Vision Boards & Beyond
What you can do after creating.
NOT interested in creating your future in the course of a day or two? I’m with you.
Putting so much pressure to have all your intentions, your vision for your future can leave you feeling defeated before you’ve even begun. Yes, taking time to dream, think, and be intentional is great but you can take YOUR time. Below are some simple guidelines to create a vision board, and what to do after the creative juices flow (because it does not have to stop there).
Creating a vision board is fun (and super purposeful, productive, and needed) but it’s the start, I want to touch on how to create a vision board and some steps you can take after that creation!
Here are the simple steps I recommend on starting with a vision board and what to do after, let’s just get right to it. I know you like a checklist!
1. SUPPLIES & THINK. Get the supplies (something to cut with, something flat to paste onto like paper, cardboard, poster board, glue, magazines, books, photos, images) and start by just THINKING the following:
- What is missing for me right now?
- What do I desire?
- How do I want to feel in the next year?
I do recommend keeping this offline, at least to start (so no Pinterest).
2. VISUAL FIRST & PILE: From there, do NOT write down anything just have those questions in your mind as you start first visually. I do recommend starting visually first, even if you’re unsure what you want your next year to look like, as you flip through images your heart will speak up. We can get so bogged down by the details and feeling like we have to have THE answer right away – let’s give our brains a minute to dream. The images most likely won’t represent their literal meanings, they’ll speak to you in much larger ways. You can cut words, images, colors, anything that speaks to you in some way. Don’t think so much about the details of each image just cut and pile them up.
- A single door from a magazine, you may interpret as new beginnings, taking that class you’ve always wanted but haven’t invested in.
- Wooden hangers strategically hung on a closet (that looks nothing like yours) may represent that flow and organization you’re craving in your work (they did for me).
- You may cut out the word “awaits” because that single word holds so much behind it for you. What is awaiting you?
3. SORT & LAY-OUT. Now begin to sort your images in a way that makes sense for you. You may group images that link to one big idea/intention/desire you have/category of life. As you sort, begin to lay them on your board. They can have space or overlap, also don’t worry – you may decide you don’t want to use all of the images/words.
4. GLUE & PLACE. After gluing it together find a place for your board, somewhere you’ll see it every day (desk, closet, dresser). Seeing it frequently is a must, we create it so we can appreciate it – and by appreciating it (taking it in) it will serve us in manifesting it (making it happen).
5. RUMINATE. I like to take it in for a couple of days, sometimes a week or two, and think about what each area means to me on a deeper level, what is coming to the surface. Ask yourself:
- What themes are there?
- Is there a word or a few words that represent my truest desires and intention?
- Do I feel like anything is missing?
6. CAST & STRATEGIZE YOUR VISION. I told you it doesn’t have to stop at the vision board, that’s a great starting point. Now is the time to cast your vision with strategy and a plan, get things down on paper, and a calendar. This is a step, with many steps:
- A) First, write what comes to mind in terms of themes, categories, intentions. If something seems really clear like it’s just screaming at you, write it out.
- For instance, I put a photo of Pete and I on there from our engagement photos, but this was a specific one, one you’d call a “blooper” that just turned magical. I’m jumping into his arms, not so gracefully and we are just bursting with laughter and joy, and playfulness. What’s screaming at me? Play Dina! Make time for our relationship, continue to prioritize it so we may play and find moments of pure joy that isn’t always centered around our children (there’s so much joy there) – but remembering it started with us. Him and I.
- B) Then consider your different “life categories”, these are areas of life you know you want to be intentional in, incorporate into your life, are important to you – below I have some category suggestions.
- Once you have your categories, outline if you have specific intentions under each. What do you want to do? How do you want to feel? What are you focusing on within each category? You likely have a lot of it already thought through from your vision board.
- For instance, I have “flow” on my vision board along with an image of neatly placed hangers. I know I selected them because I’m craving it for my professional life, I want more systems in place so I “work so much better” this was also another phrase I cut out and put on my board. I also cut out a piece of a book cover, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and put it on my board. That book resonated so much with me and I want to keep the key message, I’m a cheetah, top-of-mind.
- Here are the life categories I set intentions in (but you can have any areas you want): vocational/work, family, social, financial, relationships, health, spirituality, mental, physical, environment/home.
- C) SMART it. You may have heard of SMART goals before, that’s making sure it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. While this step can seem heavy, so logistical in nature, and far from the vision board creativity and dreaming phase – I want to encourage you to find peace in it. By thinking through each intention now that we’ve laid out in a SMART way, it can take the burden of feeling like we have to do it all, and all right now, away. Instead, by getting tactical and SMART about it, we can begin to think of our time and be more purposeful with it. So for each intention you’ve laid out, tighten it by going through the SMART steps.
- For example, I’ll go back to one of my vocational work intentions to have more flow and order. So let’s take it through the SMART steps to tighten.
- Is it specific? It could be tightened. I want more flow and order to my mailing list, and processes with clients (sharing documents and scheduling especially).
- How will I measure and track it? I want to measure it by efficiency and time allotted to the email list each week, and for the client processes, I’ll measure with feedback forms, read rate of messages, and our coaching sessions.
- Is it attainable? Work towards something that is challenging but attainable, vs trying to accomplish everything all at once. Believe me, as a small business owner there are a thousand things I want to change, do, get better at but I’ve selected three very attainable but challenging (because they will take time which is scarce with my schedule). Make sure your intention is attainable.
- Be realistic, and consider any and all challenges you may have to overcome. For me, it’s the learning curve of technology and new systems and the time it takes to do that. For that reason, I know I may not have the bandwidth to do it all, and instead, I’ll be bringing in a coach to teach me in a much shorter time, how to do these things. Also, I’m being realistic with what I don’t know, and instead, I’ll be leaning on outside sources to help. And lastly, I’ll be intentional as to when I will devote time to focusing on this, more on that next step!
- Make it time-bound, and task it. Consider when would it make sense for you to devote time and energy to this – avoid the urge to jump into everything all at once! Here’s where you get you list the steps, tasks, you need to do in order to carry out this intention. Get your calendar out and mark it. For each one ask:
- What are the steps and tasks needed with this intention?
- Knowing what’s likely going to be involved, when would it make sense for me to devote energy towards this? Is it a day, days, later in the year (yup, no one said you had to start right away). Be mindful of your energy and what’s going on in your life each month — when will you have the resources to devote energy to this new thing?
- Schedule it in your calendar. This is where you should begin to feel a sense of relief if you haven’t already. You see your year laid out, and realize, there is a lot of time – we all have the same amount of it – it’s just how we choose to be intentional with it.
7. REVISIT (often) & KNOW YOU CAN MODIFY. That “revisit” part means to practice the intentions that need to be daily, and keep the others top-of-mind or at least on the calendar for later. Check-in with yourself in a way that makes the most sense for you and feels right (journal, talking with your partner/friend on the topics/intentions, setting deadlines, a sticky note where you will always see it, etc). Many intentions or goals might not be tracked with metrics but perhaps an accountability partner/therapist/coach, someone who can help you keep it in mind and help check-in on your progression to integrating your intentions into your life can help.
So now you have a way to craft your intentions. There are so many ways to go about it, I encourage you to find a way that feels right for you!
And if you’d like some help, education, accountability – a fierce personal nurturer that wants nothing more than to help you achieve your desired wellness – let’s chat. I work with clients in a number of ways and I offer a free discovery call to chat the ways how, address questions you might have, and make sure we’re a right fit for one another. I’d love to help you along on your journey!
If you feel comfortable sharing any thoughts or questions that sparked for you I would love to hear – so write them below in the comments. We can learn so much from one another all while we do some learning of our own.
Thanks for being here and holding space for you and me.
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