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2020 Was Such a Crappy Year! The Year in Review and Vision Boards

Annie's Vision Board
Annie’s Vision Board

2020 is over!!  Wouldn’t it be nice if the devastation that came with it was over too?!  Sadly, it isn’t—we are still losing loved ones to the pandemic, there is still political strife pretty much everywhere, and the path to recovery will not be easy. Gioia, usually the optimist here at CWW, was feeling a bit discouraged and hopeless about the current state of affairs and decided that she and her daughters, Annie and Tabitha, needed to make vision boards.   

The image you see above is Annie’s vision board. Annie was particularly inspired to include “permission cards”. She wanted to “be happy with where I am” rather than always succumbing to focusing on problems and finding flaws in everything. She also wanted to set healthy boundaries both by not pushing herself too hard and by not letting others walk all over her. She said that the red bird represented breaking out and “being stress free”.

Annie said that one of the take-aways she got from her vision board was that, even though she had had a really bad year (she said it was literally one of the worst ever) she was surprised at how hopeful the picture turned out to be.  She also said that it made her feel more prepared for 2021– more “calm-minded” and prepared for how she wanted carry herself this year.  And finally, she was reminded how fun doing art was.  She did it all the time when she was young (her mother is, after all, an art therapist) but she had forgotten how relaxing and helpful it was.

Gioia’s Vision Board

We’re also including Gioia’s vision board here because she, too, was surprised at how exuberant and hopeful hers turned out to be, a reminder even for an art therapist, that that’s the point of making art—it helps you feel better about things that are bothering you.

So, if you want to make a vision board, click to the right to download a useful handout on making vision boards.  It is attached to another exercise, the “Year in Review”, because we find that looking at what we’ve done in the recent past (6 mos/year) helps to direct us more concretely toward what we want to focus on in the immediate future.  In other words, we would all likely say that we want more health and peace in our lives in the upcoming year; however, we suggest that listing any efforts that you might have made towards that last year will help you determine more specifically what you want that to look like, e.g. that you would take a walk 2 x week.

Rebecca’s Vision Board

Finally, we note that although most people use magazine cut-outs of images and words to make their vision boards, some people go online to platforms such as Pinterest to find a particular image they are looking for and then print that out.  Rebecca, who also did a vision board, found she could capture better what she was thinking through her own imagery, so she drew what she was visualizing.  Although hers is fairly elaborate, you could do that with simple pencil or pen sketches.  The gist of the exercise is to formulate the ideas in imagery so that you can give your mind more evocative material to work towards as the year unfolds.

Hoping that the year gets better for us all.  Positively yours, Rebecca and Gioia

Art Activity
Download the instructions for the Year in Review/Vision Board exercise (the idea is to make a thorough list of what impacted you and what you accomplished last year in the domains or your health, work, personal life, work life, finances, etc.–it doesn’t all have to “accomplishments” or good stuff, just what had impact on your life).

Use a board to paste or draw images that reflect what you would like to manifest specifically in your life in the next year in all of those domains.  You can imagine that you are at the end of the year looking back on this year and taking stock of what you have done.