Sneak Peek: An Inside Look at How I Create Vision Boards
I have a confession to make...us designers are chronic hoarders when it comes to paper goods. I’m all about simplicity, paring down the clutter, and filling your home with pieces that bring your joy.
That is, until I get the mail each day.
Then suddenly, I’m overwhelmed with the urge to hold on to that cute little Gossier catalog, every Anthropologie lookbook I’ve ever received, the thank you note Everlane includes with my order, and just about everything else under the sun.
But the nice thing about my paper-hoarding tendencies is that it makes for easy visual inspiration at any given moment.
In the past I’ve talked about gathering visual inspiration for home interiors and creating mood boards before diving into branding projects. But today I want to talk about how you can use that same process to find clarity and purpose in your everyday life as well.
This visioning exercise is an essential part of my process for Future You, a one-on-one coaching offering designed to help you stop putting off the life you’ll live someday, and start living it now. Today I’m sharing a sneak peek of the vision board exercise that I use in the program:
Step 1: Think about your bigger vision —
Before you can find visuals that communicate the bigger vision that you have for yourself, first you need to think about what that vision actually is. Consider this the information gathering part of the exercise. I suggest doing a brain dump of all of the ideas that you have floating around in your head.
Who is this woman that you’re aiming to be? What does her business look like? How are her days being spent? What does she find the most joy in? What can she let go of? What does she look like? What does she feel like?
Sorting through the answers to those questions will help make sure your vision board is actually aligned with what you want for your life and business.
Step 2: Find images that resonate —
Have you ever noticed how there are certain images that jump out at you when you flip through a magazine or that you naturally gravitate towards when you’re scrolling Pinterest? These images may be resonating with your bigger vision in some way.
Maybe it’s a beautiful picture of hiking through a mountainside, perhaps it’s a decluttered home office you wish you could call your own, or it could be just the calm and collected way a photo makes you feel. You’ll want to collect all these images in one place — this can be digitally in a folder on your desktop or physically by cutting them out of a magazine or catalog.
Step 3: Start to piece them together —
The next step is to start hanging these images together so that you can see your bigger vision in one place. If they’re digital, I like to print them out at this point and hang them up. As you start to do that, you’ll begin to see the pieces fall into place. This is the step when it all begins to come together.
Step 4: Edit, edit, edit —
Now, your vision board isn’t a set it and forget it exercise. I recommend putting it somewhere where you can see it regularly — maybe taped to your bedroom mirror or on your refrigerator. Feel free to swap images out if they’re not resonating with you anymore or if your vision changes. This is a tool for you to use again and again. But by being able to see it, you’ve laid the foundation for making it real.
Step 5: It doesn’t end there —
Having a bigger vision for yourself is a great start, but it doesn’t end there. I recommend breaking down that bigger vision into smaller, actionable steps that can help you to get there.
For example, maybe your bigger vision for the future involves taking a month off work to travel. This means you may need to start saving enough money to make that vision a reality. So maybe one of your small, consistent efforts is making coffee at home each morning instead of buying lattes out so that you can pocket that money instead.
But I know how hard it can be to put those steps into a realistic plan all on your own. And that’s why I’m here.
In Future You, we take a look at your big, overwhelming goal and break it down into small, consistent efforts in your everyday routine. We come up with a weekly plan that you feel good about — one that you can test, evaluate, and change as needed, so that you can be sure you’ll stick with it. And I’m here to offer support and accountability along the way.
But here’s the honest truth: that vision board only works if you do the work to bring it to life. Luckily, I have a free, printable goal tracker to help you get started with those smaller steps.
...Just don’t hold me responsible if you find yourself on your own catalog-hoarding binge. ;)