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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

        Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

        How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

        Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

        However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

        Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

        Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

        Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

        In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

        What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

        To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

        The Biology

        Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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        Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

        The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

        A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

        Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

        So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

        Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

        Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

        Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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        Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

        The Psychology

        Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

        Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

        Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

        Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

        What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

        Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

        Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

        1. Identify Your Habits

        As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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        2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

        Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

        It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

        3. Apply Logic

        You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

        Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

        4. Choose an Alternative

        As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

        Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

        5. Remove Triggers

        Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

        Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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        6. Visualize Change

        Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

        For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

        7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

        Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

        Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

        Final Thoughts

        Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

        Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

        More About Changing Habits

        Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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