The power of vision.

I was in the local art store last weekend, buying bookbinder’s glue for a repair project, when I overheard a fellow customer asking where to find poster board. And then where to find glue sticks. And then where to find gold pens.

“Vision board?” the observant sales associate asked.

“Yes!” the customer replied. “How did you know?”

“We’re getting a lot of that these days. We have a whole section set up; here, I’ll show you.”

The idea behind creating a vision board is that it provides a clear, tangible, visual resource for you to imagine your future self. Approaching vision board work without the weight of limiting beliefs (yesterday’s work) feeds your internal sense of possibility and growth. In the course of this work we’re going to harness that positive outlook and use its energy in setting goals and making actionable plans to reach those goals.

Whether you’re new to vision boards or have years of experience creating them, whether you’re deeply invested in the idea or still skeptical, today’s exercise is for you. And if you’ve already made your 2023 vision board and are inclined to skip this exercise as a result, please don’t. This work is a little different from what you may already have done.

(New to this series? Welcome! Here’s the scoop: I’m giving followers here a free walk-through of a course called “Your First 100 Days,” a structured approach to help turn ideas into action. The first post in this series is here.)

If you haven’t already printed the Your First 100 Days workbook, then you can print just the Vision section (file below). You’ll need all 15 pages for this exercise.

This vision board exercise is standard 8 1/2 x 11 size, and all of the materials for the work are in the workbook, so you won’t need to gather magazines or other printed papers. While using only the materials in the workbook may seem limiting in a restrictive way, the idea is that you’re more likely to do this work if doing it doesn’t require additional work.

You’ll need scissors, glue (or other adhesive), the printed sheets, a clear work surface, and 30-60 minutes.

Look through the pages of images and cut out (or tear out, if you like that effect) what you connect with. Don’t overthink this part. Just identify and cut out. You don’t have to use whole images. You might – just as an example – cut a colored square or circle from another, larger image.

After you’ve made a first pass through the images and selected some to start with, review the work you’ve done so far. In other words, ground yourself in your own self-assessment. Your vision board (or page) will be a visual representation of your 100 Wants, your Gratitude Snapshot, and the keywords from Monday’s exercise.

Using the sheet labeled “VISION” (or just a blank sheet), begin assembling your college. If it’s helpful to you, print a second copy of the Vision words sheet (from Monday’s post) and simply cut/paste images into the category blocks. Worried about your collage skills? Don’t be. No one will see this sheet unless you choose to share it. It’s yours and yours alone. What’s important is that it represent what’s in your mind, your imagination. You’ll use this sheet in future work.

Want to make more than one sheet? Terrific; do it. Want to use a larger sheet/board? Awesome. Want to use supplemental materials? This is your work. The point is to do it, to get it done without overthinking it. See it, perhaps, as one step in a multi-step process, because that’s what it is.

To recap:

  • Print the materials
  • Make a single-page collage using images (letters, words) from the printed sheets

We’ll stay on this visioning work tomorrow. Friday, we’ll review the process from the beginning. Next week we’ll turn toward goals.


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