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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!)

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.

        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

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        Last Updated on December 17, 2018

        Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

        Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

        We live in a time of productivity overload.

        Everywhere you turn are articles and books about how to be more productive, how to squeeze 27 hours of work out of every 24, how to double your work pace, how to do more and more all in the name of someday getting out of the rat race. Well this is about the side effects of those ideas. If we aren’t multitasking, we feel lazy. If we aren’t doing everything, we feel like we’re slacking. We compare ourselves to others who we think are doing more, having more, getting more and achieving more, and it’s driving us crazy. We feel overwhelmed when we think we have too much to do, too much is expected of us, or that a stressor is too much for us to handle. And we respond by lashing out with emotions of anger, irritability, anxiety, doubt and helplessness.

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        This season especially is the most stressful time of year. Between the holidays, final exams, family gatherings and general feelings of guilt that it’s the end of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of all the things you still need to get done. But if you use these tips, not only will you get the important stuff done, you’ll keep your sanity while doing it!

          Is this you?

          Change your thought pattern-stop thinking negatively

          When you feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is start thinking negatively or begin to resent why it’s your responsibility in the first place! The first thing you have to do is to stop! Stop thinking negatively immediately. Instead, focus on the positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, think of how great it is to have some time to yourself. If you’re rushing trying to get things done by a deadline, think how lucky you are to have a purpose and to be working towards it. If you’re stressing about a final exam, think of how fortunate you are to be given the opportunity of higher education. After you’ve changed your thought patterns, you must then say to yourself “I can do this.” Keep saying it until you believe it and you’re more than halfway to ending feeling overwhelmed.

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          Take a deep breath/change your body posture

          When you’re stressed certain things happen to your body. You start to breath shallowly, you hunch over, you immediately tense up and all that tension drives your feelings of stress even more. Relax! Straighten your posture and take at least ten deep, cleansing, breaths. Force yourself to smile and do something to change your state. It could be as simple as giving yourself a hug or as silly as clapping your hands three times, throwing them up in the air and shouting “I GOT THIS!” Think to yourself, how would I sit/stand if I had perfect confidence and control of the situation?

          Focus on right now

          Now that you are in a better state of mind and are no longer thinking negatively, you need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing I have control of and can act on right now? Keep asking yourself this until you have a concrete next step.

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          Take Action

          Now that you know what’s most important and what to do about it, do it! Start with the first step and focus on getting that done. Don’t worry about anything else right now, just on what your first step is and how to get it done. Once that’s done with, determine the next most important step and get that done.

          Let go of what you can’t control (the gambler’s theory)

          Seasoned gamblers understand the importance of due diligence and knowing when to let go. The Gambler’s Theory is that once your bet is placed there is nothing you can do, so you might as well relax and enjoy the process. The time to worry is when you’re figuring out the best odds and making the decision of what to bet when you can actually take action. I used this one a lot in college. After an exam, there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. There’s nothing you can do. And the same goes for feeling overwhelmed. If you can do something about your situation, do it, focus and take action. But if you’ve done what you could and now are just waiting, or if you’re worried about something you have no control over, realize that there’s no point. You might as well relax and enjoy the moment.

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            Relax and enjoy the moment

            Stop feeling guilty

            Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. If you are at your wits end trying to keep up with what you think you should be doing, you aren’t being fair to yourself. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for improvement, just don’t go overboard because you feel like you have to. Only you know what’s really important to you, and your personal success journey so focus on what your top priorities are, not someone else’s.

            Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. The important thing is to realize it’s normal and that you can do something about it by taking focused and deliberate action. Happy Holidays!

            Featured photo credit: Stress Therapy via flickr.com

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