Create Your Vision Board - A Practical Guide for Setting your 2022 IntentionsDec 28, 2021
The end of a year often brings with it the urge to take stock of our life, our habits, and our goals. Many cultures embrace setting New Year’s resolutions. In 2021, 31% of Americans plan on making them (and 19% are still making up their mind). Physical wellness (losing weight, improved fitness, improved diet) and financial fitness are at the top of the list.
Many like to poke fun at them, but there’s plenty of data to support that resolutions can pay off. According to this article, up to 84% of "resolutioners" keep at least some of their commitments for six months or more.
This speaks to the amazing power of goal setting. Resolutions are basically goals that happen to coincide with the new year. No matter what your take is on New Year’s resolutions, the data on goal setting is clear: Goals matter. Goals make a difference.
Setting clear intentions for your year ahead matters, and our favorite way to do this is by creating a vision board.
According to Oxford Dictionary, a vision board is “a collage of images and words representing a person's wishes or goals, intended to serve as inspiration or motivation.”
Vision boards are a powerful tool, used by celebrity powerhouses Beyoncé and Oprah, Peloton’s Robin Arzon and many successful CEOs (secretly, according to Neuroscientist Tara Swart).
The process of developing a vision board is a catalyst to understanding what’s important to you and clarifying your goals. Knowing what you want helps you see and act on opportunities that you may otherwise not have noticed.
Source: Google Image Search “Examples of vision boards”
Whether you’re new to vision boards or a seasoned pro, we’ve put together a six step process to create a vision board that’s rooted in reflection and contemplation, to help you move forward in the new year with intention and purpose. We’ve posted the abridged version here, but jump over to this page to download our free Vision Board Virtual Workshop!
A note on supplies: It can be helpful to have a large format paper (poster size, or 11x17) and some magazines, but you absolutely don’t need them to complete this process. You can print pictures, or write/draw to get started. You can also create a completely digital version. Don’t let supplies, or not being “crafty” be the reason you don’t do this.
Step 1. Reflection and Celebration
Step one is about reflecting on the year past, our successes as well as our challenges, and how we grew from the experience. The end of the year, or any time we’re creating new goals is an exceptional opportunity to first reflect. We love to do this by journaling.
Step 2. Get in touch with your future self
Next, move from the past year, to thinking about the future. Imagine yourself in 5 years, living a life that is fulfilled and joyful. Who are you? What’s important to you? What have you experienced?
We love guided future self meditations as a way to get in the right frame of mind, because goal setting is so much more than the stuff we want. It’s about who we want to become, and what we want our lives to be like.
Step 3. Brainstorm
With a clear idea of your future self in mind, start to brainstorm and fill out more details. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and write down as many things as you can think of that would contribute to this fulfilled life immediately, over the next year, and over the long term.
If you need inspiration, the Vision Board Virtual Workshop includes a bunch of prompts to get your creative juices flowing on what you might want to include in your board. Here are a few to get you started:
- What does your future life look like?
- How do you want to feel in your life? (examples: joyful, grateful, relaxed, free, calm, at peace, productive, successful)
- What are your goals for your physical health? (fitness or weight goals, chronic condition management, substance use elimination)
Step 4: Set your goals
Now that you’ve completed your brainstorm, time to do a selection. Highlight or circle what excites you. Choose a few themes to concentrate on.
Now it’s time to expand on these themes for your vision board. You might find that your brainstorm generated ideas at all different levels, from “meditate every day” to “earn $1M in passive income”, or just vague ideas and inspirations (like “Peace” or “Faith”).
Vision boards can include goals on three levels:
- Big Aspirational Goals
- Concrete Annual Goals
- Baseline Habits
Our vision boards typically include goals at each of the aspirational, annual and baseline practice levels.
Step 5. Bring your Vision (Board) to life
Include elements across all categories (BAG, CAG, BP). Alternatively, your vision board could be simple visuals and symbols, and you can keep your detailed goals separately in a journal.
You can also throw all of this out, and just create what inspires you, because ultimately that’s the point.
Get as creative as you’d like.
We’ve done Vision boards using magazine cut outs and markers (it looked like a magazine went through a wood-chipper and was sprayed all over the floor at the end). We’ve done vision boards on Google Slides (much cleaner, but less tactile). Whatever feels right for you, is the right thing.
Step 6. Find accountability
When you’re done with your board, display it somewhere you can see it often: your office, your bedroom or closet door… or take a picture and make it your background on your laptop or phone. This will regularly remind you of your aspirations, and help you find opportunities that will bring you closer to your goals.
You can also start tracking your progress daily or weekly using a habit tracker. The accountability that comes from a daily check in on your progress against your goals has motivated many to establish new habits.
You can also share your vision board with a friend, loved one, mentor or coach. Maybe even go through this process with a buddy, and commit to regularly checking in with each other on how you’re doing. Research suggests accountability partners can dramatically increase your chances of staying on track, and making your goals a reality.
The Virtual Workshop
This post goes through the essentials. Download the Vision Board Virtual Workshop to receive a step by step PDF guide through the process of setting your intentions and developing your own board. It includes:
- More examples, and explanations on the core concepts
- Additional prompts and exercises
- Suggested guided meditations
- Layout examples
- Printable habit tracker
We put this all in a PDF rather than here so you can reference it again and again, and also...apparently on the internet sometimes things get scraped and republished without permission (yikes).
Remember that the whole objective of this process is to help you clarify your aspirations, and to help inspire you to act on them all year long. There’s no right or wrong way to do a vision board, as long as it’s useful to you. Happy visioning!
Are you doing a vision board for 2022? Let us know, we’d love to see it!
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