Rethinking Vision Boards

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine told me about an incredible experience she had with a vision board. I love a good vision board, especially at the beginning of a new year, so I was intrigued. She said she read somewhere that vision boards often don’t work because they’re our vision for too far in the future. I usually think of vision boards as something I want to manifest throughout the year, but she said that’s never worked for her. And honestly, it’s never worked for me either.

She said she made a vision board with a photo of a cute little yorkie. A week later, a friend of a friend of a friend needed to re-home their dog. And it just happened to be a yorkie. She took that as a sign and agreed to take in the dog. He is 7 years old, I believe, and his name is Spanky which is obviously the best part of this story. And Spanky has brought so much light to her life.

Her story inspired me to rethink my own vision board techniques. I just had to try it. She recommended a few things:

  1. The vision has to be of your life in the next few weeks to a month. It’s difficult to manifest something that won’t come to fruition for a whole year. We lose sight of our goals in a very human way.

  2. Place it where you see it daily, multiple times a day. The more you see it the better. Can you make it your phone background or lock screen? Can you put it in a drawer you open every single day?

  3. Believe in the vision board and its capabilities. Manifesting won’t work unless you surrender to the possibilities.

What are the things you want for yourself, your family, your world? What can you find in old magazines, newspapers, and books that symbolize what you want to manifest? When I sat down to do this project, I had a hard time conceptualizing what I wanted for the next month of my life. But as I started flipping through magazines, that began to solidify.

I ripped out the pages of the magazines with images that spoke to me: a guitar, lots of scenic views, a gorgeous shot of a beach at sunset. Then I explored why those images spoke to me. Travel, self-compassion, movement, writing, social justice, tenacity seemed to be the categories emerging.

I even pulled out an old Road Atlas I kept around for such a purpose. After ripping and cutting and taping,(you can certainly glue, which probably works better) I laid out a template on a thicker piece of paper such as card stock or the back page of my Atlas that I planned to use. Poster board works well for this also.

Don’t be afraid to rip out some images in addition to cutting out images precisely with scissors. That’s the fun of any kind of collage, the character of images with the ripped bits showing. It gives your collage a bit of texture.

After laying out all of my images for a template, I decided the traditional affixing images and phrases to poster board wasn’t the best way to see my images daily. I couldn’t think of a place in my home to hang it that would remind me of what I want multiple times a day. But because I am in my journal every single day taking notes about books I’m reading or drawing or expressing emotion, I decided to divide the images into categories and tape them to pages of my journal.

See how the crisp cut image looks great with the rips of the other image? Ugh, I love that look, especially with that fun washi tape.

This page is one of my favorites. To me it symbolizes getting out in nature during many parts of the year. Hiking is my soul salve, but I often forgo a hike when the temperatures are cooler. I want to get to a place where I will just put on hiking boots and warm clothes and just go. I did that a lot when I first moved here, but haven’t much of late.

I also love the idea of swimming as joyful movement. I paid for a subscription to the Y for years and tried to work up the courage to use the pool by myself. It didn’t happen while I had a membership. And now I’m kicking myself for worrying about what I would look like or being an imposter. I took swimming lessons for years of my life in my childhood, and I absolutely loved it then. I want to manifest that again.

I did this craft just last night and have already flipped through these pages several times. Feel free to adapt this idea in a way that makes for you and your life. Maybe it’s one image that you tape to your rearview mirror or on your dashboard, if you have a vehicle. Maybe you place your board in your purse, backpack, or briefcase. The possibilities are multifarious.

Have you ever made a vision board? What was your experience with it?

Thanks for reading!



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