It’s common to do it during the first couple weeks of January. Even the end of January. But I say, humbug to common practice! I say do it any time of the year. You can do it by yourself, with a friend, even in groups. Seriously. I’ve done it all. I particularly like to do it when I want more clarity in my life. What am I talking about?
Creating a vision board. A vision board is a collage (traditionally made up of images and words torn from magazines on a (you guessed it) a board (or canvas or poster paper) that you create. The images, words or what have you are what you en-vision for yourself for the future.
Not only is it something fun creative to do, it feels mighty empowering. Saying in images “this is what I want my life to look like, feel like” is taking a stand about my recovery. It invites me to think about what DO I want to do with this precious thing called my life in the next 12, 24 months? What DO I want to achieve, or feel or value?
Of course, nothing written in stone and there’s always letting go and surrendering to life’s flow (and surprises). But if I don’t put out what I want in life for myself, who will?
How do you start? Well, here’s my process:
1. Before I start, I go to a Dollar Store and buy a glue stick and a canvas about 15” x 20” (it can be any size you like). If I don’t have unwanted magazines at home, I ask friends for theirs or go to the local Thrift Store. Make sure you have a pair of scissors. And you’re set!
2. I put aside an evening or afternoon to do it.
3. When I make a board, I have a felt (intuitive) sense of where I want to go, what I want to feel and what I want to accomplish in the coming year or two. This isn’t a guarantee of what will happen, but a compass to help guide me on my travels through time. It serves as a reminder of the things I value and helps me adjust my goals when I feel off keel.
4. Using those feelings and ideas, I pick what I call them themes for my coming year. This year my themes are: plenty, bravery, confident and trust. You can have one or 21. My vision board making has no rules. That’s great thing about this. There are no wrongs ways to do it. Sometimes I cut out letters to create to those words (this year I did), two years ago I didn’t. I clip images that inspire me and reflect those words.
5. I place my images on my board, testing to see what I like the look of best and then I go to town and glue! That’s it!
Victoria’s 2015 Vision Board
You can do a vision board to capture what you want to your life to feel like generally. You can also create a vision board to focus on one particular domain of your life: say career, relationship, family.
What I find most important is to then use the board to help me choose my actions throughout the year. Are my actions, my goals, my even some of my itty-biddy daily to-dos in line with the values, feelings and images I’ve place on my vision board? If no, then I reflect and revise either my vision board (maybe it’s not accurate anymore) or (more likely) my actions and goals.
What do you want to experience this coming year? What do you wish to see for yourself in the next few months? Why not imagine the kind of recovery you’d like to experience and create a collage of images to help you along the way?
Victoria Maxwell (BFA/BPP*), self-proclaimed Bi-Polar Princess, is one of North America’s top speakers on the lived experience of mental illness and recovery, dismantling stigma and returning to work after a psychiatric disorder. She lives with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis and has for more than 14 years, been presenting performances and workshops across Canada and the States. Her award winning one-person shows tour internationally. She’s a researcher with the international Collaborative Research Team on Bipolar Disorder and her Psychology Today blog, ‘Crazy for Life’ was named one of the Top Ten Bipolar Blogs from PsychCentral. (*Bachelor of Fine Arts / Bi-Polar Princess) Connect with her: Website www.victoriamaxwell.com Twitter @Victoria_BPP Facebook Victoria Maxwell