I’m a big fan of vision boards. Martha Beck talks about creating a vision board for the life that you want in this recent post on Oprah.com. I’ve made a few of them for myself. As a new goal or dream becomes important in my life I may create a new board just for that specific intention. I have one that is also an ongoing, work in progress board. I look at it often and think about tacking on a new picture or word.
If you aren’t clear on what a vision board is, it’s basically a visual representation of the life you want, a goal, or a dream. You cut out pictures and words from magazines and adhere them to a large. That vision board then helps subconsciously guide your thoughts and feelings towards making that a reality.
I’ve recently started making vision boards for other people too. I did this for my mom’s 82nd birthday earlier this month. I was asking her what she wanted to do for her birthday and how she felt about the upcoming milestone. After a long pause, she sighed and said, “it just makes me think of everything I still have to do”. Although it’s great that my mom is so driven to do more in her life she’s also incredibly tired. I suggested that instead of thinking of her life as one big “to do” list that instead she consider everything that she’s already accomplished. She liked the idea but I knew she wouldn’t do it for herself. This prompted me to ask my brothers and sisters to tell me how and where in their life my mom might have accomplished something with them or for them.
I took their stories and pictures and added more pictures and words to tell the story of everything that my mom has accomplished. It was one large personalized birthday card. She loved it and was very moved by it. She reminded me of when I had my siblings bring their favorite memories of my father to him on many years ago. He had Alzheimer’s and I thought the telling of favorite memories might spark something for him. My mom told me that this vision board card was like that except that she was healthy and could actually let it all sink in and really appreciate it.
Recently, I was feeling unaccomplished in my own life, around a specific issue. I realized I should practice what I preach and create an “accomplishment board” for this area of my life. I really had made much more progress than I could see. Taking the time to list out what I had done made me feel more energized and less discouraged. It gave me the energy I needed to continue on with enthusiasm.