Whether you are new to vision boards, have some experience with them or are an expert Boardanista, this article is meant to help you understand its origins, how it can be helpful and what you need to get started. Let’s break it down.
What is a Vision Board?
It is a visualization tool that can be as simple as a collage of images, pictures, and text to affirm one’s dreams and desires. It is designed to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation. Vision boards or dream boards, as they are often referred to, were popularized by the well known book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. They underlying message of this book is the belief that thoughts can change a person’s life. This is known as the law of attraction. And Oprah gave The Secret the two snaps of approval, so you know it had to be legit, right? The whole shaboodle is based on the idea that if you can visualize your goals, you can reach them through enough positive thoughts. If you are really spiritual minded, like me, and would enjoy a positive way to channel your energy, help you escape the challenges of daily life and get artsy, this may be your speed.
Therapy and Vision Boards
Ask your therapist for help! Do not be shy. Private practice therapy can have the flexibility that you allow it to have. Vision Boards can be a self-care and therapeutic tool to help guide your treatment goals. Have you have ever heard of (EAT) Expressive Arts Therapy? Therapists trained in this treatment model allow for the expression and understanding of emotions through the creation of art, based on a therapists prompts. Rather than solely relying on talking, therapists are able to gather valuable information through art. Similarly, you can use art to emotionally and mentally reflect on a problem you are dealing with and then have a visual representation of how you would like to think, feel and behave. Your desires can inspire the images, inspirational words, numbers, pictures, quotes, positive affirmations, and thoughts you choose. Your therapist can then use these as discussion points to guide conversations, process emotions, and monitor your progress while keeping you accountable.
Goals and Themes
Go ahead and pick a theme, but not just any theme. Really think about what you are choosing. Yes, I am telling you to spend a little extra-tender-loving-thoughtful-care and choose a meaningful theme for your dream board. It may be helpful to consider referencing your journal, if you make regular entries, and find a specific area you would like see improve. A holistic approach would be to consider areas such as friends, family, work, school, spirituality, body, and mental health. You may be also thinking that there are benefits to improving consistency when it comes to self-care, so examine the physical, emotional/psychological, social, spiritual, or professional areas of your life. For these goals to be successful, give thought to adding the most important goals you want to work towards, explore what you need to accomplish each goal on your dream board, reflect on the obstacles that might get in the way of progress and contemplate who you can get support from. And finally, decide when you would like to complete your goal.
Being creative & tools
Time to get ready! Set aside 45 minutes to 2 hours of time to prepare the tools and materials needed to create your board. You may want to be super creative and use a clip board or notebook. Or, if you want to make your dream board portable. You can create a type of display board, which could be a bulletin board, cardboard, poster board, burlap or a piece of wood. Some may also choose to utilize their wall as their background to showcase their dreams. For my tech folks, yes, digital dream boards are valid too. I would encourage you to take some time to also reflect on the tools you choose beforehand. If you are making a clothespin dream board your tools will look different than those of someone who is only using quotes from an old book that were cut out. Do not forget to consider tape, glue, scissors, and print outs or cut outs you would like to include. There are literally millions of different ways to make a vision board so there is no need to focus on “if it’s right”. The only thing that matters is that it is meaningful to you when you have finished.
Mindfulness & Self-care
While working on your dream board remember that this is considered to be a self-care activity. This is time you are taking out for you and your thoughts, feelings, hopes and desires. It needs to be recognized as a time for you to feel restored. This can be private or something you only share with your therapist. Or it can be also done on the other end of the spectrum, in a party or workshop setting as those participating in the event reflect on a collaborative thing such yearly goals. Dream boards can help if you are in need of motivation and focus and you can share yours with those you consider to be accountability partners. While creating, allow yourself to take moments to notice what comes up for you emotionally, mentally, and physically and be try in the present moment without judgement of your art.