Whether you’re dreaming up a big endeavor—writing a novel, moving to a new city—or a seemingly small project—reading more each month, making your bedroom into a sanctuary—it can easily feel overwhelming or downright impossible.
You might doubt yourself. You might second-guess your dream. You might waver.
What can help in accomplishing your biggest or smallest goals is to create a vision board. According to senior editor Jessica Misener in her book JOMO: Celebrate the Joy of Missing Out! “a vision board is a physical manifestation of goals you want to achieve,” or “a tangible visual” of your aspiration.
Creating a vision board doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In her book, Misener shares these seven simple steps:
- Put on some music that inspires you.
- Reflect on your dream to set an intention for your vision board. What is your dream? Why is it so important to you? What would it mean for you to achieve this dream?
- Gather your supplies, which might include magazines or a computer with a printer. For your board, use a posterboard, corkboard, or any other big, flat surface.
- Find images that connect to your dream and inspire you. This might be anything from a favorite movie character to a quote that reminds you to keep going.
- When you find an image, pause for a moment to consider if it feels right. If it does, put it on your board.
- When your board is almost complete, pause to reflect on it as a whole. “How do you feel when you look at it? Does it empower you and bring you joy? Keep adding and changing things until you’ve created a powerful reminder of your goal.”
- Put your board anywhere you’ll see it often. (You can also snap a picture, so it’s always with you.)
Creating a vision board helps us to get clarity on our dreams. What will writing your novel look like? How will the writing process and the final product contribute to your life? What city do you really want to live in? What will your life feel like when you move there? What will bring you happiness and peace? What do you want your bedroom to look, feel, smell, and sound like?
Creating a vision board also helps us persevere when making our dreams come true feels too complicated or frustrating, when we hit a roadblock, when we need to see (literally) the bigger picture. It’s a quick, potent reminder.
And creating a vision board helps us evaluate whether our dream still actually matters to us. Because as we flip through magazines and look at Pinterest for images that reflect our aspiration, we might feel the excitement and energy bubbling up—or we might feel just OK, or bored, or completely apathetic about it. And if that’s the case, that’s a good thing, because it’s a telltale sign that you can simply move on to something that will excite and energize you.
Either way, give yourself the opportunity and the permission to explore your dreams—without shutting yourself down. Try to be as supportive as you’d be to a friend who’s sharing something precious with you. After all, it’s that important.