I’m a huge believer in dream or vision boards to help you achieve your goals. Done correctly, they can move you in the direction you want to go more quickly and with determination.
A dream or vision board is just a visual representation of your goals. The point is to reach beyond your grasp. Don’t hesitate to think BIG. Dream BIG.
The easiest way to make one is to get together with a group of friends, and have everyone bring a magazine. Go through and cut out pictures that represent your “blue sky” dreams – a house in the mountains, a sailboat, a cruise, time to do yoga or art…whatever. Fill up a board or card with these images. I am a fan of mixing practical with what seems impossible, and of what I WANT along with what I NEED.
To get the most out of your board, here are five keys to taking this from just a fun mental getaway to actually making it WORK toward helping you achieve the goals.
Put It On Display
Once you have finished your dream board, put it right out there where you will see it every day. Hang it over your desk, or on the kitchen wall. Somewhere that is very present. Every time I have created a board and put it over my desk, I’ve gradually accomplished or satisfied many of the goals. Now, to be fair, I don’t have a goal to own a 100 foot yacht; Mine are closer to home such as a month at the mountains, or taking my kids to see national landmarks.
Keep It Updated
If you accomplish something, move that image to a scrapbook and put something else up on the board in its place. It should be a living thing that flows with your life. You can cover images that are no longer relevant, or remove them and put new ones up.
Or, do a new board at least once a year. Twice a year if you are making good progress.
Put a Time Frame On Each Item
My first experience with a dream board success was remarkably simple. Attending a workshop for new leaders with a direct sales company, the manager gave us all a blank sheet of paper, and a box of crayons.
She instructed us to spend 30 minutes drawing just one personal goal we wanted to achieve from our business. When we were done, she had us put a goal date on it. She urged us to stretch – go for something that seemed just a bit crazy.
Here’s my drawing. As a child, my grandparents had summered in the mountains. Growing up and living in Florida, I wanted my kids to have the experience of going out into cool, refreshing air during the months we normally hunkered down in air-conditioned escape from the sweltering heat. I knew we’d never be able to take a whole summer, so I set my goal on taking my family to the mountains for a month. I drew the picture in December of 2001. July of 2003 was 19 months away and seemed completely impossible to me. I was still working full-time, so I’d never be able to get that much vacation at once. I doubted we could afford it either.
I came home from the meeting and tacked the drawing on my bulletin board right over the top of my computer. I worked virtual office at the time, at home, at a computer, eight to ten hours a day. I accomplished the goal two months before the target date I had arbitrarily slapped on it.
Which brings me to my next point.
Be Careful What You Wish For!
I’d always wanted to do this. At the time, money wasn’t my biggest obstacle. I had a good job as a project manager, and my husband was still drawing a salary from his business.
What I did NOT have was time. At best, I got two weeks vacation per year, plus maybe two additional personal days.
Right up until I got RIF’d (reduction-in-force) from my job in April of 2003. I did know that the layoff was coming well in advance, and I was one of the very last of over six hundred people to get severed. And, I could have tried to move internally to another position. I didn’t want to. I wanted to drive my income from direct sales and spend more time with my kids.
So, the argument can be made both ways. I achieved the dream a month early, as we spent June 2003 in a rented house in Beech Mtn, NC. I paid for it entirely with my direct sales earnings. I clearly WANTED this more than I wanted to stay with that employer. The dream was very present in my life….right in front of my face day in day out. Whether or not the universe had a hand in making it possible for me to get the TIME? I believe so.
Consider stepping it up a bit and wearing something every day that also keeps your goals and dreams at the forefront of your mind. It can be symbolic or direct.
Examples might be a bracelet that spells out the word “WRITE” or a t-shirt with an emblem of a goal. A song you play on the way to work every day. A charm necklace, or locket with images that represent the goals.
This becomes like a talisman…it’s a physical reminder that connects directly to your brain. Every time you touch it or see it your mind thinks “That. Go for that.”
Dream and Visioning work is something that I am very passionate about, and I also have some skill helping others get clarity on what they want and how to begin to go about it. I hope to do an online class for this soon, combined with a virtual Dream Board party.
Ah…guess I need to put that on MY board, huh? 🙂
Have a wonderful day.
Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.