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Can Vision Boards Motivate You to Make a Positive Change?

About 10 years ago a friend of mine who was undertaking an Art Therapy course asked for a volunteer to practice a guided meditation on. As a supporter of my friends (and their endeavours), and a lover of anything which may assist me to grow and develop personally, I jumped at the chance. The activity required my friend, Michelle, to guide me through a mediation that led me through a door of my choosing (mine was red arched one with a black handle embedded in a tree trunk) and into my “perfect life”. Once I had explored inside my perfect life for while, (noting who and what was in there) she guided me back through the door and out of the meditation. The next step in the exercise was to paint the perfect life I had been given a glimpse of.

Whilst I am not very artistic (and my 7 year old niece would have done a better painting) I did my best and set to work recreating what I had experienced. The areas in my life represented in the painting were family and friends, career, love of animals, nature, travel, health and wellbeing. As I was single but had a dream of entering a loving and healthy relationship, part of the painting included me walking down the aisle marrying my ideal partner. The man had black hair but no facial features; because I course I didn’t know him yet. There were two children walking beside us – one with black hair and one with light coloured hair. This was representing the children we would have. Michelle and I talked about how interesting and fun the exercise was and discussed the painting. When the paint was dry I rolled it up and took it home.

Fast forward nine years when I married my black-haired husband and his two children from a previous marriage. His son has black hair and his daughter’s hair is light coloured. They walked down the aisle with us - exactly as I'd painted. Whilst it had been long (years!) forgotten, somehow recently the painting came back into my mind. I don’t know where it’s gotten to – probably lost during one of the house moves over the years – but I can remember it well enough to know that many of those things represented are now in my life.

So did this manifest in my life because I painted it, or did the mediation exercise give me a glimpse into what the universe had in store for me? I don’t know the answer to that question but it got me thinking about vision boards and how they can useful in helping us achieve our goals.

I love my vision board. It sits on my desk where I can look at it every minute I’m working at my computer, if I wish to. I’ve attached mantras I believe in, photos of times in my life I’ve felt really happy and blessed, pictures that represent achievements I’ve been proud of, random words I’d like to live by and pictures of things I wish to bring into my life.

How does my vision board motivate me to make positive changes in my life? The same way it can work for you.

  • It anchors my vision and gives it clarity. Have you ever heard the saying that people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what they want? Sometimes that is true. I’ve not only identified what I want to create in my life but I’ve taken the time to make it “tangible” by sticking words and pictures on a board. This helps quieten the internal chatter of my mind and move through the external forces of life – you know, those things that pull us in every direction when we get out of bed in the morning. No matter what’s going on during my day, when I look at my vision board it brings me back to what my focus is.

  • It motivates me to take action. I have deliberately included a huge photo of a fit and healthy woman from a running magazine. Underneath are the words “sculpt yourself”. It gets me to the gym or outside for a run. I also have pictures that represent the direction I want my business to go and those reminders propel me to take action.

  • It makes me feel good. I think one of the secrets to a good vision board is including things that make you feel proud and happy, not just material things that you want in your life. I have photos of my family and friends who inspire and support me.

We all have thoughts and thoughts are pictures. When we focus on pictures it creates feelings within us and those feelings motivate us to take action towards something. Do we just focus on the vision board and wait for the universe to manifest all our dreams and desires into our life? Some people believe so, but I prefer to use my vision board to move me to an active state of pursuing my next goal.

Tips for creating your own vision board

  • There are no rules – this is YOUR vision board so create it as you wish. You can use corkboard, a magnetic whiteboard, cardboard, paper or an electronic program such as Pinterest.

  • You can use any materials you wish – photos, magazine words and pictures, invitations, drawings, stickers.......and anything else you can think of.

  • Focus on how you want to feel – rather than just what you want.

  • Work out your goals first, then put anything on your board that moves or inspires you to take action towards achieving them.

  • This is YOUR vision board so you decide if you want one large one or numerous mini ones scattered around your house.

  • Allocate the time in your day to really create something that is meaningful to you.

  • Enjoy the process - it really is heaps of fun!

I am unsure if vision boards are magical (maybe they are!) but I do know they can be motivational!

As Oprah says, “Create your highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”

Hi and thanks for reading! My name is Janelle Ryan and I am an International Coach, Speaker, Author, Presenter and Amateur Video Maker who helps high performers create extraordinary lives. My clients include CEOs, executive leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs, Olympians and mums!

If you enjoyed this article, and would like to create your vision for the next 12 months ....or beyond... I invite you to join me for my


in the stunning Yarra Valley in March 2020.

It's going to be expansion, creative and a lot of fun!

We'd love you to join us.

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