I started making vision boards eight years ago, and I find them a great help in staying focused on what’s important to me. If I get sidetracked or wrapped up in stress, I can just glance at my vision board and I’m reminded of what really matters in my life.
A vision board is a piece of poster board with a collage of images and words cut from magazines pasted on it. Not just any images and words—those that either spell out or symbolize what you love, what you hope to achieve, and what you want to bring into your life.
Making a vision board brings clarity to your dreams. When you surround yourself with tangible reminders of those dreams, your life will change to match them. It may sound far-fetched, but trust me—it works. All that positive mental energy is powerful!
Sometimes I make vision boards at home by myself, very reflectively, but recently I tried a different approach. My friend Barbara Biziou, the “Queen of Rituals,” led a workshop in New York City on creating your vision for 2014, and I attended.
One Friday evening about 40 of us gathered in a midtown loft for our weekend voyage. After a short lecture on how we would create the year we wanted, Barbara handed out a questionnaire and asked us to write the highlights and challenges of the past year.
As I reflected on the preceding 12 months, I realized I’d accomplished more than I thought. First, I assembled a great team to create Rewire Me. Second, after a lot of hard work we launched the site. Third, I became a certified trainer for Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself workshops. And that was just in the first few months of 2013—not bad! I had learned that people come in and out of your life when they’re supposed to. I realized that failures bring insight and knowledge. And the most valuable change I made was to allow myself to be vulnerable and release my perceptions of what the world thought of me.
On Saturday morning, the opening discussion was about our perception of ourselves, followed by another questionnaire—a very personal one, about statements we tell ourselves. Things like I’m fat, I’m too old, I’m not ready, I’m afraid of… I can’t earn a lot of money because… You know those statements! It was an eye-opening experience that gave me insight into the dialogue I’ve been having with myself most of my life.
On the back of the questionnaire were several essay questions: What would you love to create? What kind of person do you aspire to be? Who is the real you? As Barbara explained, the work of discussion, reflection, and writing sets the premise for creation.
Next we listed all the things we wanted out of our lives and the past we wanted to let go of. One by one we went to the center of the room, said our name, read our list, and threw it into a large pot of flames. By verbalizing the thoughts that torment us, we break our ties, dependencies, and attachments to the ideas that are holding us back. We put our past behind us—or, in our case, brought them to a fiery end.
On Sunday we were ready to create our future—vision board time! Magazines and other print materials were strewn all over the floor, waiting for us to pluck from them the images and words that would help us bring our intentions to life. Some people found Rewire Me postcards in the pile and used them on their boards; I really liked that. I plunged in and started putting my own together.
I love the final result. It says a lot about who I am, how I honor family and relationships, health and fitness, and that I love to give and receive.
I left on Sunday with my beautiful vision board and a feeling of having kick-started myself into 2014.
How’s your year shaping up so far?