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Out of all of the years you’ve lived, which would you say was the best year? Now normally I’d say the current year I’m experiencing since I like to control my thoughts, but for the purpose of this conversation I’d have to say the year 2018. 

2018 was a great year of firsts for me. Most notably, it was the first year that I decided that I was going to make a vision board. Before then I would just tell myself all that I wished to accomplish by the end of the year, and just hope for it to happen, without any real effort on my behalf (which also may or may not be the way I got through this past semester…) All jokes aside, I didn’t realize the importance of visualization and how I could use it to achieve my goals, until I started my journey of self-improvement in, you guessed it, 2018. 

If you find yourself walking this same course of self-discovery and improvement, or if you’re just simply interested in finding out more about dream boards, keep reading as I explain what a vision board is, the importance behind a vision board and a few of the steps I took in creating my own. 

What is a vision board?

In essence, a vision board is a display of images that depict your goals and wants from life. Material, personal and spiritual. These images should mean something to you, and encourage you to take action.

Putting your goals in front of you like something you can physically see, helps you to actually achieve them. My theory is if you can envision the end you’re more likely to keep going. This reminds me of when I went on my daily run this morning. Let me tell you, I am by no means a runner. In fact, running physically pains me! My ankles hurt, my breathing hurts and by the time I’m done, I’m always met with the feeling of having to throw up. I may be exaggerating a little bit, but I really dislike running! 

Anywho, this morning, my friend and I decided that instead of running our usual route, we could jog to this sandwich shop, back to our starting point and then finally back to the sandwich shop to enjoy our sandwiches, all without stopping. This run would equate to a little over a mile. I almost gave up and wanted to just start walking a few times, but instead, I’d just focus my vision on the sandwich shop and thought about just how close I was to making it there for the last time. I’m happy to say, I made it! And not to brag, but I even mustered the strength to speed up a little bit, once I noticed that I was just a few yards away. There’s no doubt in my mind that if I had not been able to see the sandwich shop, that I would’ve just stopped running. Similarly to if I were not able to see the end results and benefits of running every morning, that I would stop doing so, especially since I dislike it so much. 

How to create your own vision board:

Step One: Identify who you want to become, and steps you could take. For example, a few of mine are:
  • More connected with God; pray every morning and night and read a few bible verses
  • More confident; exercise every day, read positive affirmations every day and night
  • Be intentional; Every night write about what you accomplished in the day and what you hope to accomplish the next day. Wake up and read what you hope to accomplish.
Step Two: List all of your material wants as specific as possible, for instance:
  • Black Mercedes Benz with cherry red leather interior, smells like that new car smell and is packaged with a red bow on the hood. 
Step Three: Find pictures that accurately depict your wants 

Pro-Tip: Use words for context, and photoshop yourself in pictures. So for mine …

  • Being more connected with God: 
    • Picture: Bible with the words *wake up and read me*
  • The new car I want:
    • Picture: Black Mercedes Benz with a red bow on top with you standing beside it
Step Four: Organize my photos before printing, I use Canva
  • This is where I do all of my editing and photoshopping mentioned in the previous step
  • Helps with creating a cohesive theme
Step Five: Display your vision board

In this step you want to make sure your pictures and words are placed nice and neat on the board, so that you wouldn’t mind looking at it everyday. Then hang the board somewhere that you are sure to see it everyday, to remind yourself of what you’re running towards.

Step Six: Actively and intentionally, work towards your goal

This is where you research all of your wants, and come up with a plan to achieve them. If it’s the car, find out how much money a vehicle like that will run you, where you can get it from, and how much you can afford to pay. Look up payment plans or car notes and budget how much you would have to pay per month and if you can do so on your salary. If you realize you can’t afford it at the moment, it’s time for you to figure out your next steps in order to get this car. Maybe you’ll have to save for a few months or pick up a side job. Always remember where there is a will, there is a way and if you want that car like you think you do, you’ll find a way. The vision board does not do the work for you, it just reminds you of what all of your hard work is for, and motivates you to keep pushing. So keep pushing.

Conclusion

2018 was the first time that I actually witnessed my dreams become a reality. I went to school, printed out pictures of all the things I planned to accomplish, stuck them in my bookbag, went home, cut them up and glued them to a poster board that I then hung on the wall of my bedroom. Among these photos was a cutout of a little cartoon me in an airplane, with the words IAH to PVG written beneath (an airport in Houston to an airport in Shanghai). Ever since I first started taking Mandarin in 2016 I had dreams of traveling to China, and on June 9th, 2018 I departed Houston and arrived in Shanghai for a month of adventures that would last a lifetime. The power of visualization.

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