With syllabus week long behind us and the new semester starting to pick up, I’ve been thinking about what I want to get out of this school year. It’s important to think about this going into each new year. What do I want to accomplish? Who do I want to meet? What do I want to spend my time doing? What skills do I want to develop? The processes of reflection and goal setting are what allow you to become aware of your goals, and this awareness is what allows you to achieve them.
I recently stumbled upon the idea of vision boards, also called dream boards. Summed up, they’re basically a collection of images and/or trinkets that reflect your goals and how you want to feel. You should put your vision board in an area where you’ll see it often, like on your bedroom wall or by your desk. Vision boards are all about visualization, which is proven to be extremely effective for goal-setting. A study done by Psychology Today reported that the brain patterns that are activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights are similarly activated when the lifter just imagines (visualizes) lifting weights. A vision board works similarly whether you’re a weightlifter or not. Vision boards encourage you to constantly visualize all that you want to come true, which consequently helps you bring it all to life.
It’s important to remember that there are no rules for making a vision board. There are no specific items or pictures that it has to have- what you have on your board should illustrate your inspirations and motivations in life. Before you even start putting your board together, think about what you want to achieve in different areas of your life, whether it’s related to your relationships, job, school, friendships, personal growth or spirituality. What do you want to get out of this new school year? Do you want to join more clubs and meet more people? Achieve a high GPA? Travel more? Do you want a job at a certain company next summer?
Take some time to reflect on your goals. Once you know what you want you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do to accomplish your aspirations. For example, you might want to get a job at a certain company this summer. Once you set this goal for yourself you can figure out what you need to do to get there. It might involve brushing up on certain skills, going to events to network or simply reading more about a certain topic that you’re unfamiliar with.
Once you have an idea of what your targets are, pick what you want to put on your board. Pinterest is a great source for ideas. I’ve seen vision boards that have magazine cut-outs, pictures with friends, souvenirs from trips, handwritten notes and more.
One vision board that I found had a coaster from DryBar. The creator didn’t include the coaster because she wanted to own a DryBar establishment one day, but because she loved the experience of going to DryBar and the way it made her feel. That form of inspiration is exactly what you want to go for– everything on your board should evoke feelings that you always want to have.
The vision board making process is not only purposeful, but also fun. Gather your friends and spend a night making them together. Seeing other people set their own goals can also inspire and motivate you to reach your own.
You can put whatever you want on your vision board and can continually tweak and improve it. Your goals are going to change month after month and year after year. Your board should be an up-to-date reflection of how you want to feel and what you want to do, so don’t be afraid to keep changing it or adding to it.
Each year brings a new start. Get going on the right foot by making a vision board.