Talk to people who have achieved their dreams, and one common thread you’ll find is that they all held a clear vision of what that dream looked like and felt like before they reached it. Forming a clear vision is a critical step that many people overlook, and this is often the reason they fail to fulfill their dreams. A fun and creative way to solidify your vision is with a vision board. The idea is to use pictures and inspirational words and phrases to create a collage that represents your vision.
Think of a vision board as a kind of visual affirmation. You’re not only reinforcing and clarifying your desire in your own mind, but you’re also expressing it externally using multiple senses. As a creative process, making a vision board is primarily a right-brain activity. Put another way, it’s a heart-centered endeavor rather than a head-centered one. How you feel as you create it (and as you look at it later) matters, so you want every image and word on it to give you a positive feeling.
There are lots of ways to create vision boards. Typically, they are made on a poster board. However, if you want to get really artsy, you can make them on a painted artist’s canvas. Nowadays, there are also a variety of apps available that allow you to make your vision board digitally. (One of the simplest apps we’ve run across was developed by someone who just wasn’t satisfied with the apps out there.)
Although you can certainly create a vision board by yourself, it’s even more fun when you turn it into a party by getting a group of friends or neighbors together. If you host it in your home, you probably don’t want to invite more than 5 to 10 people to keep it manageable. If you live in a managed community, renting out the clubhouse or a meeting room enables you to accommodate more people. In either case, here are our suggestions for making it a success.
Make it a potluck. You can’t call it a party without food and drinks, but keep it simple. Ask everyone to bring a dish, snack or drinks. Keep food and drinks on a separate table.
Determine the right timeframe. It’s best if attendees can complete their vision boards at the party. Sure, they could finish up the last touches at home, but chances are they won’t. Make sure they leave with a completed project by allowing 1 ½ to 2 hours. You’ll need to build in a little extra time for the paint to dry if you’re using painted canvasses or if you’re having a full meal. (The paint-drying period is actually a great time to serve the meal.) If you are only serving snacks and drinks, attendees can nibble while they work.
Purchase supplies. Collect money from attendees to cover the cost of any supplies you purchase. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plastic tablecloths. Protect the surface of your table(s) with tablecloths you can dispose of when the party’s over.
- Poster boards or canvasses. Plan to have a few extra in case someone needs a do-over. Ask attendees to bring their own, but have a few extra pairs on hand for anyone who forgot to bring their own.
- Glue sticks. Provide enough so everyone can have their own. Sharing glue sticks makes the process take longer.
- Paint and paintbrushes (optional). You’ll only need these if you go with the painted canvas idea.
- Stickers, markers, craft jewels, glitter, etc. (optional). The more crafty among your attendees may want to personalize their vision boards with some creative touches.
Ask everyone to bring old magazines. One advantage of making vision boards together is the variety of magazines everyone brings. Those with lots of positive images and words are best such as self-help, yoga, travel and health magazines.
Get attendees into the right frame of mind. Being in a relaxed state is important when making a vision board. Depending on what you and your attendees are comfortable with, you might want to have the group do a brief meditation, some deep breathing or stretching before you start. Create atmosphere for this prelude, for example, by dimming the lights and lighting candles. Once everyone feels relaxed, invite attendees to share their dream.
Explain the process. Attendees may not all be familiar with vision boards, so clearly explain what they will be doing and in what order:
- Painting their canvasses (if you go with this approach)
- Cutting out all the images and words.
- Cleaning up
In addition, emphasize the importance of noticing the feelings evoked by selected words and pictures. For example, let’s say someone wants to be free from debt. They might decide to include a picture of money on their vision board. As they cut out the picture, however, they check in with their feelings and notice that they feel a bit anxious. This may be because the image reminds them of how they feel being in debt rather than of what it might feel like to be free from debt. Instead, it may be more useful for them to look for pictures that evoke the feeling of freedom (a bird in flight, someone on top of a mountain, etc.). Finally, make a rule that only positive, supportive feedback is allowed – no criticism and no advice allowed!
Let the creative juices flow! Once everyone understands what to do, have fun getting creative!
Share your finished works. After everyone’s done, tell each other about your vision boards. Not only will you enjoy seeing what everyone made, but sharing your creations will help to further solidify your visions.
Look at your individual boards regularly. When the party’s over, put your board where you’ll see it so you’ll be reminded of your dream and the feeling it gives you.
Consider making “vision boarding” an annual event. Wouldn’t it be fun to see how everyone’s visions panned out and to make some new dreams come true next year?!
To learn more about building a sense of community in your association or building, visit FirstService Residential, North America’s property management leader.