One of the hardest things about trying to accomplish your dreams is understanding exactly what your dreams are. Sure you can say something like, “I want to be an author” but what does that really mean? Do you just want to publish a book? or do you want to self-publish a book? Do you want to earn you living from this type of work? or do you want to be a best selling author.
I think it’s extremely important that you are able to articulate what you want in life. For you to accomplish your dreams, you need to know what they are. It takes baby steps to reach your goals, lets be honest it doesn’t happen over night. If you don’t know where your final destination is you won’t know how to get there.
So to help me achieve my goals I created a vision board.
Define: Vision Board
Definition: A location where you place images or words related to the goals and dreams you hope to achieve. This board can be dedicated to one goal or to many.
The purpose of a vision board is to place your goals at the top of your mind, always having it in a place where you can see it. If your goals and dreams are always front of mind you will continue to put effort in towards reaching them, even if the action is something small.
I took the literal sense of a vision board and decided to make one on a cork board. I thought it was a great exercise and I wanted to share it because it may help you with staying motivated to achieve your dreams.
I’m not going to go into extreme detail on how I created it. There are several articles on this, here’s one that gives the general steps: http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/. Instead I want to share with you the important things I took away from the experience that will help you produce the best vision board possible.
1. Think About It! – You need to take ten minutes or however long necessary to think about what you actually want in life. Think about your dreams and what they would actually look like if you achieve them. You must also decided the purpose of your board, do you want it to include all of your goals in your life or one in particular? It might also help you to write them out, you can then go threw and cross off anything that isn’t as important to you as the others.
2. Photoshop It! – Most of the articles I read told me to get a handful of magazines and select pictures from them that represent what I want in life. While this was helpful for some things, I think you need to photoshop the things that are really important to you. For example, I want to be a bestselling author so I photoshopped my name and book name into a screenshot I took of the New York Times Best Seller list. This makes your images more real for you and is basically a psychology trick.
3. Don’t expect to be done quickly– A few of the articles I read about this said to set time aside and state your intention. They make it sound like it will take only an hour or two. Guess what? It takes longer than that. Don’t be afraid to do it in chunks, that way you’ll be less inclined to rush it just so you can be done. I broke mine up into: painting the frame, cutting out the pictures, putting the pictures on card stock and then assembling.
4. You don’t need to put everything on your board– When I started I had tons of pictures I had cut out or printed and then put on card stock. When I went to assemble my board, I couldn’t fit them all. You might say well if you don’t put them all on then that means one of your goals or dreams is missing from your board! In reality what ends up happening is that you have duplicate pictures for the same dream or goal, get rid of one of them. This will also help you whittle down what you actually want.
5. Update– You’ll need to update this board regularly. Maybe you decided one day that you have another goal that is more important to you than anything on the board currently. Or maybe you accomplished one of your goals. Make sure you update your board as needed, for some peoples this may be once a quarter or once a year. It is up to you to decided how often you need to change it.
The Final Result:
Remember this is an exercise intended to help you articulate your dreams and to give you the motivation to keep after them. Don’t stress over it too much, it is meant to be fun. Make sure you’re having a good time while you create yours.