When we think of self-care, one of the top things that comes to people’s minds are taking the time to relax and treat yourself to a day of pampering by going to a massage or spa. These are great things to do, yet, the reality is, anything that we do in order to take care of ourselves on all levels, be it physical, emotional or spiritual are forms of self-care.
Often times we can get so busy with our daily routines that we may forget to stop, reflect and address the attributes that makes us human; our emotions, wants, needs and more. This is where a vision board can allow us to focus, by getting in touch with our deepest desires in life and allowing us the way to ensure that these needs are met.
What Is A Vision Board?
A Vision Board is a visual medium that is created and utilized in order to keep focus and enthusiasm towards a short or long-term goal. It is typically made of a poster board or can be something as simple as an 8″ x11″ paper.
Research backs the efficacy of using a vision board.
The use of a vision board falls in line similar to how daily affirmations work in that it helps to keep focus on something you’d like to bring about in your life and preparing the mind for success in achieving goals. Research shown here explains how changes in the brain due to affirmations by way of focusing on what you want will help to change your behavior to the desired results. Another study here focuses on how affirmations can help to change health-related behaviors to preferred positive outcomes. An example study here shows how affirmations helped with increasing fruit and veggie consumption.
How To Create A Vision Board
Creating a vision board can and should be a fun process! Depending on how deep you get into it, you literally can get into the zone of your happy, carefree inner child with this endeavor. Your board should consist of visual representations of your goals. No more than 3 goals are ideal to keep your focus strong. You’ll also need some materials:
- Poster Board/Paper
- Optional Decor (glitter, feathers, etc.)
Step 1: Establish Goals
First, think of all the things you’d like to accomplish in all areas of your life. For example; are you looking for a home, good relationship, lose/gain weight, to build self-confidence, complete a work/business goal, achieve a health goal, make new friends, etc? Write down what you want and exactly how you want it. So let’s say you want to increase your confidence. Instead of simply writing down “I want to be more confident”, have fun with it and write it in past tense as if it already happened: “I am more confident”. When you do this, you prepare your mind and emotions to accept that this is the case. It may feel weird at first but with proper utilization of the board, you (or someone you know) will eventually notice a change in your demeanor.
It is also good to have a certain date in which you’d like to accomplish goals. For example, if you are looking to improve symptoms from a certain ailment, then give yourself that time. Many people choose a long term time such as 6 months, a year or even a few years.
Step 2: Image Representation For Each Goal
Once all the goals you want to achieve are written down it’s time to find pictures that represent each of your goals. So for confidence, you may want to find an image of someone doing something with ease such as speaking in front of a crowd, introducing themselves with an a calm and/or commanding stance or simply write “CONFIDENCE” on your board in thick marker or anything else. For weight loss/gain, look for an image of your ideal body (either your own from your past or someone else’s) and put an image of your head on that body. It sounds funny, but it really helps to drive the point into your mind and it makes it easier to see yourself in a way that you’d like. The goal is to ensure that each image shows the representation of each goal in a way where you understand and are able to accept that this is who and what you are.
Step 3: Putting The Board Together
Another fun aspect of the board is putting it together. You can glue/tape each representation of your goal in a specific order or just randomly scattered. I prefer some sort of order to mine, myself but not in an obvious manner.
Step 4: Board Placement
Location for your vision board is very important. It must be someplace where you are guaranteed to see it daily. Many people usually put it in their bedroom so they can see it when they first get up. Some may put it in their kitchen on the fridge, living room by the TV or even their bathroom across from the toilet (it may be a good idea to laminate it here!). Wherever you decide to put it, make sure its in a space that you visit at least twice a day. Tape, tack or clip it up on your desired location.
How To Use Your Vision Board For Self-Care
The good thing about using a vision board is that it doesn’t take too many steps to use but it does require persistence. It’s always good to start with one board so that more focus goes into your goal. When you are scattered and not properly rooted into what you want to achieve, it only takes much longer to get the result you want.
Step 1: When And How To Focus
If you are going to spend ANY time focusing on your board, the best times are right upon waking and right before going to sleep. It is a fact that our first thoughts of the day help set the mood for that day. What better way to start and end your day than with focus and affirmations of your goals? This helps to ingrain the positive good thoughts and feelings into our mind.
So how exactly do you focus? Look at one of the goals on your vision board. Imagine you are in that moment where your goal has been achieved. What does it feel like? Smell like? Taste like? Hear like? How has your life changed? Spend a minimum of a five minutes on each goal. Smile and pat yourself on the back at your achievement! Next move on to the next goal and repeat the same step until all have been addressed.
Step 2: How Much Time To Focus
How much time you put into focusing on your visions and goals is important. If you are only doing it once a week for five minutes for the entire board then that only shows yourself deep down how dedicated you really are to what you want to achieve. It’s like expecting to lose weight but only eating one healthy meal once a week and the rest of the time is filled with unhealthy, fat increasing foods. If you are zooming into your goals at least 10-15 minutes each session at least 2-3 times daily then you have a better chance at seeing your results. The key is to be consistent! If you need tips on ways to stick with your goals, then please check out my article on 7 Ways To Keep Up With New Healthy Habits here.
The question often comes up in regards to when you would see manifestations of completed goals on your vision board. From my experience, and others I have spoken to, it really depends on the combined factors of step 1 and 2. Some people like to have a time set for their goal which I think is great because it can hold you accountable on continuously working towards your goal daily. Make sure to have a realistic set date for your result. For example, if you are looking to lose 100 pounds through exercise and eating regimen alone, it is not entirely wise to set the goal in one week as that is highly unhealthy. Giving yourself an entire year is ideal. Setting mini goals in between such as wanting to lose 2 pounds a week over the course of 52 weeks seems much more attainable, thus you won’t feel so much pressure in trying to cram everything in a short time.