This article is a companion piece to our Featured Article “Forget the Resolutions, Create a Vision Board that works”.
The creative mechanics of creating a vision board couldn’t be easier, and the materials are very basic: Find a piece of poster board, glue, scissors, and a variety of different kinds of magazines – or print images from the web. Print or cut out both images and quotes or words that inspire you. Then, cut and paste to your heart’s content. There is no minimum or maximum number of images you should use. It’s a personal process that is different for everyone, but we have included one sample image.
Beyond the basics – how to make the experience much more powerful:
Don’t let your brain run the show – Feel, don’t think your way through the exercise.
Our rational minds imagine our futures in neat, organized steps. It will tempt you to search for images by thinking things like: “What is the logical next step in my career?’ or “What kind of man would make me happy?” or “What tropical destination is most affordable for a family of five?” But you’ll end up with a vision devoid of real purpose or emotion.
And if you just grab the magazines or use images already lying around your house, you may miss images that represent a future you haven’t yet imagined.
Use this process as a guide:
- Get as calm as you can by relaxing, breathing deeply and imaging an extremely positive experience in your life
- Light a candle, use aromatherapy – whatever it takes to make sure all your senses feel inspired
- When you look at images, look more at outlines of the images rather than focusing on details
- Grab any images that jump out at you, regardless if they make sense to your rational mind
- Sit comfortably and review the images before you apply the glue. Weed out those magazines that truly don’t resonate with your body - you’ll feel it
- Observe your process of making the vision board; it can clue you into the way you operate in life. If you take too much time looking for the “ideal images,” you may find that perfectionism gets in your way. If you never make time to complete the exercise, you may find that you spend so much time taking care of everyone else’s needs that you neglect your own.
While doing these things, watch out for these 5 DON’Ts:
- Don’t be seduced by the marketing. If you flip through one magazine for too long, you will get pulled into the advertising trance of the images and words. Tune into how the images are making you feel: anxious, jealous, joyful, trapped? Pick out the images that make your body feel great – like the way favorite food tastes when you are hungry.
- Don’t stick with what’s possible. If you have a big pile of images that don’t seem to go together, don’t worry about it! You may not know what a fly fisherman in Montana and a yurt in Mongolia have to do with each other. Don’t try to make a rational connection, just accept that both images mean something to your Stargazer self.
- Don’t look at the images in a conventional way. Turn the magazines upside down and look at the images as designs instead of literal pictures. Notice how your body reacts. Many people will lean towards images that feel right, and lean away from those that feel wrong. Others notice a very “open” feeling in their head or chest towards attractive images and muscle tension when viewing repelling ones. As you gaze at these images, your mind may try to identify their literal form.
- Don’t fall for clichés. Even many of the existing websites about creating vision boards come with slick sales letters and cheesy audio greetings, extremely materialistic and cliché images: Palm trees. Beaches. Fast cars. Dollar signs. Beautiful women. In short, every get rich quick symbol possible. The point is not that you can’t have a picture of a palm tree and a beach on your vision board. But only include these images if you are magnetically attracted to them. Don’t put anything on your board that doesn’t feel extremely juicy and appealing.
- Don’t settle for second best. If you get a strong feeling that you want to interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show but can only find a picture of your local consumer affairs reporter, leave the space blank!
-Credit: Much of this instruction came from Martha Beck’s website. She appeared on Oprah with Louise Hay to discuss Vision Boards, and we are big fans!