What a vision board can do for your life and business.
In the field of goal setting for life and business there are many different tools available to find a match for your own unique personality. One such tool within the various systems and techniques is to create a vision board of your future desired state.
Hey don’t click away just yet if you think this sounds a little too woo woo hippy style for you, just hang in there with your business shoes and conference call plan whilst I explain how you are already doing a bit of this!
You see companies are proud to set their vision and mission on the on their websites, documents and reception areas. We know the use of mottos in the old coat of arms was and still is used across many areas of the world. These are done for many reasons, but before we deep dive, let us back track a little and walk through each phase.
What is a vision board?
The names for vision boards vary and include dream boards or vision maps. They are either created on virtual space electronically or very often created in physical boards; a vision board is a representation of your desired future state. A good vision board will highlight the goals, dreams and show experiences of how your future state will look like. The board becomes an effective collage of quotes, statements like affirmations, values mostly from cut out items found in magazines, papers, printed from online sources and can also include physical items such as sand from a beach or part of an old car you would love to own or restore.
JAMSO Bonus tip: From our experience, physical boards have a deeper impact on those that create them.
I sometimes joke that a vision board is the perfect Facebook timeline you would love to have! The reason why I mention this specific example is how people use Facebook. We seldom see the picture or status update or video upload of someone doing something mundane or boring (oh well yes we do, but to the person posting it, that is mostly not their intent!).
Creating a space for business plans and vision boards
If you come from the corporate world then you have a business plan and company mission and vision which are distributed across the organization. These plans are then broken into targets, goals, and investment and priority areas for each respective division, department and team. A great way for communicating and agreeing these elements from the top of the business is to seek alignment through a shared vision.
Example of a vision board in business: A manger shares the company written vision and mission and business plan to a team. The team then creates a team specific vision board of what that future will look like for them and the changes in the world they are trying to create for their customers.
Example of a vision board for a career plan or IDP (individual development plan): A start up business has only 4 employees so each person creates their own career or development vision board. As the business grows these employees and founder can work together to match the internal opportunities with these visions.
These above examples create the space and application of how vision boards can work within a business environment. These are already partially in place if you consider what the marketing department does with its own brochures for the business. Vision boards also can work very well when dealing with collaboration within teams. There are cross overs with mind maps and vision boards which can have powerful effects. The vision board sets out the end result goal, whilst your mind map will start to break the end goal into the specific actionable steps needed to complete your desired result. In these cases the vision board is very conceptual and creates a clear emotional relationship between the person and their desired state.
Data visualization trending to impact the power of vision boards and data viz.
The days of boring bar charts and pie charts are passing in the business world. There is a significant change in how we read and present complex information. Part of this trend so far has been the great work within data visualization tools to help provide contextual story to large sets of data. The same is true for vision boards but without the data sets! So as future story telling visualization tool there is significant benefit to the use of vision boards in a business environment.
5 steps to make your vision board really work
1) Book at least 1 hour of quiet time in your calendar
Use the hour you have previously planned to go somewhere quiet that will allow pursuing some deep reflective thoughts. It is important you are not interrupted during this time so no phones or other distractions! This can be a park, quiet café, a long walk or any place that works best for you.
The time you set aside should may need to be repeated a couple of times so you shed negative thoughts about the past or become distracted with short term events. This time has the aim to focus on where your current true state is versus the desired aspirations you have for your life.
JAMSO Bonus tips: When going through this process consider the following types of questions:
How can you be of service to others that will make you happy?
Why do we do so many things we do not like and not enough of the things we enjoy?
If happiness was to become a currency, what would you do to become wealthy?
Have you seen or heard of something that sounded crazy but when it was achieved you admired it?
How will you become the person you would most like to meet?
How do you feel when you overcome a fear?
2) Cover the main areas in life within your board.
The board design can be very specific on one theme, for instance you can design a vision board on weight loss and physic. Vision boards can be created by children of any age to help improve their creativity, imagination and aspirations. I
JAMSO Bonus tips: For a life goal vision board, seek to include the main areas of health, wealth in time and money, relationships with others and your own self, ethics and values, legacy areas you wish to be known for or make a positive change in the world and hobbies or activities you would like to enjoy.
3) Get your board ready!
The prior two steps have helped you develop the framework and scope of your vision board or vision boards. Now seek to create your board in way that you will see it every day. This can be opposite the toilet, photo as a wallpaper on your phone, an app, document or as is most common a physical board. It can be made from anything that will allow items to stick to it and be placed in a location you will see every day. So, if your vision board is made from clothes, boards, cardboard, metal, wall, book covers, car parts or anything you want to use, then do it.
JAMSO Bonus tip: The more original and unique your choice of board the better.
4) The 6 C’s of image choice.
You have your board ready, so it is time to use the JAMSO 6C’s of quality image choice. We define the 6C’s as a critical element in the success of your vision board and your ability to use it effectively to stimulate desire and an emotional state every time you look at it.
The first C is content : The content on your vision board needs to be high quality and well researched, there needs to be the balance between having enough content but not too little, too much or out of balance.
The second C is collection: A key to your success is to be opening minded with the source of your images, the collection process should seek inspiration from a wide range of areas.
The third C is creation: Before pinning or sticking your images to your board look at the positioning and best impact locations for the images. Once you have a draft style then simply start to stick and create your board with the images collected so far. Read the other C tips but also ensure you progress to step 5 first!
The fourth C is connection : Now your images are pinned to your board, ask yourself do you feel connected to the images, how do they stimulate an emotional state?
The fifth C is curation: Although you now have a vision board filled with your desire to stimulate change and retain motivation, it becomes important to continue to periodically curate new images. You may find that you have the odd image or many images that need to change as your emotional state in how you connect with them changes over time.
The sixth C is completion: You now have a board that has the optimal images and most often you just might find at this time, you are well on your path to complete your goal.
JAMSO Bonus tip: The process of completing the 6C’s will offer insight to the detailed level of actually doing the tasks and changes needed to complete your board. The more time you spend on the 6C’s the better informed you will become to identify new ideas, methods, inspiration, milestones and techniques to complete your vision.
5) A choice of words
The vision board you have created should be cemented with some specific inspirational words and quotes. Ensure the tone is positive and motivational but specific enough to your end vision. An example may be for health, “I will seek new opportunities to look after myself every 4 hours”. Many people also use affirmations which can be used as a mantra to repeat to yourself.
JAMSO bonus tip: Check the size of your images and text on your board. Are they still having the correct effect? Have you considered the placement of an image of yourself central to the board? Have you good lighting so you can see each detail on your board? Have you got the basic design correct to reflect your desired outcome (compare color, image choice, words used)
Vision boards connection to success
Your vision board has been created and you use the board daily. The board should be studied for a focused few minutes and the words spoken aloud. If you discover you feel very uncomfortable with certain images or the strength of your voice is not heart felt when saying the words on your board then go back to the very beginning of the whole process. You may have just discovered some connected weakness or doubt or fear that should be addressed. This should be seen as a positive experience as it allows and enables you to construct positive change for success.
After your time with your vision board seek to make some form of progress towards the completion each day or other relevant timeline. It will be your actions that make the vision board work and not the other way around. Use the board as a tool and reminder of your dreams and ambitions and use your actual actions to plan and create progress and positive change for success whilst being realistic to natural events in life with setbacks.
JAMSO Tip: The vision board is a future desired state, not everyone will get their but with positive action steps you will still be a lot better off than when you started and that in itself is a success.
Goal setting with vision boards.
The JAMSO defined 6C process highlighted the benefits in quality curation, connection and completion. The information generated during this time can help you define specific life goals or career goals to set you on the path for completion. It is important to set realistic goals as your vision board has already been designed around a dream ideal. The reality to achieve the end result can only be made through firm discipline and defined goals.
JAMSO bonus material tip: Check out our prior article on how to achieve every goal within 90 days.
JAMSO founder James Doyle and vision boards.
I respect the use of vision boards although confess to not using one directly myself. I have in my mind clear vision of goals, ambitions and steps I need to take and so for me I have never felt the need to create a specific vision board on the “classic” fashion. I have helped coach and teach vision boards to people and organizations that can benefit from them and do believe fully in their outstanding contribution as a tool to help people reach goals. Having said all of that I had the JAMSO business plan with certain goals permanently on the side of my desk which I saw most days and the content is reflected upon every day.
Special Note on The Law Of Attraction:
A modern thought process that has been popularized mostly across northern America is strongly associated with vision boards. This article makes no connection between the two subjects and defines the use of vision boards with a strong focus on action.
Here is a link to a list of vision board apps (we have not reviewed these products)