Vision Boards - Part 4
As we've seen, authors use vision boards as a way to visually bring their characters and settings to life and to connect with their stories. Vision boards can also serve a strong purpose in life regardless of the creative pursuit, motivating you to identify and focus on your more important goals and cherished dreams.
The visual aspect of a vision board is what makes it so powerful. Athletes and sports psychologists have long used visualization as a tool to achieving a goal, counteracting the undercurrent of negative thoughts, and training both the body and mind for success. The same principles apply to life vision boards -- by focusing on goals and consistently seeing yourself achieve them, you are preparing yourself for success.
You also don't need to limit your vision to a single board. Take a look at author Alexandria Bishop's wall, where she arranges images and quotes into an artistic "vision gallery."
Bishop used to use digital boards and decided to change to a physical board this year. "I actually approach my board from more of a spiritual aspect and see it as a manifestation board," she says. "When I create my board, I like to think of what goals I accomplished the year before and what goals I’d like to accomplish. Sometimes these can be stretches or something that I can easily accomplish. Something I recently learned and I’m trying out this year is to add 2-3 items to your board that you’ve already done/accomplished. It’s way to trick your mind in a positive way. It’s similar to creating a 'to do' list and adding items to the list just to cross it off."
Author Nicole Ellis has a unique approach to a "traveling" vision board: "I first made a poster board vision board, but it felt too limiting, so I found an old photo album and made different pages for each goal. This way I can move it to different rooms with me and flip through the pages, viewing each goal. For example, I have a 'Friends' page with photos of some friends because I want to strengthen relationships with friends and meet new people. There's a travel page and a page with small images of all of my books and inspirational quotes, etc. I can swap pages out or add new goals as they come to me over the year."
Author Kathy Steffen also creates a vision board for her life in January, in place of New Year's resolutions. Steffen keeps her Guidance Board in her writing space, where it inspires and focuses her. By contrast, her WIP board is folded, and she brings it out as needed while working on a book or when she wants to brainstorm ideas or "simply think about my story and get lost in it."
Sometimes circumstances inspire new ways of creating a vision board. A portable notebook became author Danica Favorite's vision board when she found herself in a state of flux during a house remodel. "I make a point of going through my notebook on a regular basis to remind myself of my goals and dreams. Now that I have an office (YAY!!!), I'm doing something similar on a poster board that I can see from my desk."
Favorite uses the board to capture a vision of herself as a writer and what she intends to do with her life. "I have various quotes and sayings that inspire me, but I also have pictures of my dreams," she says. "...I try to focus on my board daily to remind myself of why I'm doing what I do and what my goals are. Writing can be a hard business, so focusing on your why and what's important to you keeps you grounded when times get tough."
Bishop's gallery wall is in her bedroom, where she sees it every day when waking up and every night before going to bed. She also focuses her vision wall on different areas of her life and uses a visualization technique to keep herself both mentally and emotionally invested in achieving her goals.
"I like to add personal, spiritual, business, and family goals all to my board," Bishop says. "But my number one thing is I focus on things that make me happy. I don’t want to make a board that is daunting or the idea of it puts me in a bad mood. And this might be a little more 'woo woo' than some, but when I pick images and use them, I like to imagine the feeling of accomplishing that goal. Really picture myself in that place and the celebration that I’ll have in my mind. Which is the next step. Celebration. Each time I do something/meet a goal/manifest something, I celebrate it. I allow myself the time to truly feel the occasion before forcing myself to move on to my next goal."
Steffen also uses her boards as a way to stay emotionally invested in her life and projects. She says, "I think it’s all part of connecting with creativity and allowing it to come as magic or something beyond my brain—come from my heart—as opposed to the technical aspects of writing...It’s all synergistic."
Thanks so much for joining us for the Vision Board series! Do you create vision or mood boards for your life and work? Tell us about them in the comments below!