Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 6, 2020

How To Make A Vision Board That Works

How To Make A Vision Board That Works

When you start talking about goals, one method that comes up in some conversations is vision boards. It’s a method that thrown around in network marketing groups, and many people stand behind this method.

Vision boards can be fascinating. However, while there is a lot of support for it, there’s also a lot against organizing ideas in this way.

Either way, this divide is a blessing. Because of the varying opinions on the topic, we can uncover how to make a vision board properly. We can explore why many often fail and the various drawbacks, and how you can make a vision board properly to achieve your goals and visions.

Why Do Vision Boards Fail?

Before you learn how to make a vision board, it’s important to cover why many fail in this area. After all, this method is talked about a lot, and there are lessons to be learned from both success and failure.

Overall, the reason vision boards fail often comes down to your own mindset[1]. For example, say you’re checking Facebook and see some of your friends taking vacations, and you feel that urge to add that to your vision board.

While that’s great, that may not be the best desire for you to have. Even though a vacation is nice, it doesn’t always mean this is what you want out of life.

In other cases, it might be you’re not putting in enough effort to achieve your goals. Or perhaps deep down you don’t think you can achieve what you’re putting on your board in the first place.

These are all similar aspects to setting goals and writing them down. However, that similarity is where you’ll be able to thrive when making a vision board now and in the future.

How to Make a Vision Board

Making a vision board is simple[2]. You’ll need a few materials, as well as a working space to do it. Here is what you’ll need:

Advertising

A Board

Naturally, this is the first thing you’ll need. This board can take on any shape. Whether it’s a physical board, a cork or poster board, or even a virtual board is up to you.

Craft Items

If you’re not going digital, you’ll need items that allow you to place things on your board. This includes scissors, pins, glue-sticks, tape, etc.

For the more artistic people, you can also get markers and stickers to add some flare to your vision board, too.

Images

You can use magazines if want to cut out images or quotes. For those going digital, you can simply find relevant images online to copy and paste.

Time

You’ll be at this for about an hour or two, so make sure you have space where you can do this with no interruptions.

When it comes to the work environment, any will do. However, it’s smart if you mitigate distractions so set up some calm and relaxing music while working.

Making Vision Boards Work for You

While making a vision board is simple, what really matters is ensuring that it works. If you’re sinking an hour or two into this, you want to make sure that it was worth your time and effort.

With this in mind, I would encourage you to consider these pieces of advice before and after you make a vision board.

1. Think About What You’ve Achieved Recently

The first piece of advice is to consider everything that you have achieved over the past few years. Even though days and years are going by quickly, you’d be surprised what you have achieved over the course of a year.

Advertising

Make sure you pause and consider what you have accomplished thus far in your life. Remember the things that made you proud.

Going in with this sort of mindset allows you to focus on what you can improve in your life moving forward. That way, you won’t focus on adding desires you’ve seen from other people but rather focusing on your own.

The next piece of advice will add another layer to this.

2. Look at the Direction of Your Life

It’s the dreaded question of “Where do you see yourself in five years?” However, outside of an interview, this is a good question to be asking yourself.

Look at the direction that you’re facing in your life and ask yourself if you are happy with it. This is important because we all have the ability to change our lives. So often we forget that we can gain control of our lives at any time.

Keep in mind that with a vision board, you do not want to be changing goals constantly. However,asking this question can influence how you build your vision board.

Again, you’re putting your own desires and goals on the board rather than letting other actions or opinions seep into your goal-setting.

If you’re not sure how to find the right direction for your life, this article may help.

3. Consider What You Want To Change

Goals should be a stage that fulfills something that we lack in life. Maybe you struggle with moving around much. Or maybe you’ve got a business idea you’ve been sitting on for a long time. From desires to improve your marriage to having more vacations, you want to be looking at what you are lacking and how to make that abundant in your life.

Advertising

The previous pieces of advice allow you to narrow down precisely what your vision is and what sort of change you want to see in your life.

When paired with this, you can focus on what you really want to change right now in your life.

4. Don’t Overstuff Your Vision Board With Goals

Now that you have an idea of what goals you have, the next thing is turning them into visions. While you may be excited to place all of these goals onto your board, it might not be the best idea.

Unless you are someone who is able to focus on one goal at a time, most people will find the influx of goals to be overwhelming. While we all feel excited about it, a lot of that stems from the dopamine high we’re on.

It’s a feel-good drug, and it’s an addictive one. It also clouds our judgement so much that once reality sinks back in, we tend to feel stressed or overwhelmed.

So while you are making your vision board, try to consider alternatives. Here are some ideas:

  • Introduce quotes or phrases that excite you and energize you.
  • Consider post-it notes and writing down the steps to take to achieve a particular vision.
  • Consider having a smaller board or increasing the size of the pictures you’re posting on the board. This forces you to put fewer things and to focus on the visions that matter more to you.

5. Make Your Visions Emotional

There has been an emphasis on caring about these goals and working on your overall mindset, and it’s there for a reason. When working on goals in any way, there is always a mental component to it.

To place more emphasis on it, you want to make sure that every action you do has emotion attached to it.

After you’ve set up your vision board and are looking it over, it pays to ask some questions to draw those emotions out.

Advertising

There are many great questions to consider[3], but one to ask yourself is:

Why do I want to achieve this goal?

The idea with this question is to look for a deep personal reason. Some examples could include:

  • You want to spend time with your partner because you love them and recently you’ve been drifting apart.
  • You want to lose weight and improve your posture because of back pain.
  • You want to build a business because you lacked the ambition to start it when you were younger.

It’s important that you find a reason for why you are working towards this goal. Not only that, but you want to use it as a reminder for your work.

This is so important because it gives us an overall purpose. When you have a purpose, you will begin to care more about the process and to hone your skills.

If you’re looking for some concrete examples for making a vision board, don’t miss this article: 6 Amazing Vision Board Ideas To Help You Achieve Your Goals

The Bottom Line

Vision boards are a large mental exercise that demand deep self-reflection and plenty of emotion. If your heart isn’t it, then it’s likely that a vision board isn’t going to help you much.

It often happens that vision boards slowly devolve into collages and mere artwork. Instead, take this advice to heart and work to develop your own mindset. Once it’s stronger, you’ll find that a vision board can be a very helpful tool for you to achieve your goals.

Featured photo credit: Jo Szczepanska via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

25 Best Apps for Apple Watch for Ultimate Productivity in Life Delegating Work: What to Delegate and What Not to? How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1 7 Ways to Improve Your Management Leadership Skills The Importance of Delegating Leadership (And How to Properly Delegate)

Trending in Smartcut

1 How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change 2 13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers 3 10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020 4 How To Write Minutes of Meeting Effectively (with Examples) 5 How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 1, 2020

How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change

How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change

You wonder how they did it. How did your friend, a librarian at your public library, snag the fabulous marketing job at a digital ad agency? And how did the TV producer you’re acquainted with just become the prestigious publisher of an online parenting magazine? While you were watching “Game of Thrones,” how did so many of your peers manage to make a midlife career change that landed them in exciting new jobs?

One thing your friends probably didn’t do: listen to the naysayers. There will always be some well-meaning family member or acquaintance who will counsel you against any sort of career change, saying it’s too big a risk.

Aren’t your mid-30’s to early-50’s meant to be your optimal earning years where you advance up the ladder in your current field, this person may argue. Why would you want to sacrifice spectacular earnings for the paltry paycheck you will likely earn when you change careers?

Because maybe it’s not all about money. Maybe you’ve decided that your chosen career path doesn’t have the allure it once had. Or maybe the change you’re after is about money!

You realize that you’ve already reached the pinnacle of your earning potential at a figure well short of your original goal. Instead of being held back by this fact, it forces you to really examine your long-term career trajectory[1].

Below, find your 5-point plan for how to swiftly make a midlife career change.

1. Allow Yourself the Luxury to Dream Big

Now that the idea has taken hold, what is your next step? You may have to reckon with financial responsibilities, such as a home mortgage, a car payment, and a family to support, so making a rash move isn’t in your best interest. Still, give yourself the luxury of dreaming big.

Give some thought to what your ideal career looks like:

Advertising

  • What’s your perfect job title?
  • What responsibilities will make up your workday?
  • What qualities would make for an outstanding boss and great colleagues?

Make a list and refer back to it as you consider new opportunities.

2. Do Your Due Diligence

Next, do your homework. Understand the fundamentals of your dream job so there won’t be any unwelcome surprises later.

Find out whether this occupation offers a respectable starting salary and is in a growth cycle. Explore any additional educational requirements and available programs.

In this investigative stage, take an inventory of all the hard and soft job skills you have to offer. You probably have more transferable skills than you realize.

For example, if you’ve been teaching high school science but want to venture into the medical research field, your classroom experience may have more crossover potential than you first thought.

A scientist working in a medical university lab, for instance, may oversee undergraduates helping to carry out the research. Similarly, strong communication skills honed from teaching classes may make you a whiz at presenting research findings.

3. Think of Yourself as a Matchmaker

Look at job postings for your dream position — and for a tier or two below it if you’ll need to work your way up. Consider how to adapt your abilities to the job requirements.

Think of yourself as a professional matchmaker, creating a match between yourself and your potential employer. Pinpoint and promote those traits that make you most desirable, and know how to put your best attributes forward.

Advertising

Employers will be attracted to your technical expertise, but also to your people skills — the soft skills that make you a good communicator, a reliable team player, and a value-driven employee.

Suppose that you’re applying for a financial analyst or financial planner position. Hopefully you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in a major that qualifies you, such as business or economics. Then showcase your accounting skills, analytical acuity, and dexterity with a spreadsheet. Many firms have their own software, so you’ll want to plug your overall knowledge of technology along with your talent for navigating computer platforms.

Beyond proving that you possess these hard skills, you’ll shine if you can also highlight two or three people skills. Provide relatable examples. Strong verbal communication and unwavering integrity are two skills with particular relevance to careers in finance.

Beyond that, it’s always a good idea to remember that every job involves interacting with people. People skills are always in demand.

Ideally, you will perfectly match your skills with the skills needed in the job of your dreams. For those skills that you already possess, be sure to describe them in the way they’re stated on a job posting. As for the skills you don’t possess, put a plan in place to acquire them.

4. Carve out a Path for Mastering New Skills

The radically changing nature of most industries today can actually work in your favor. Even veteran workers in professions such as consumer electronics, retail, and service industries, to name a few, need to re-educate themselves to stay on top of the changing way business is conducted in today’s technological world.

Still, before you spend the time and money on any program, check out reviews by previous students, ask colleagues for recommendations, and carefully read the course descriptions.

Here’re some options for you to master new skills:

Advertising

Online Courses

If you’re a self-starter who is pressed for time, online courses may be the easiest way to pick up needed skills for the job you’re after. Online courses run the gamut from providing a quick 2 to 3 hour introduction to a potential career path to offering specific training. Some online programs even reward you with a full-blown degree from a prestigious university.

Continuing Education Courses

Another route to acquiring new skills for a midlife career change is to take continuing education courses at a local university or community college. Weekly, in-person classes will allow you to keep your day job.

Consider discussing your goals with your boss. Some companies encourage continuous learning. Home Depot, for example, offers employees up to $5,000 towards approved courses. Ask your supervisor whether your company has an educational assistance program. You will save your hard-earned money, and your employer will be investing in a very important asset: you.

Career Training Programs

Many high-skilled, high-paying careers require a specialized industry certification. Moreover, today’s career training programs are a far cry from the vocational education centers of the past. They’re now driven by technology and often taught by instructors working in the field. These programs are career-focused and can be completed faster than traditional community college and four-year college programs. It’s often possible to set up a class schedule that includes online, evening, or weekend classes.

Academic Degree Programs

If you decide to go all-in and enroll in an academic degree program (MBA, MFA, or other), discuss low-residency options with your academic counselor that will allow you to earn the degree while being flexible about hours spent inside a classroom. Fellowship programs, while intensely competitive, can fully fund a master’s degree in some fields.

5. Attract Notice Through Smart Networking

Along with gaining requisite skills, you’ll need to ramp up a robust networking campaign[2]. Seventy to eighty percent of jobs never reach the open market in an online listing. Why? Because the jobs are filled before they go public.

When you network, which, broadly speaking, means reaching out to employers and employees in the field of your dreams, you increase your chances of hearing about a job long before it hits the open market.

Smart networking means taking a two-pronged approach:

Advertising

First, target your friends, acquaintances, and industry connections who may be able to give you a foothold for making a contact inside a particular firm. While it may be considered old-fashioned to tap your organically grown network, it still comes with the best odds of success.

Make a point of meeting face-to-face with anyone who can offer you a lead or provide a reference. You never know what kind of opportunity will unfold from these offline connections. For a midlife career change, face-to-face networking is a great strategy to pursue.

But don’t stop there. Employ social media, which will exponentially increase your networking opportunities. Today, first impressions are mostly made in cyberspace. Making a strong online impression through a carefully curated social media profile may attract hiring managers and recruiters.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, every good match comes down to a “speed date.”

Throughout your career transition, you’ll be working to effectively make the case that your skills are the skills that your dream company needs.

Just like speed dating, where strangers make snap decisions on your “date-ability,” employers will decide your hire-ability in less time than it takes to eat lunch. With both, first impressions are key.

More Tips on Making a Midlife Career Change

Featured photo credit: Brendan Church via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next