While December is a time for looking back on the year and remembering all the positive memories made (hoorah for events and travel mostly being back to normal again, long gone are the days of mask wearing and biweekly lateral flows), it also a month for saying how on earth did we get through that? (ahem, cost of living, climate crisis, a pandemic still circulating). The only appropriate solution is to start getting excited for a brand new year: start planning your holidays no matter how big or small, set some self-development goals, and think about all the new amazing memories you can make. Now, I am not suggesting we start setting our new year’s resolutions already (we all know they get forgotten by February) I am saying we start visualising what we want for ourselves in this new year and actively making it happen. Power to the vision board in 2023!
So, what is a vision board? Chances are you have probably already made one at some point in your life without even realising it. Think mind-maps, bullet points, collage building, but all of which represent your goals, dreams and ideas. A vision board is a way for you to put all of this ambition into one visual project for you to constantly reference and work towards making that vision a reality.
The key to a successful vision board is clarity. It is a good idea to check in with yourself and question, what is it you really want or enjoy in life? If you have no idea, that is okay too, you can pack your vision board with whatever it is that inspires you. Some themes and questions you may ask could include:
What are my career goals?
Where do I see myself in 1, 3, 5, 10 years?
How do I want to show and express my love?
What makes me happy? Where am I happiest?
How can I better myself?
What do I enjoy doing that is good for my mental health?
Of course, the question possibilities are endless. You may even decide to have a vision board for each question, or one project that explores all of these ideas. Other themes: visualising your new home, wedding planning, travel goals, finding inspiration for an art project, general things that make you smile. Make it personal!
Once you know what it is you want to represent on your vision board, the fun part is making it a visual. While vision boards are a form of manifestation – making something happen for yourself – they differ from journaling or affirmations because you have a physical reference to help you actively see into what you want your own future to look like. It is a material reminder of achievability. Crafting a vision board on paper can be a positive, enjoyable artistic project to participate in for yourself or with friends and family to discuss your ideas and goals together. Gather your materials: paper, scissors, tape, glue, and grab some magazines, pages in books, printed off images, postcards, old photographs, notes of encouragement, whatever it is you need, and get to work! Cut and stick your objects and memorabilia in a frivolous manner, remembering that what is important is having a clear exhibition of your desires.
If artistry is not your thing, vision boards can also easily and quickly be made digitally. Pinterest is the ideal website for inspiration and goal setting. It is a purely visual application where you can save photos to ‘boards’ then, viola! You have a vision board! Using the ‘saved’ feature on Instagram is also a great place to collect photos which resonate with you in any way, even if you just have a folder full of motivational quotes (accounts like @wetheurban. @shopsundae, @wearefeelgoodclub are great for this). Notion is a very recommendable and popular website for organising your brain junk as well, allowing you to construct folders, pages, bullet points, grids, insert photos and draw all on one blank digital canvas. If all else fails, make a PowerPoint presentation for yourself.
Once you have crafted your vision board, be unapologetically proud of it. Display it in your home as if it is your own little gallery submission, or if your vision board is digital, print off some of your images and stick them around your preferred space if you can: your bedroom, office pin board, on your desk, magnetted to a fridge. I keep my vision board laying down on my desk so that I see it every time I place my laptop down. The point of a vision board is to constantly look at it, so keep it somewhere that visualisation is accessible. Remind yourself of your visions as much as you can and slowly drag them into your day to day life. 2023 will not be about setting goals, it will be a year of seeing them progress from paper to reality.