Refocus on Your Ambitions, Create a Vision Board

Vision is crucial to our success.

Driving your car during heavy snow or rainstorm isn’t comfortable, especially when you have old windshield wipers screeching back and forth. Or, if you experience the double whammy: the bad wipers and the “Oh no! I’m almost out of windshield wiper fluid” moment. You can’t see as clearly as you need to and panic sets in. For our own safety and sanity, you may decide to pull over to the side of the road until the storm passes.

The experience of being caught in a heavy storm while driving can be a metaphor for life — it can feel scary, may take special maneuvering, and sometimes causes you to stop and re-evaluate the situation. You may even find yourself changing direction. Regardless of how you choose to respond in these moments, it’s important to have reliable wipers and a reservoir full of windshield wiper fluid! In everyday life, a clear windshield is our vision. If we don’t have it, we can’t get very far.

What is a Vision?

A vision is a lot like an aspiration – it’s what you hope to achieve in the future. When thinking ahead, you may visualize gaining new professional skills, developing healthier eating habits, making wiser financial decisions, or spending more time with loved ones. Visions can help you determine goals and find motivation to reach them. Some visions are difficult to imagine—like achieving work-life balance or finding purpose. To help clarify your vision, it can be helpful to create a vision board.

To Clarify Your Vision, Get Creative!

A vision board is a collection of images or words that inspire you to strive toward your goals, aspirations, and dreams. It is a visual representation, or a poster, that is unique to you. To create your own vision board, follow these simple steps:   

Step 1: As a starting point, take some time and reflect on the specific goals that you have for different areas of your life—like career, relationships, hobbies, or health. You may ask yourself: What are my goals in the important areas of my life? What would achieving my goals look like? How would I feel achieving them? How do I define success in my life? Or, what is one goal that I want to concentrate on right now?

Step 2: After completing a few prompts, the next step is to determine what vision board style will work for you. Here are some options to consider:

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Try making a vision board collage using found materials! Magazine clippings or printed photos work great. Look through all the images you find that represent your vision and glue them onto a piece of large paper in any way you like!  

A desktop wallpaper is a great place to have your vision! Using digital software like Canva or Photoshop is one way to create a digital vision board. You could also use social media sites like Pinterest to compile quotes, images, or ideas that inspire you!  

Whether writing in a journal with pen and ink or typing on a computer or phone, you can write out your vision board. Try telling a story, writing a letter, creating text art or even write a poem! Feel free to add inspirational quotes or words that motivate you.  

Doodle, sketch, paint, or even sculpt your vision! Use whatever media you like to create your vision board. You can develop an image of what your vision looks like or design a symbol that represents each of your goals. Use your creativity to help make your vision.  

Step 3: After selecting your style, it’s time to get started. Carve out some time alone, with a loved one, or with a group, and let the creativity flow. Try not to impose a time limit, but if you must that’s okay – you can always come back to it later. 

Step 4: Once completed, consider the logistics. For example, where will your vision board go so that you can interact with it? How might you reflect progress with your goals? What if goals are no longer relevant, or they change? How might you make updates? Do you want to share your vision board with others? When you find yourself unable to meet your goals, or are struggling to do so, imagine yourself driving through that heavy storm. You may need to stop, pull over, and re-evaluate. Instead of using the vision board you created for goals you want to achieve in the next five years, create a vision board for the next few months, the next year, or if you need to – the next week. You can always store the long-term vision board in your car trunk and take it out when you need it!

By Jessica Headley, PhD, LPCC-S with Madeline Vanhorn

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