photos are there to remind you of the end goal. If you’re someone who sets goals, and does what it takes to achieve them, then you’re someone who can acknowledge that there will be some roadblocks and speed bumps, in your journey, but you’ll still get there. The “behind the scenes” of the photos may not occur to you and if they do, they may be a moot point, because all you need is the photo of that end goal to get what you want.
Vision statements have a similar intent to vision boards, however rather than pictures, you’re writing down what you want and you’re saying in in the present and in first person. When you write things down, in your own handwriting, it makes a special connection in your brain, it solidifies what you want. (Side Note: I had a professor in college who encouraged us to take notes in class, but then go home and type them out. We would turn them in for extra credit, our initial motivation, but the in the end he was having us do that to solidify our knowledge and do better on exams.) I mentioned “I am” statements in a previous post. This is similar in that, with a vision statement you’re not saying that “I wish I was,” you’re putting a date to it, you’re saying you ARE that thing. The date is completely up to you; where do you want to be in six months? Is that too far off? How about three months? Maybe even just four weeks. Pick a reasonable date for achieving your goals and write them down, present tense, first person, and BE SPECIFIC. Use actual, measurable goals and numbers. Do you want to increase your income by $10k by this time next year? Do you want to lose 15 pounds in six months? Do you want to volunteer once a month at a senior center or at an animal shelter? Keep your vision statement handy, you may not need to review it daily, it wouldn’t hurt, but at least review it weekly.
Creating a vision board and a vision statement isn’t the end; you just don’t write down what you want and cut/paste some pictures and it magically appears. You do have to work for it, but these are physical reminders of what you’re working for and, when used together, can turn you into a powerful force who can likely get goals accomplished in a shorter time frame than you originally planned.
I’ve given you a general guideline below for a vision statement, please feel free to use it, tweak it, or share it with someone you feel it may help.
Today is MM/DD/YY. My name is ___________ and I am
*what do you want your personal life to look like
*what do you want your finances to look like
*where do you want to be in your career
*how do you want to feel about yourself
*what do you want to do for others
*how do you want to look/feel about yourself
I hope this post speaks to you, as I do with all my other posts. My goal with these posts is to help people be better versions of themselves. The world gets in our heads, we get in our own heads, and often times we forget how simple it can be to be happy and to have what we want in life. And these are by far the simplest ways I have found to center myself and to be a better version of me.
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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