Everyone has goals, whether they're personal or work-related; just the simple act of setting them somehow helps to keep us all on track. But attaining them isn't as simple as writing them down on a piece of paper (although that's a crucial first step in the goal-setting process)—it takes action and commitment on your part to make sure they happen, too. But what about those of us who don't think in words? If you're a creative person, using a traditional text format may not work. You need graphic depictions and strong imagery to represent your dreams, goals, and ideal life.
Enter the vision board, also known as the mood board. It's the one thing most (if not all) fashion offices and design studios have in common. (The Moda Operandi office has one!) Not only is it an incredibly inspiring piece of art to look at every day; the process of putting the board together is an essential part of making your dreams come true.
Model Ashley Graham shared her preference for a vision board on Instagram when setting goals: "Instead of writing down goals for myself every new year, I make a new vision board," she said. "Seeing what my goals, dreams, and desires are keeps me in check daily. Take the time to map out what you want. You can have it."
Ready to get started? Scroll down to find out how you can make your own.
To truly begin the process, you need to take a moment to sit quietly and meditate on your intent. With an open mind and heart, go a little deeper, beyond the wants and needs, to truly ask the universe for its guidance. This will help you to set the course in motion, to create a sense of purpose and clear-cut vision. You can even set the mood with some candles and your favorite music—anything that helps you to focus and create an energy around your intent.
Before you even begin collecting images, first you need to define what your dreams are. How do you want to feel? What do you wish for yourself? If you've read The Secret, you'll know how incredibly powerful the law of attraction can be, and as the book points out, "when you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe." Visualization is a powerful tool, and it works: Even Olympic athletes use imagery as mental training. So really think about who you want to become, what you want to have in your life, where you want to live, and how your life will change and respond to those things. Then start collecting your imagery.
In this case, the old adage rings true, because in this case, a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and this is where the fun begins. It's time to throw out the rule book and go for it. This is where you define your dreams, so cut, rip, tear, and collect all the photographs and magazine cutouts you can find—and finally print out those Pinterest pins you've been saving, too—anything you feel illustrates your vision. If you love affirmations or have some motivational quotes you turn to often, print them out and paste them here, too. Think about the dreams you set earlier and include pictures from all the areas of your life you want to see changes, but be selective. You don't want to attract chaos, so don't create a board that invites that into your life; be strategic about what images go on the board, and pin or paste them up with purpose. Set aside a couple of hours to put it all together, or you can even consider hosting a vision board party.
If you really want to visualize yourself in that moment when your dreams come true, put yourself there. Stick your self-portrait next to your dream home, on top of the healthy body you want to achieve, or in the office where you want to work. Make sure you choose one that was taken in a happy moment: This energy will transfer to the board and also make you feel good every time you look at it.
Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, your dreams aren't either. So take your time with this process; it's not a race. There is something beautiful about watching it grow, enjoying the stages, and seeing how it all comes together at your own pace. If you rush it, some really important elements could be left out or overlooked, and you don't want to attract the wrong things into your life. It pays to be patient; your dreams are worth it.
Where you hang your vision board is just as important as making it. You want it to be in a place where you will see it every day and can actively visualize those dreams. If you have time, spend a few moments each morning and evening envisioning, defining, believing, and internalizing your goals. This helps to keep you and your dreams on the right track; it also lets the universe know that you still want these things to happen, too, and helps you manifest them. Write down the date you created it; you'll be surprised how quickly they come true.
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Do you create vision boards to achieve your goals? What is the creative process? Share your tips below.
This post was originally published on March 2, 2016, and has since been updated.