What is a vision board? 

It is a visual representation of one’s goals and dreams usually in image and text format. Pasted on the wall where one can see it on a daily basis.

What is its purpose? 

To remind one about their goals, dreams or plans over a certain period of time, thus serving as motivation for one to go out there and set out to achieve them.

What is the science behind it working? 

What you consume on a daily basis becomes engraved on your sub conscious, whether you are hearing things about yourself, feeding things to your mind or in this case seeing visual representations of what you want your future to be like, you are consuming ideas about your life and future and it sparks a curiosity for the mind to know more, be more, do more and over a period of time with one thinking about it, planning, researching about it and making trials and errors, it eventually becomes a reality. It starts out as an idea or image and over time becomes a journey of self-discovery and personal development.

Who should create a vision board and how often?

Everyone who has a dream or future goals can create one. It could be a student making one for graduation day or Varsity, it could be a young working-class person pasting images for an ideal home and car or a middle-aged person making one for ideal travel destinations etc. Most people are fired up beginning of the year with their resolutions and they create one then, however there’s no rule to when one can start. Anytime you get a bright idea or want to change your life, go for it! People change their minds over time, you can create as many as you wish as long as at any given time, they speak to who you are or what you want to be. Don’t be ashamed to change your mind.

Outline the practical steps to take for any reader to DIY a vision board at home

Start out with what you want or wish for, think about where you want to see yourself in a year, 5yrs or 10yrs time, how do you want to be remembered. Think about what you always wanted to be growing up. Think about your life now, what do you need to change, what new skills do you need to acquire, how can you improve your relationships, what self-love actions can you practice on a daily basis, what makes you happy, what excites you, what fulfils you etc. Write down all your ideas.

Gently critique them where necessary, you can use the SMART Goal setting procedure and you write down goals that are;

Specific not vague

Measurable or quantifiable, you must have a way to track or measure your progress

Attainable, not mere fantasies

Realistic or Relevant, as in your context, to your situation, this is where you test if something is authentic to you or you are just flowing with trends etc

Time frame, can you achieve these over a set period of time, do you have deadlines in place

After that, find old magazines and cut out images that speak to what you have listed. E.g. if you want to lose weight, you could cut out the word weight loss, or cut out an image of a person who embodies fitness etc. When you have all your images, get a board could be something you got from a stationery shop or a card box, paste the images using glue and hang the board on your bedroom wall, where you can see it first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to bed.

What to do once your vision board is done – how to identify what it’s telling you and then make those things happen?

A vision board is a great tool for self-discovery. You get to hear your inner voice through it and be able to deduce what it is you need to do, starting with which one. E.g. one who researches weight loss may mean that they are unhappy about their body. From each image pasted, in a small notebook break down little tasks or to do lists that will help you achieve it e.g. research gym places near you, their costs and have a look at various diet plans and see which one suits you or find a local running club etc. It is not merely a board to look at, it is constant work on a daily basis, one small thing at a time.

Expert tips to keep you motivated

  1. Find a Mentor or Coach, someone who can gently nudge you forward on those times you get demotivated or demoralized.
  2. Be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself beyond what you can bear. It takes a considerable amount of time for new habits to form, be patient.
  3. Always come back to your values, not what other people are doing or saying. It has to be authentic to you, for it to work.
  4. If you are feeling misaligned at any point in the process, rest and come back when you have regrouped.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up for changing your mind. It is normal human behaviour and growth. Speak to yourself positively instead of saying “I’m a failure”, say “I’m trying my best and in due time, I will accomplish what I have set out to do”.
  6. Don’t try to take a big bite at a time, do one small thing at a time.
  7. Reward yourself for every little achievement to keep yourself motivated.
  8. Hang around like minded individuals, this will instil in you, a sense of belonging and inject you with constant doses of inspiration.
  9. Feed your mind goodness, buy inspirational CDs, books or dvds.
  10. Share your success story with others. Spread the goodness around!

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