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

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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.

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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 October 21, 2021

        How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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        How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

        Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

        Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

        The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

        Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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        Program Your Own Algorithms

        Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

        Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

        By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

        How to Form a Ritual

        I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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        Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

        1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
        2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
        3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
        4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

        Ways to Use a Ritual

        Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

        1. Waking Up

        Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

        2. Web Usage

        How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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        3. Reading

        How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

        4. Friendliness

        Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

        5. Working

        One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

        6. Going to the gym

        If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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        7. Exercise

        Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

        8. Sleeping

        Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

        8. Weekly Reviews

        The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

        Final Thoughts

        We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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        More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

         

        Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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