Every year, I create a vision board. It’s for my whole life–personal and professional–because we don’t ONLY have a professional and/or writing life. It all fits together. I also create a Word of the Year. Yes, I have goals that I hope to accomplish each year, but instead of writing these all down and getting overly specific (and becoming overwhelmed and feeling defeated), I choose a more general approach–and so far, this has been working for me.
On WOW!’s blog, where I post on a regular basis, I wrote this post about creating vision boards.
My critique group is the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ve been in some great ones (I’ve said this before: I’m a lucky girl!), but this is the first group that we make vision boards each year. When the idea first came up, I thought: What? How can a vision board really help me do anything? I will make this, stuff it somewhere, and find it in twenty years when I’m cleaning out the basement or moving.
But I’m a good group member and someone provided the magazines, glue, craft supplies, and poster board, so why not? (insert winky emoji here) Now, of course, I look forward to making these vision boards, and so does my daughter (I’m already preparing her for life with an English major. Sorry, kid).
So here’s my vision board for 2019:
You’ll notice that it’s not only about writing because this is how we choose to do it in our group. And let’s be honest, writing is not the only part of your life, even if you’re a full-time writer, unless you plan to go crazy like Jack in The Shining. On my board, I made a section for relationships, finances, spiritual, travel, parenting, health, and writing/editing with a few inspirational messages thrown in to catch my eye. Plus, even though I’m about to tell you how to do this board in a few easy steps, here’s a secret: there’s no right or wrong way to make a vision board. Also, there are countless articles about this on the Internet, too; but I’m not sure if any are as brilliant as this one (insert throwing-up emoji here).
Steps to make a vision board:
1. The. Most. Important. Step. : Get in the right mindset. You don’t want to hurry, and it’s better done with friends. Dream about the new year! This is not the time to be a realist.
2. Gather your supplies–or if you’re lucky, you’ll have friends who do this for you! You need poster board, magazines, glue, markers, scissors, and stickers/craft supplies. However, a couple of our critique group members made their vision boards this year on Canva, and they’re using their creations as the welcome screen on their laptops. Every time they log on to write (or check Facebook and pretend to write), the vision board is there, haunting reminding them of their goals and visions.
3. Start flipping and cutting. The way we (the Lit Ladies) do our boards is to cut all photos and words out of magazines first. We have a general idea of what we’re looking for (fitness, writing, travel, parenting), but we honestly just discover what calls to us and then cut it out. You may be thinking: this will never work. Trust me. It really does. As soon as you’re with friends and dreaming of the new year, words and photos start speaking to you, and not in a Charles Dickens kind of way.
4. Glue. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Okay, really, you have to organize your cut-outs in some way that works for your brain. I do mine by sections, but some people organize their words and photos by how they fit together beautifully on the poster board. You can see up above in my 2019 board that I’m not worried about beauty. (insert whatever emoji here that you think fits that statement)
5. Add words, stickers, ribbons, etc. If I couldn’t find everything that I wanted, I’ll add words with markers to the board, and this is not even considered cheating! I love the excuse to use Sharpies! Who doesn’t? The point is–this is your vision board. Make sure it defines your vision for 2019.
6. The. Second. Most. Important. Step. Share your board with someone or thousands of people. At Lit Ladies, we talk about our boards after we’re finished creating them. This year, I put mine on Facebook. Oh, and also on The Muffin. WOW! I am really holding myself accountable now.
7. Final step: Hang it somewhere you will see it. I hang mine where I get the dog food to feed that 4-legged creature who lives in my house, twice a day. One mama in our group hangs hers in the laundry room. One is lucky enough to have an office that is not also a room where minions go and destroy it. Don’t, and I mean this, don’t hang it where you never go and don’t roll it up and never look at it. On American Housewife, Oliver hung his on the back of his closet door until his parents saw it and thought…well, you can catch up on Hulu if you’ve never seen it. (Funniest show, IMHO)
I’ll share my daughter’s below for one more example. She’s 8! You’ll notice a lot of toys and puppies on hers. She is clear on her vision for 2019, but we’ll see how she does…Notice: my vision board has no puppies.
To see the original post, you can click here. While you’re there, check out all WOW! Women On Writing has to offer because it has amazing resources and inspiring articles and posts from real women in the trenches, day in and day out.
Consider taking the online class I teach for WOW! about marketing as an author or writing industry professional. It’s only $99 through the end of March 2019! That’s a savings of $56. Click here to read the syllabus and sign up.