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Why I Still Create a Vision Board as an Adult (Right, It’s Not Just for Kids!)

Why I Still Create a Vision Board as an Adult (Right, It’s Not Just for Kids!)
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Making a vision board may seem like something that’s just for kids trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, or an activity to fill time at a yoga retreat. However, vision boards aren’t New Age woo-woo, and they aren’t a silly craft project, either.

A vision board visualizes what you want in life.

Most simply put, a vision board is a physical place to display things that symbolize what you want in life. It can include pictures cut from magazines, favorite quotes, colors that inspire you, objects you love, or whatever strikes you as positive and that you want to focus on.

A vision board is also a focal point.

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    It’s something that you will look at every day that will remind you of where you want to be and how you want to feel. It gives you something to focus on that is positive, instead of day-to-day stress and worry. It can be highly motivating to see pictures of the things you want and know that what you do today can bring you closer to that vision or take you farther away.

    Vision boards help you identify and visualize what you want, which can be really helpful because we don’t often take much time to think about what we really want and whether our lives support those things.

    In recent years a lot has been made of the law of attraction, but even if you don’t believe that you can influence traffic lights and manifest parking spaces with the power of your mind, there is something to the idea that what we focus on expands and becomes who we are. That’s why when your day starts off bad it tends to snowball into a comedy of errors.

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    Starting the day by looking at your vision board and thinking about how it makes you feel can help you start the day with a better attitude that will result in a better day.

    But do dive deeper into your thoughts before making a vision board.

    If a vision board still sounds a little woo-woo, you might want to try changing your thinking before diving in. Consider it an experiment – a way to explore your inner world, what makes you happy, and what you want from life.

    It can also seem like you’re focusing on materialistic things, with a board full of exotic trips, big houses, and fancy cars, but it doesn’t have to be like that if those aren’t things that you want. Your vision might be a campfire, a good book, a comfy couch, and someone to snuggle on it with.

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    Making a vision board isn’t as challenging as you think.

      Making a vision board is simple, but it isn’t necessarily a fast process.

      You’ll need some kind of poster or foam board, or even an old bulletin board for the base. Start collecting things that have meaning to you or that motivate you, things that you want for your life, or things that make you feel the way you want to feel. Pull out pictures from magazines and words that inspire you. Add favorite quotes, vacation pictures, or a piece of art your friend made that you love- things that will make you smile.

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      Don’t go into making your board thinking you know everything that should be on it. Allow for serendipity. Put something on there that might not make sense right now. If there’s a picture or a word you’re drawn to and you don’t know why, add it to your board. It may be that some months from now, after looking at your vision board every day, you’ll suddenly understand what that seemingly out-of-place thing means. That’s when this process gets really cool.

      And it’s good to remake your board from time to time.

        Making a vision board is not a one-time project. It’s a process you’ll want to repeat through the years. It’s up to you how often you do it, but once a year wouldn’t be too often. You can also have different boards related to different parts of your life such as health, travel, work, and family. You can add to your board as you find new things that speak to you or new parts of your vision start to open up.

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        If you keep your old boards or take pictures of them it’s like a giant scrapbook of what you were thinking and what inspired you at that particular time in your life, which is always interesting to look back on. You might find that in time you get some of what you said you wanted.

        Featured photo credit: Debra Roby. via flickr.com

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        Sarah White

        Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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        No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

        Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

        Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

        A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

        Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

        In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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        From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

        A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

        For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

        This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

        The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

        That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

        Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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        The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

        Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

        But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

        The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

        The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

        A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

        For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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        But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

        If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

        For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

        These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

        For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

        How to Make a Reminder Works for You

        Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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        Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

        Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

        My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

        Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

        I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

        More on Building Habits

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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        Reference

        [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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