How a Vision Board Kicked Me Into Gear


What’s in a vision? Oftentimes, I tell myself that I don’t really have one… those who know me know that I am more of a “laissez-faire” individual. I’m 10x more likely to respond with “no worries” rather than “no”.  This core disposition can leave me feeling like I’m aimless. However, I’m realizing that I do have a vision. It’s cloudy, not 100% defined, but I know some of the tenets that will be vital to it’s realization.

But, actually I realized that besides my career, stable relationship, and rootedness in the PNW community, I do have something that’s been helping me drive, incrementally, painstakingly, closer to the person I want to be. Something that’s been inconspicuously cheering me on the whole time. I have realized that a hastily prepared, honest vision board that I had made for myself in 2015 has contributed to my achievements over the last several years. No, more accurately, I have contributed to my achievements, but the vision board certainly kept me motivated. 

Vision correlates to ambition, aspiration, hope, initiative, earnestness, and drive. So, even if there’s a 25% chance that my vision board helped me to achieve some life milestones, I’m willing to incorporate vision boards into my life until someone convinces me of their mediocrity.

Et voila, with that, I share my vision board that I created in 2015. Now, I didn’t sit down, 25 years of age, and decide that it was time to seize the day and visualize the things I wanted but didn’t have in my life. No, instead, I came home after a perceived “godawful” day of work and my husband said, “I’m making a vision board. I bought you supplies. Do you want to make one?”

So I did! Here it is:

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There are a lot of concepts represented in this vision board. Many of them represent basic needs: shelter, clean environment, health. But a lot of the concepts represent “next level”, or even spiritual needs: purpose, happiness, relationships, freedom, nature, will power, and confidence. I remember when I sat down to make this vision board, I only bothered looking through one magazine. After sticking on a few clippings, I grabbed some visuals from a Target catalog, a real estate pamphlet I had grabbed from a house for sale down the road (no, I was not in the market for real estate), and some personal pictures of myself and Seattle. I added a visual of a car… as if I’d be able to get a car in the near future. I added a picture of a figurine in a wedding dress and a couple on their honeymoon. Ugh, as if I wanted to think about dieting for a wedding. I added some pictures to indicate that I wanted to become more physically active, even adding a picture of a woman with a bold nail and a biking glove. I hadn’t athletically biked since I was twelve. Finally, I added a happy picture of me from around the time of my college graduation from UW. I completed the vision board and hung it up in the kitchen/doorway of our apartment. And it’s been there for 3 years.

Now, I’m realizing that fortunately, I have started to dabble in some of the concepts/skills listed on my vision board. It’s not my ideal vehicle, but I do have a car with it’s own story. I did get more fit - also, with the help of a bike! For the last 9 months, I have been riding my spin bike 2-5 times per week, which has helped me to regain some muscle definition. I have started saving money and we are hoping to buy our first house next year. I just ordered my first pack of business cards. I am smiley just like the version of myself on the vision board.

I feel like I tricked myself into achieving. Or, I normalized the thought of my success. Or, I worked every day to better my consequences. Maybe it’s all of the above. What works will differ for everyone, but based on my experience, I would recommend taking on this approach. All you have to do is visualize your goals (pictures help!) and then continue to review the goals on a daily basis. It sounds crazy. But while planning my wedding, I started to notice that as I spent more time on Pinterest, pinning (yeah, I’m basic and have a very extensive “wedding” board on my Pinterest) I was able to just systematically come up with a plan. When I look at examples, see a little bit of what other people are doing, success stories, and instructions, it makes everything seem especially easy to organize. Then, you can revisit your “board” as you’re reviewing past ideas. You can delete stuff as you go. Commitment literally doesn’t mean anything. With the Pinterest approach, I do worry about putting so many data points about myself into the internet, but let’s be honest - I was doing it anyway. So, the strategy is this: you drop your pins during your week. A minute here, a minute there; the constant on-line kind of behavior that a lot of us have. Then, go kick ass in life, decide to take accountability for yourself, look at your vision board every so often, and you’ll probably be happy with the result.

See my personal Pinterest for my current electronic vision board. While I know Pinterest is mostly about selling stuff, I do find value in using the platform to visualize potential versions of the future. It’s a “good vibes” type of exercise. Curating this electronic vision board has helped me to manifest my currently reality.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think! How do you vision board and have you found success through this method?

Heather DagleyComment