I always feel that September is like a new year. After a long summer holiday my Facebook feed is full of pictures of my friends’ children going back to school. They all look so smart – new uniforms, shiny shoes, looks of anticipation and excitement on their faces. Parents are breathing sighs of relief that life can get back to normal after six weeks of juggling work, holidays, child care and kids holiday clubs. Yet September doesn’t have the same pressure to make resolutions to be fitter, healthier, more organised etc which is traditional in January and so making a choice to make a fresh start feels just that- a CHOICE!
It’s at this time of year that my thoughts turn to setting my vision for the coming months and years. This weekend I will be reconstructing my vision board. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, a vision board is a pictorial representation of your goals and ambitions- your vision. Sounds crazy? A waste of time? Well think again. Vision boards work and there is a very simple reason why. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualisation exercises throughout the day.
Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do.
Olympic athletes have been using this technique to improve performance for decades and psychologists report that the brain activity which happens during visualisation exercises is very similar to the brain activity during the real experience. However, to make your vision board effective it must capture how you want to feel when u achieve your goals rather than just focusing on material things.
For example, on my vision board I have a picture of a beautiful beach which my husband and I found on a wonderful holiday in Paxos. It was an isolated spot accessible only by boat and the crystal-clear water was lapping on the beach. I took some time to build a tower of stones whilst there and experienced a moment of real clarity and freedom whilst doing that. Even describing that moment in this article takes me straight back to that feeling!
I also include pictures of spaces which inspire me – a mountain in the Alps, the Twin Towers memorial in New York, a postcard which my children sent me one holiday when we weren’t together. Quotes and motivational phrases make the cut as well- although I’m quite careful not to include anything too cheesy.
Here are my top tips for creating your vision board.
- Be clear about the feelings and goals you want to capture
- Get prepared – you need a board (pin board or canvas), scissors, glue, pictures, etc
- Make space- not only physical space but also mental space. This is not something you can do in a hurry or in between other jobs. That will just dilute the impact.
- Get together with friends or colleagues to create your boards together- its fun, you can talk through your vision and goals and get ideas form others as to how to represent them. Plus sharing it with others makes you more accountable
- Let your imagination run wild and free. Not everything on your vision board needs to be easily within your grasp. Dream big and let the universe provide you with the solutions you need to achieve great things.
- Be proud of our board – put it somewhere that you will see it frequently. By seeing the board daily, you are using the visualisation technique daily to move you towards our goals
Have fun creating your visual representation of your goals, dreams and future and if you would like help with defining your vision reach out to the Leadership Secret team.