I am a big believer in vision boards. No doubt because they have worked for me 100% of the time and they keep me focused on the path I want to walk. Heading in to the new year is a great time to create a vision board for yourself and I am working on my own now.
For me, making a vision board has 3 important benefits.
- It helps me get clear about what I really want. I have to make choices to create a vision board like what do I put on it and where? And what images or words convey my vision the best? Making these choices are an exercise in clarity.
- It helps the universe support me. I honestly believe that the universe aligns to help you become your highest self, and if I have a clear vision of what that is, the universe can move more quickly and strongly in helping it become reality.
- And perhaps most importantly, the very act of making one helps me powerfully declare to myself and the world that, “YES! This is what I want and I am ready to receive.”
One of the questions I get about vision boards is the tension between being specific about what you want and yet being unattached. Let’s chat about that apparent contradiction and I’ll share some examples from my own experiences. Here are the three key strategies that make vision boards really work.
Be sure you see the forest and the trees. First and foremost, your vision board needs to start with the bigger picture — the meaningful thing you are actually trying to accomplish. For example, I created a vision board for getting my kitchen remodeled. Our house still had the original kitchen from the 60s and it desperately needs to be done. The big goal here is to create a space in my home that is nurturing to my family and friends, where we can create wonderful meals and memories. So my vision board needs to capture the feeling tone of happy and loving people eating in a beautiful space.
I am also working on a book and created a vision board for my career. The bigger picture is that I want to help raise the consciousness on this planet by helping people and organizations transform our workplaces. By knowing how to bring our highest selves to the day job, we will raise the consciousness of the businesses, schools and non-profits where we work. So my vision board needs to include that positive outcome as well as some of the specifics of how I will achieve it.
It is important to be specific and detailed. This helps you get sharp clarity on what it is you say that you want. Every time you pick an image or words to put on your board, you are making a choice about what you want to bring in to reality and details do matter.
When we started looking at kitchen ideas, we decided we wanted modern maple cabinets with clean lines, stainless steel appliances and reddish wood floors. So obviously, my vision board needs to have those details in it. If I put white appliances or a country style on my vision board, it will not be in alignment with what I want and the universe will be acting on bringing me the wrong things. Trust me, I have seen this happen! It took a little searching to find pictures and images that matched what I wanted but it’s important that the vision match the reality you want to create.
If you are using paper and glue to create your board, feel free to cut out other images and glue over something else. Or you can make a vision board on the computer too. I like using powerpoint because I can take a screen shot of something and then manipulate those images by cropping them, or putting another image over them, or even blocking out old text and adding new.
For example, I really want my book to be on the New York Times bestseller list. And I don’t just want to be on it for 1 week — the real vision is to be #1 on the list for many weeks in a row because that is a measure of reaching lots of people and having a large impact. So I went to the current list, took a screen shot on my computer and then I put a white box over the current leader and added my own type to create a realistic image of what I really want. Seeing this image inspires me, which is the point.
I also showed myself being featured in several magazines and on TV shows, again as an indicator of impact and specificity of what I want. It’s a way of telling the universe you are ready.
It is also important to be unattached. I don’t know what the final title of my book will be or if Gotham will be the publisher (I used them because they published Brené Brown’s book and I’m impressed with her career). So while I am specific, I also need to allow the universe to work its magic, which might include a different publisher or maybe topping out at #3 on the bestseller list.
I figure that my job is to get as clear as I can about the meaningful purpose for my vision, and a couple of paths that will make it a reality, and then I need to trust the universe to know how and when to bring it to me. If you hold the details lightly, you allow the Divine to be, well, Divine.
To do this, I write the phrase “this or better please” on my vision boards–it’s my way of telling the universe that I know that my life is unfolding according to a higher plan and that I am letting go of controlling it.
But letting go is not an act of passivity. I still need to take action. My kitchen won’t paint itself nor will the book write itself. I need to save money, hire a contractor, write my chapters and use social media. But I will also keep an eye out for other pathways the universe brings me. Perhaps the universe will downsize or upscale the kitchen, and perhaps I will be on a radio show instead of in a magazine. Who knows? Actually, the Divine does.
Either way, I know that by creating vision boards, I have taken an important step toward making my vision a reality. I hope you will spend the next few days visioning what you want to create in 2015. It’s a great way to start the year!
If you want more details about making a vision board, read my instructions here in the Toolbox section of my site. You can have any many vision boards as you want because the universe is abundant and can work on many dreams simultaneously.