Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Creating Your Future with a Vision Board

(crossposted at BlogHer)

Vision Boards. This year the New Year's discussions throughout the blogosphere and twitter has focused on the advantages of vision boards over traditional New Year's Resolution. While vision boards have been around for years, the concept has reached a tipping point in the general consciousness.

Assuming that I'm not the last person on the vision-board-bus, let's see what these things are, why they might be a more successful tool than New Year's resolutions, and how bloggers reacted to designing one.

Christine Kane in explaining how to make a vision board describes them this way:

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. It’s simple.

The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.
With this positive take, it's plain to me right there why vision boards might be more popular than New Year's resolutions. Miriam Webster defines resolution as: something that is resolved (ie. to reach a firm decision about). There is something about that phrase "firm decision" that sounds just a bit restrictive to me. Like punishment or rules. It doesn't sound like it allows for change and growth and adaption.

I doubt that many make their New Year's resolutions with this firm intent. There often sounds like something tentative about most of these. Whether we state the wish to lose 20 pounds or exercise more, make more money or take a big vacation. I'll agree the hope is there; I don't believe the resolution necessarily exists.

Vision boards, on the other hand, seem like an adaptable method of planning the future.

Anne-Marie Faiola, blogging as the Soap Queen describes how her mastermind group has been using vision boards to plan their years:
1. Write your goals down
2. Look for visual representations of your goals in magazines or online
3. Make a collage with the visual representations
4. Put this in a frequently viewed area
5. Extra: put your written goals in the middle, so that the visuals are flowing outward from the actual original ideas.
Michelle at New Moon Journal asks: Who Says New Year's and Vision Boards Go Together? Because her blog focuses on astrology, she suggests that the best time to construct a vision board is in the spring. Yet she sees a value to beginning work on a board now. By beginning a vision board, now it can worked and tweaked over the next few months. My favorite of her suggestions:
Shadow Dancing: Listen for the inner voices-your mind chatter. Look for black and white thinking then seek to balance the negative self talk and doubt. Look for your issues with FEAR- fear of success, fear of failure are two biggies that dance with me.
When it comes to deciding what your vision board needs, Danielle Ricks, blogging here on BlogHer, suggests it's as important to know what to leave behind as what to aim for in our future:
To do this, I suggest you build a strong foundation on which to create your best life ever. That means looking at the things you gave your attention to last year and if need be, making a fresh start to get where you'd like to be this year. There is no point in building a vision of the future on a foundation muddied with unfinished business, unresolved issues, old hurts, deep resentments and feelings of regrets. If you drag this negativity into the New Year I assure you that your new vision will not be fully
realized. Bringing in a New Year is a great time to let go of any attitude, project, relationship, or people, places and things that weighs us down or impedes our progress towards a more purposeful and joyful life.
At My Santuary, the author deals with a question I've had: how to create my vision board if I don't have (and choose not to acquire) magazines for images:
Am going to use images from the internet which is free and put them in a collage or 'poster board' style using powerpoint. Then will get it printed and mounted as my own vision boards.
Roz at Autumn Cottage Diarist has been collecting a number of her vision boards into a
Book of Inspiration, to which I continually add.

A4 pages on various topics, at the moment topics that relate to my intentions for 2009 (I never call them resolutions – that way they don’t sit there asking to be broken!), but as wishes, wants, thoughts and ideas change throughout the year, the images will multiply.

Last week, fellow BlogHer contributing editor Karen Walrond wrote about twists on New Year's resolutions. She closed that post by discussing making vision boards with her four year old daughter. She found it a great activity for a winter afternoon. After showing the (gorgeous) boards they had contructed, she interpreted Alex's for us:
judging from the images Alex chose, 2009 is the year she's going to be a princess, Tinkerbell, and an incontinent cat.

Like I said, it's good to have goals.

Need more inspiration? I did a search of Vision Boards uploaded to Flickr.

In case you're wondering, I have NOT made my vision board yet. In part, it's because I, too, lack magazines from which to tear images. I am writing down words and concepts that I want to embrace in 2009. While it's easy to imagine the image for white water rafter, I don't know how to image "take more risks" or "live more fearlessly" when I can't imagine what some of the risks and/or fears could be. How would you picture fearless?

I am committed to getting together with Leslie Madsen-Brooks next weekend to start constructing one. I am tempted to follow Michelle's advice above and let the process stew and develop until the astral year begins in Aries, but I fear (there's that word again!) that I'm just using it as another excuse to delay and avoid making a commitment to my future.

Hmm. .. Can you say live more fearlessly?

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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