Life Coaching Tools – Vision Boards

Envisioning the future can be daunting for many of us. You are so busy with what is going on in your life right now, at this instant, that you have no relief from your everyday, moment-to-moment responsibilities to concentrate on your future. Though you may do well putting one foot in front of the other and getting all sorts of things accomplished you often don’t have much time for looking expansively toward your future. Yet you yearn for something more fulfilling, more satisfying, different, more creative, and less routine. Taking control and creating the life you want takes an ability to “see” possibilities for your future. Think of it like seeing the Rocky Mountains from the Great Plains. This vision is not a map of how to get to the mountains. It is a view of those magnificent peaks off in the distance that you are headed toward. Seeing them motivates you along your journey and informs the path you will take. Learning how to use life coaching tools such as Vision Boards can help you define your future so that each step you take will lead to your destination.

Top executives have long appreciated visioning as a tool that is necessary to take them and their companies forward. An effective vision provides compelling direction for the organization. It inspires people to move toward it. A company’s vision articulates the company’s reason for being, defines the core values, and creates a big-picture view of the future. It communicates the company’s purpose. It guides everyone to behave productively and efficiently. Having a vision is so critical to running an organization that many companies bring in consultants to work with their leadership teams on the visioning process. Over my career I have assisted many groups and individuals in creating their visions.

Even if you are not the designated leader of an organization you can benefit from creating a vision for your personal or professional life or both. If your goals are clear, your vision will keep you focused and on track. Or if you are unclear with only a vague sense of direction your vision will open you to possibilities and opportunities. In either case your vision should include what makes your existence meaningful, the values you hold as core, and where you want to go. Together these things convey an idealized picture of your destination-inspiring you, describing your desires, and mobilizing you to action.

There are many methods used to stimulate visioning. I particularly like Vision Boards because they use images, are permanent, and can be referred to again and again. They are an effective tool for clarifying and fleshing out what really counts. A Vision Board is a collage made up of arranged elements that have particular importance to the creator. The Vision Board composition is put together to elicit specific emotions and reactions. It is made by collecting meaningful images and photos; bits of cloth; stamps; art supplies, such as glitter, markers, and paints; and any number of other elements. These are then assembled and combined on a large poster board in a manner that evokes meaning for the maker.

The old adage that “an image is worth a thousand words” is especially true when you are grappling with an elusive future. Your Vision Board is a broad symbol-filled picture of what matters to your heart, soul, and spirit. Some people get stuck in words and over analyzing. The process of creating a nonverbal, image-packed Vision Board can be freeing, allowing you to express things outside your awareness, formulate deep desires, and get to what is central. A completed Vision Board can be effective by inspiring you to take the steps necessary to move your life forward into the future of your dreams.

Years ago when I was making a huge career transition from being a psychotherapist I made my first Vision Board. At that time I had no idea that I would become a Life Leadership Coach. I remember creating my Vision Board, which began my journey. Once completed, I placed my Vision Board, which at 3 feet by 4 feet was quite large, on a shelf across from my desk. Every day I spent some time noticing different elements. In moments of doubt it kept me focused on my overall goal of creating a new career in which I would be both financially successful and deeply satisfied. Even now, years later, I can easily conjure many of the images I chose to put on my board that sustained me and defined where I am today.

I have worked with many clients who made Vision Boards to support different goals: creating their company, having a baby, meeting the person they would share life with, changing careers, choosing a career path, moving to a new city or country, going through illness, losing a loved one, and many more. As you create your own Vision Board keep in mind that the creation is as much about the process as it is about the finished product, so immerse yourself, allowing yourself to be completely involved in whatever time you can allow for this endeavor. Remember this is called Vision Boarding so you want to set everything Vision 20 reviews up to optimize the openness necessary to dream.

Choosing the Elements

Decide the size and composition of your Vision Board. I suggest you use lightweight foam core board that is 2 or 3 feet high by 3 or 4 feet wide. This gives you plenty of space to work with. Some other basic supplies you will need are sharp scissors and glue. Collect magazines and photos. Create folders where you can add clipped items as you go through them. Take some time to visit your local arts and crafts store. Wander the aisles trolling for supplies you want to use. The process of collecting and gathering the elements you will use can take weeks or months depending on how much time and energy you give to it. Don’t rush it or you won’t experience the value of being in the process, instead getting to the completed board too quickly. On the other hand, don’t drag it out beyond three months because life tends to move along and things change so that the items you collect may not retain the same level of meaning for you.

Setting the Scene

Once you’re ready to begin clipping and assembling look around your home to decide where you can work on your project. It should be someplace where others will not disturb or move it-or even see it before you want them to see it. Make sure the space is comfortable and that you can spread out. Ideally it should be somewhere that is aesthetically pleasing to you. The overall sense of the place should be calming to you, somewhere you can contemplate and concentrate without interruptions. Some people like to play music while they work. Be sure whatever you play centers you on the dreaming aspect of the process.

Choose images that matter to you on multiple levels: because they express a core value, such as peace or tranquility, financial abundance, beauty; and because they show some achievement, such as a location you want to reach, a space you want to inhabit, an image of people you want to be surrounded by. In other words, the images should express your destination, including who you are, who you want to be, and your most essential core values.

Putting It All Together

You can create the board in different ways. You might place a central image right in the middle of the board. All the other images and additions support this central image. Or you could put a favorite picture of yourself in the center with the images of what you want to create surrounding it. Or you might choose to create different sections, for instance, a section for work, one for romance, another for you, and another for family, and then connect them with overarching images.

A word of caution: try laying out the different elements before you apply glue to them. This way you can move things around. If you make a mistake gluing something you don’t like, just glue something else on top of it. You can use markers to outline things, use glitter to emphasize something special, add paint or bits of cloth or things from nature (remember all those leaves and feathers you glued in kindergarten). Your only criteria for what you use is that it has meaning for you and where you want to go. Step back and take a look at what you’ve created. Does it move you? Is there anything else needed to complete it? Make these tweaks and pat yourself on the back. You have created a beautiful Vision Board.

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