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What on earth is a vision board and why would I need one?!?

OK so no it is definitely not quite that simple - click your fingers and suddenly you are on a beautiful desert island!!! BUT did you know that by creating a vision board you can significantly increase your chances of achieving things you want to achieve and living a life that fulfils and delights you?!? As Jack Canfield so expertly puts it: "You only have control over three things in your life; the thoughts you think, the images you visualise and the actions you take."

What is a vision board?

Put quite simply, a vision board is just a collection of words and images that inspire you get clarity on the life you want to lead and the goals you want to achieve. By putting your board somewhere you see every day it can help keep you on track to stay motivated towards the things you want!

You don't need to be artistic to make one of these. If you prefer to draw your own images and write your goals out then by all means do that but a vision board can work just as well by cutting out images from magazines and brochures to make a collage. Alternatively, you can just use a simple design tool like Canva where you just click and drop the images that you want into a template!

It doesn't matter how you make it, what matters is how you choose the content of your board. It will be of zero use if you simply cut out a selection of pretty pictures and tick them up on a board! You need to know exactly why each image is up there, what it represents for you and most importantly, why you want it!

What is the purpose of a vision board?

Images can be so much more powerful for evoking emotions than words. For example, by seeing an image of a beautiful house leading out onto a beach you can imagine yourself there - you can feel the sand between your toes, taste the saltwater from the sea on your lips, imagine yourself dozing off in a sumptuous sun lounger on the veranda... you get the idea! How much more powerful is that image than simply writing "I'd like a house by the beach!" Then imagine you have this gorgeous image of your dream house up on your vision board where you see it every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed! Not only will this inspire you to dream big it will also seep into your subconscious and you can find yourself taking actions in your daily life that will lead you towards this goal. Maybe you're offered the opportunity to interview for a new job or start your own business? When you have your dreams and goals firmly in your mind it allows you make better decisions in your life that will inevitably lead you towards your goals.

Let's take another example; say that one of your goals is that your children are leading happy and fulfilled lives! Put an image on your board that shows your kids at their absolute happiest - maybe it was on a special holiday or family day out when they were full of joy and had not a care in the World or perhaps when they had just won a medal in their favourite sport and they were filled with pride! Imagine looking at that image every day, you will feel the emotions that your kids were feeling in that picture and become so familiar with how big their smile is, how their eyes light up, how their body posture looks. This will then lead you to become hyper aware of your children in their daily lives, you will be able to sense when they are not quite living that fulfilled life. It may be a subtle change in their posture or that their smile doesn't quite meet their eyes. Because you have become so attuned to their image on your board, you will intuitively know when something is amiss and this intuition will guide you to action. Perhaps talking to your child about how they are feeling or realising that their life is not filled with those same moments of joy/achievement that it was and then helping them to bring some of that back!

Another great thing about having a vision board is it can lift your mood and fill you with positivity. Imagine you are having a bit of a crappy day where nothing seems to be going quite right for you. You could spend some time looking through your vision board, remembering the goals you set for yourself and allowing yourself to feel excited about the things that are possible for you!

When I make vision boards, I like to have a selection of both short-term and long-term goals on my board! That way it is constantly evolving and you can experience the joy of seeing something that you put up there coming into reality! This then gives our brains proof that we are capable of achieving our goals and therefore will work harder to achieve those bigger, longer-term dreams. Remember to celebrate and feel gratitude every time something on your board is realised so that we can teach our sub-conscious mind to keep looking for ways to achieve!

How do you make a vision board?

The actual process of making a vision board can be completely unique to you and how you prefer to do it! Cut and stick images from magazines, print pictures from the internet, use photos, quotes, affirmation words, the list is endless but the key part to do before you start sticking pictures together is to define some goals of what you actually want to achieve! This may seem daunting to begin with but I have two things that really help me at this beginning stage. The first is to get myself in the right state: you need to be calm, relaxed, excited about your future and the possibilities that could be ahead of you. I find the best way to do this is to begin with a short meditation. My second tip is to decide on some different life categories that feel relevant to you. For example it could be the roles you play in your life, e.g. parent, friend, your job, voluntary work, lifestyle, hobbies etc. Then you take each of these categories separately and think about how you want to be in this area in your perfect life, then you can begin to work back from that to set some goals, milestones that will move you on track towards that vision. Once you have done this for all the areas of your life then you will be much clearer as to what sort of images/quotes/words you'd want on your board to represent those goals and dreams.

Tip: The images don't need to be exact replicas of what you dream, they simply need to evoke a feeling that triggers the image that you have in your head. For example, let's say one of your goals is to have a gorgeous sports car, instead of trying to find an image of the exact car that you want to have you could have something simple like a picture of a car key. Then when you look at that key on your vision board, you can imagine yourself holding that key in your hand as to walk towards your brand new car, you press the button on the key, open the driver's door and slip into the cool leather seat!

I hope this has given you some inspiration to create your own vision board and if you'd love to create one with guidance and support through the whole process alongside other like-minded women then please check out the Mums' Night Out Live vision board workshop on Friday 8th July in Letchworth in Hertfordshire. Full details and tickets here.

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