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When was the last time you made a vision board, Mama?
I made a new one last week. Before that, though? I’d have to go back to 1989. I was 13-years old, and I’m pretty sure my vision board involved living in a mansion and marrying Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block.
When you’re a full-grown woman, vision boards can seem a little bit hokey. I mean, it’s one thing to be a teenage girl cutting pretty pictures out of magazines, but who has time for that when you’re a mom?
Well, vision boards aren’t nearly as time-consuming as they used to be to create, thanks to digital resources. Also, it turns out they are super tools that are absolutely worth the little bit of time you’ll spend creating one. Read on to learn more about what a vision board is, why you need a vision board, and how to create a digital vision board.
What is a vision board
Simply put, a vision board is a physical representation of all the dreams and aspirations you have in your life. It’s a pretty depiction of all the goals you hope to achieve—a collage of ideas that jump-start your imagination and help you visualize your success. In short, it’s a way to surround yourself with images of your ideal life.
Why do you make a vision board (aka Do Vision Boards Really Work?)
Vision Boards Help You Manifest Your Ideal Life?
I will say here that I’m not a woo-woo-asking-the-Universe-for-help kind of person. I prefer to look at the tangible, scientifically-verified benefits of something I’m taking the time to implement.
For those that believe in the Law of Attraction, though, vision boards are said to be a powerful tool for helping you manifest your ideal life. The idea is that they put your subconscious mind to work looking for opportunities that might escape your conscious mind’s notice. For those of us that are a little skeptical, there are lots of other potential benefits.
Vision Boards Can Be a Powerful Form of Mental Practice
As most elite athletes and performers know, spending time visualizing something actually helps you to do it better. Studies of brain waves show that they are remarkably similar whether an Olympic athlete is actually lifting a heavy weight or imagining doing it.
This study showed that both visualizing and physically practicing a physical task gave a better result than doing either alone. Yes, there is a lot of physical work involved in designing your dream life, but don’t discount the boost that visualizing the journey can give you.
Vision boards make you exercise your imagination
Let’s face it, a lot of us moms have forgotten how to dream. We get so mired in responsibility and routine that we stop imagining our ideal lives. The process of creating a vision board forces us to think bigger and to dream about life beyond diapers, carpools, and laundry.
Vision boards force you to get specific
Even if we have already spent some time thinking about the future, our ideas can be a little vague. The process of creating a vision board forces us to nail down a more specific vision for what’s to come, with concrete goals and clearly defined ideas.
Vision boards help keep your goals at the front of your mind
Once you’ve created a vision board, you have a daily visual reminder of what you intend to do. That’s powerful because mom life is incredibly distracting. We’re constantly fighting the tyranny of the urgent—all those tasks that some tiny person needs us to do RIGHT NOW.
When you have a vision board, though, you’ve got a constant visual reminder of what is truly important to you. You’ve got a way to remember those important but not necessarily urgent things that also deserve a bit of your precious time.
Vision Boards Can Inspire You When Your Motivation Wavers
The road we walk between dreaming of something and doing it isn’t always fun. There is hard work to be done, and we can start to forget why we started on the path in the first place.
Vision boards can give you a boost of inspiration when you’re in the midst of the hard work you need to do every day to make the life you want happen.
Making a Vision Board Is Fun
We moms don’t always make that many opportunities to work creatively on something just for ourselves. Why turn down an opportunity to do a fun project that also has the power to help move you towards the future of your dreams?
How to make a digital vision board
Step 1: Get clear and specific about your goals
In order to determine what kind of material you’ll have on your vision board, you’ll want to get clear regarding what you want to achieve. If you’ve already got a list of goals or New Year’s Resolutions this might be easier.
If not, look at the big picture of your life. Brainstorm some goals in all different areas of your life (such as physical, mental, marriage, family, spiritual, social, home, career, financial, and fun).
If you’re totally stumped, journaling on topics such as ‘How would I like my life to look in five years’ or ‘what would my ideal day look like’ might bring up some areas for improvement.
Because vision boards are about making an emotional, visceral connection to your goals, be sure you’re giving some thought to how you’ll feel as you achieve these milestones and what your five senses will experience.
Step 2: Select your images words, and quotes
Now that you’re clear on what it is you plan to achieve, you can start the physical work of making the board.
We’re sooooooo lucky to live in an age where literally everything is at your fingertips via a quick Google search. (No more flipping through magazines like when I was a teenager.)
Not sure where to look for images? Here are some options:
- Google: the simplest option is one of the best. Do a simple google search for a word or phrase and select ‘image’ results. Since this is for your personal use, you can save or print out any pictures you find. When you find an image you like, right-click it to save to a ‘Vision Board’ file on your computer
- Free Stock Photo Sites: You might also enjoy browsing free stock photo sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. These have loads of beautiful photos and pretty robust search engines so you can find a photo of whatever you want.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is a great place to collect inspiring quotes and images. If you don’t already have a pinterest account, you can sign up here for free. (Then be sure to follow me!) Create a board called “Vision Board” and make it secret if you want to keep your image collection private. When you’re ready to leave Pinterest and get started on your board, right-click the images you’ve stored and save them in the ‘Vision Board’ file on your computer.
- Your own photo collection: There’s no reason you can’t include photos of you that were taken in a happy moment.
Some tips for success:
- Remember as you select photos that you are choosing images and quotes that reflect the future life you want to live. You might also include pictures of the steps along the way that you’ll take to get there.
- Whenever possible, use positive language and language of the present when you are choosing quotes to include.
- You might want to journal a list of positive affirmation words that represent how you want to feel when you are working on and have completed your goal.
Step 3: Make your digital vision board
The free graphic design website Canva makes it easy to make amazing designs without knowing what you’re doing. I use it to do all my graphics for Mama Goes Beyond. They do have a pro upgrade that has some fun features, but in more than a year of using the site, I’ve never felt I needed to upgrade.
- Click here to access Canva on your computer and create a free account. (They also have an app, but I find it to be much less user-friendly).
- Choose your design: Click ‘Create a Design’ and scroll down through your design choices. Depending on how you want to display your vision board, you might choose desktop wallpaper, a printable poster, or a phone background. If you have a particular frame or spot where you want to display the board, you might even select ‘Custom Dimensions’.
- Once you’re on the design screen, select a collage layout by clicking on ‘Elements’ on the left side of the screen and typing ‘grids’ in the search box. This will open up several collage frames. Drag your desired one over to your blank canvas on the right.
- Next, click on ‘Uploads’ and upload the files from the ‘Vision Board’ folder on your computer.
- Drag each image into its spot on the grid.
- Add any text overlays you’d like by clicking ‘Text’. You can change the font, color, and orientation once you’ve typed your text.
- When you’re finished, you’ll click the down arrow to save the file to your computer.
Step 4: Display your vision board where you’ll see it daily
Since we’re all on our screens so much, you might have decided to make your digital vision board the wallpaper on your computer phone or tablet. You might also decide to print it to hang in your home.
Whichever option you choose, make time every day just to sit quietly and look at your board for a few minutes. Allow it to give you that extra bit of motivation you might need to do the hard work involved each day in pursuit of your ideal life.
Also, consider moving your vision board around. Often, we stop ‘seeing’ the things that are always hanging in front of our faces. If you have your board hanging in your home, move it to a new spot. If you made a digital vision board, consider going back into Canva and swapping some of the photos around to refresh it.
Step 5: Log your Progress
Remember, a vision board just doesn’t just work on its own. It’s designed to be part of the whole process of working towards your ideal future. If you’re not prepared to put in the hard work to make your dreams a reality, no amount of pretty pictures will help.
Make sure that you are regularly pursuing tasks that will help you on your way, logging your habits and completed to-dos, reflecting on your progress, and celebrating your successes!
Mama, I hope this inspires you to get a little creative and have some fun designing your ideal future with a digital vision board. (No magazines or boy band members required!)