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8 Ideas To Create Your Own Vision Board

8 Ideas To Create Your Own Vision Board

Imagine living a life you consider ideal and balanced. Sink into the desirable details of your job, your relationships and the hobbies you pursue. Revel in the fulfillment of your experience. What are you doing to make this exciting life happen? How is your future self different from you today? Paint a picture of all that you notice – colors, people, actions, places, feelings etc.

The process you just engaged in above is called visioning. This involves playing with our right brain to invoke creativity and imagination. It’s a process that often helps us get to the heart of what we desire, what holds value for us, and then prompts us into action from a space of aliveness and alignment.

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Does it work for real? Of course!

Quoting a study from Psychology Today, “Mental imagery impacts many crucial cognitive processes in the brain… The brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow.” Famous athletes like Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, and Jack Nicklaus are known to have employed visioning for their success.

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A practice for making visioning more real is creating vision boards, which are representations of our goals and dreams. At their core, these boards are a collage of images, words, and phrases that capture your dreams. The intent of this collage is to make you feel truly giddy, inspiring you into focused action.

Vision boards that are created from the space of receptivity form when we are open to messages that come when we ask for what is waiting to take shape. These visions can be in the form of colors, feelings, words, or sensations. Such vision boards are highly spontaneous and intuitive. The second kind of vision boards are created from the space of intention, where we look into our deepest longings and actively engage in exploring, expressing, and representing these desires through different means. This is a form of manifestation.

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Let’s look at what we can put on our vision boards that capture our dreams.

  1. Words have a mysterious way of impacting us. Whether the words describe feelings or echo states of being,  they all evoke experiences we have had or wish to have. Look at magazines to cut out words which describe how you want to be or what you want to feel. You can even write them in big, bold, colorful letters. My favorites are ‘curiosity’, ‘flourishing’ and ‘gratitude.’
  1. Quotes are great sources of mindset formation and effectively express an idea or experience in its entirety. No matter what the context in which the words were originally said, the impact of a good quote is timeless. The readers make it their own. Choose quotes which give rise to intense and accurate thoughts that match the state/experience you wish to arrive at or those which encapsulate your journey. These can be from your role models, favorite authors, teachers, or even something out of a song! You can even add poems.
  1. Self-Affirmations are different from quotes since you write these on your own, for yourself. They are aimed at changing one’s worldview and undoing limiting beliefs. Research suggests that they can minimize anxiety, stress, and defensiveness associated with threats to our sense of self, while having positive neuro-psychological effects and keeping us open to improvement. Create affirmations which start with “I am..” and challenge beliefs about money, success, ability, and skill. Write affirmations which go beyond what you think is possible and change the ‘cannot’ to ‘can’. Here are some affirmations you might find useful.

      Source: http://louisegale.com/2014/11/marakesh-dreams-art-retreat-adventure-in-morocco/

    1. Art or Doodles created by you are one of the best ways to strengthen your desired states. Since it is you who is representing your vision through imagery, there is no better way of owning it. You don’t have to be skilled in art to create doodles. You just have to be willing to play! You can doodle your life map, or just use colors to intuitively express your feelings without form. Draw your future successful self, in your dream job or taking your dream vacation. And if you are game for a creative risk, doodle your favorite quote or your own affirmation.
    1. Pictures are a wonderful alternative to the doodles, since they can snap you out of any hesitancy you might feel towards drawing. Depending on the vision you are working at fulfilling, you can put up images of associated people who are successful and images which evoke feelings you wish to experience (gratitude, joy, love, celebration, etc.). You can also find pictures which are exactly similar to those you see in your imagination. If you wish to increase the challenge, you can have pictures representing different actions you will take.

        Source: https://ruthchasefineart.files.wordpress.com/2013

      1. Souvenirs,as sources of inspiration, are highly potent. They can serve as reminders of your strengths, uniqueness, achievements, successful relationships, and positive associations. If there are souvenirs which you associate with the birth of a specific vision, those are the ones that must go on the board. You can have anything from name tags, appreciation notes, trinkets, key-chains, dry leaves, buttons, magnets, string lights, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just pick souvenirs which are pertinent.
      1. Goals and intentions form the basis of our visions. Put up the goals and intentions attached to your vision in creative ways. You can make an intention tree with the roots being the vision, the bark being your strengths, and the leaves being all the intentions you have to achieve the vision. You can also create a mixed media sun, with the large goal as the core and all possible actions as the rays.
      1. Lists can be fun if you make them so. Vision boards can include lists of gratitude, your bucket lists, motivational song lists, support system lists, and books to read for achieving the vision. List core practices or ideas, which help you step into the reality of your vision. Play with color, fonts, printing, or writing. The more vibrant you make it, the more appealing it will be.
        Source: 3 Wishes Creation from Etsy.com

        Vision boards are a work in progress and will evolve with your changing visions and dreams. But the best thing about this practice is that there is no wrong way to create a vision board. Remember, your vision board is a gift to you from your best self. So, it has the potential of being a deeply meditative experience as well. Filter out distractions, put on some calming music, and dive into the magic of visioning.

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        Featured photo credit: https://cosmicwobble.wordpress.com/tag/vision-board/ via cosmicwobble.wordpress.com

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        Last Updated on November 15, 2019

        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, why?

        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]

        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.

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        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.

        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.

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        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.

        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?

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        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.

        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.

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        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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