The other day, Gioia was asked to run a ” Vision Board” workshop and thought, “I’ve never led one but they sound like a very art therapy-ish kind of thing!”
Vision boards are essentially any kind of artwork you make that explores the life you want to lead. It answers questions such as: would you like to be more engaged, have more fun, more comfort and love, more community, more meaning and purpose? Is there a special accomplishment you’d like to achieve? Without having a vision of what your life could look like, it can be tough to generate and maintain motivation towards specific goals. Art can provide the “language” from which to develop that vision and those goals, and in itself can be fun and engaging.
Vision boards might seem a bit schlocky if we think of them as frivolous collages idealizing an impossible-to-achieve life. But if we actively try to visualize both the mountain and steps that it would take to climb it, we steer the mind in that direction. Vision boards are so effective because they further articulate what your mountain would look like.
We find that doing a guided visualization helps warm people up to the Vision Board process. Click here for one that Gioia recorded which is based on positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky’s Best Possible Life exercise. We have the script written up if you want to download it and record it yourself.
To make a vision board, find words, phrases, and pictures (from magazines or memorabilia) that symbolize the future you want in all of the different dimensions of your life (work, family, mental and physical health, spirituality, connection to nature, financial wellbeing, community, creativity, expanding knowledge and skills, etc.). Use whatever inspires you. Be spontaneous–find or make images that delight you. Be mindful as well–select words and images that best represent your highest purpose, your “best possible life”. You can print out snapshots of yourself in happy moments. Don’t just focus on things you want to own, add things that represents how you want to feel. Collage all of this on a bulletin board, wall, or arrange your materials in a binder. Take your time and place things in a way that makes sense to you.
Once you’ve finished, at least for the time being, we recommend that you display your vision board somewhere that you can see it every day. That visual cue can really help you stay motivated and focused on the big picture.
Warmly, Gioia and Rebecca
Use the materials you have at hand, a glue stick, scissors, some old magazine images, personal memorabilia, photos, printed quotes from the internet, or anything else (glitter! ribbon! patterned paper! etc.) to create a visual reminder of your goals and values… Your vision board is unlikely to be completed in one session, and can be changed as you grow and evolve over time. Feel free to share it on our FB page. We’d love to see it!