One of the most rewarding aspects of my speaking career is helping professionals create vision boards. Once considered no more than an arts and crafts project for pre-teen girls, vision boards have now earned the respect of those looking for more clarity and motivation to achieve goals that are important to them.
Last week, I conducted my “Picture This!” Vision Board Workshop for about 50 men and women at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. It was part of a two-day employee development event called LeaderFest 2016. I presented a morning workshop that included my “CRAVE Your Goals!” program since V stands for visualize!
I then facilitated a day-and-a-half of drop-in sessions. Some of my workshop attendees came back to add to their vision boards and share their insights while other employees came by to start their vision boards. The CDC featured vision board creation in their curriculum because it helps participants reduce stress, improve work-balance, and achieve professional and personal goals.
Are you considering using vision boards at your organization? Here are three reasons vision boards work:
1) Creating your vision board helps you slow down and reflect on what’s most important. By asking yourself, “What do I want to be, do and have, and how do I want to feel?,” you give yourself permission to dream big. And you begin to question your perceived limitations, instead of the possibilities. Your potential seems more real when you see the images and words in the magazines you flip through and then claim them by cutting them out and placing them on your board.
The creation process also reveals subconscious desires. That’s why I always recommend adding to your board those images and words that delight you but don’t relate to any of your current goals. There’s another benefit to vision boards. Like the wildly popular, meditative practice of coloring for adults, vision board creation is refreshingly low tech and allows us to unplug for a while and still feel productive.
2) Looking at your vision board helps program the part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System. The RAS acts as a spam filter and makes you more aware of opportunities and resources. We’ve all experienced the power of our RAS when we decided to buy a certain kind of car and then kept seeing it everywhere!
I recommend posting your vision board somewhere you’ll see every day and taking a picture of it so you can view it any time on your digital device. Review your board at the beginning of each day and ask a simple question like, “What’s one thing I can do today to bring me closer to this reality?” Then act on those ideas.
3) Sharing your vision board with those you trust will help you build a support system to guide you and cheer you on. And you can do the same for them. It’s often easier to express sincere aspirations with someone else through a thoughtfully constructed collage than with words. Consider creating vision boards with your workplace team, friends and family.
Got a question on vision boards? Post it here or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to support your success. That’s my vision!