How to Make a Vision Board for the New Year
New Year's resolutions are becoming harder and harder. With the amount of distraction we face on a daily basis from increased work commitments to blinking phones reminding us of the tasks we absolutely MUST take care of, sticking to the resolutions we make to improve our personal development is increasingly difficult. Some people may be reading this article with a certain level of cynicism which is, in all honesty, sometimes warranted. Many people stress the spiritual side of self-improvement or simply look at it as a way to increase their personal wealth without considering others in a larger context. This oneHOWTO article on how to make a vision board for the new year (for the cynical) is here to show you that being focused and having perspective can be positive goals even for the most cynical of us.
What is a Vision Board?
In many religions, but not all, shrines bring worshippers to a spot which helps to focus their faith and provide a place to worship. Often they will be dedicated to a person or deity who serves as an example of how one might live their life accordingly. A vision board works in a similar way, only that the individual is the person who creates the shrine and the example they want to lead can come from any, many or even contradictory people and places. For some this example may be spiritual or religious, for others it could mean something more closely linked to the physical world.
Practically speaking it is a board on which you post images and text tending to represent one of two things: a goal or inspiration. These goals can be for any area of your life, social, professional, relationships or even the trivial like getting to the next level of your favorite video game. If this last one seems like it might be something another person can poke fun at, that's okay. It's not their board, it's yours and whatever makes you happy or gets you through the day is up to you. The inspiration to achieve these goals can come from anywhere, but often takes the form of a quotation providing a helpful perspective or a picture visually representing a goal.
The idea for a vision board is that it will keep you mindful in the coming year, no matter how cynical you are. It differs from a message board in that it isn't about the practicals. You shouldn't put times for a meeting or lists of things you need to buy. It is about making you think about the things you want to achieve for yourself and providing a visual reminder of what they are. If what you want from life changes, that's fine. It's your board and you can do with it what you wish. However, the first step to creating a useful vision board is to make those decisions about where you want to go and there are many areas to consider.
Vision Boards for Your Professional Life
In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Homer has to leave his dream job to go back to work in one he hates so that he can provide for his family. To keep him focused, he puts up pictures of his daughter, Maggie, to remind him that his goal isn't the job, it's how he can use this job to provide for those he loves. This is a form of vision board and it provides perspective on what he spends the majority of his week days doing (apart from maybe drinking Duff and watching TV). This doesn't mean your vision board shouldn't have lofty goals.
If you want to be the top in your particular area, you can put up pictures relating to a job, quotes from your predecessors in your chosen industry or even artefacts which relate to it (for example if you want to be a top palaeontologist you can put a fossil to remind you of the work which has come before).
However, you can also have the perspective which Homer achieves and see your work in a more holistic context. Maybe work isn't the most important part of your life, but is something which facilitates the parts that are. You can use your vision board to juxtapose these things and help you find a balance. In turn, this can make your working life either more productive or more tolerable. If money is the goal, then you can put up the things which will help facilitate this, like the picture of a university you can go to to improve your education or a place you can move to to make more money.
Vision Boards for Relationships
As humans are an inherently social animal, neglecting your relationships with others at any time can be detrimental. Using a new year vision board can allow you to look towards things you might want to achieve. If it is a family, you can put up images which relate to the type of family you want. If it is a more successful romantic life you can put up an image of the kind of person you might want to be with.
However, this is where vision boards can prove a little difficult. Having an idealized vision of someone might mean that you miss out on the person you could be most happy with because they don't fit in to this idea of the "dream" partner you have in your head. Use it to guide you in the right direction, to think of being with someone who could compliment you and be a positive influence in your life as you would want to be in theirs. Pictures of super models or famous actors might mean you live in a fantasy land. Again, though, it is your vision board, so if living in a fantasy land is your goal or you genuinely want to live this life, then that is up to you.
Vision Boards for Travel
This is a relatively easy one as postcards and social media posts are filled with images of places in the world where people would like to go. Famous writers or even TV personalities who have gone before you might have some insightful messages to provide which can be posted on your vision board. You can even just post images of places where you have been to before which can remind you of these times and encourage you to make new memories.
Vision boards can also be helpful if you are wanting to make a big decision for the new year to up sticks and move somewhere else. This could simply mean a new house or apartment where you don't have such mold or potential for mice eating your breakfast cereal. It could mean going to a completely new country and culture. If you wanted to live in Paris, you could put up a sugar packet from the last coffee you had in a bistrot there or if you wanted to live in Peru you could attach some colorful thread which is common in that country.
Abstract Ideas for Vision Boards
You can even post things on your vision board which don't have any specific goal or achievement linked to them. These can be abstract objects or pictures which simply provide you with a positive feeling. This is a goal in itself as often just feeling positive in a general sense is a key goal which can affect all of your other ones. Perhaps a feather will make you think of a time which made you happy or some souvenir from your youth reminds you of the important people in your life whose guidance you can use.
Vision Boards for Health
Health is a big one for vision boards, especially during for the new year after being a festive sloth, but can also be a tricky balance to get right. If you have a small frame and high metabolism, putting up a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron might not be a realistic goal. Equally if you struggle with body image, putting up some rake thin musician on your vision board might not be a healthy goal to achieve in the first place.
Keeping mementos of sporting achievements such as medals or ribbons might be good as they show you where you have been previously and what you are capable of achieving. They can provide realistic reassurance. Being cynical about it might not be helpful, but being realistic should.
Mental health is also an important one. Images of positivity can help to keep you focused. However, especially for the cynical, images of cats hanging off clotheslines or trite axioms might equally make you more downhearted. Images representing personal milestones in your own self-improvement are likely to be more effective, whatever they may be.
Practical Considerations for Vision Boards
The main practical considerations involve the materials. Vision boards work like physical infographics. You should have images or items which stand out and give you a quick reminder of your goal. Putting up lots of text which requires 10 minutes of reading might not necessarily be helpful, no matter how inspirational the words might be. A vision board made out of cork can be practical, but equally, your vision board can be whatever you want. From a picture frame with some post-its attached to a whole wall covered in inspiration, it's whatever works for you personally.
As vision boards are so personal, you might want to use a portable board which can be removed and hidden when other people are in your personal space. However, not sharing your personal goals because you are too cynical or lack confidence (which can often come in pairs) might also be counterproductive. Making a vision board can be useful for the cynical in just the doing of it and showing it to others might help to be less cynical in the future. Unless you feel too naive or guileless, then maybe being more cynical might be a helpful goal to have.
Whether you are optimistic or cynical, sociable or introverted, creating a vision board can be a practical way to provide mindfulness, create achievable goals and help you in your relationships. Just remember that it is a personal creation for you and the meaning and importance you attach to it will be decided only by you also.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Vision Board for the New Year, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.