Rather than focusing on resolutions that are often hard to keep, I now create a vision board at the start of every year. It began as an activity I did with my girlfriends every New Year’s day. We’d make dinner, enjoy a few glasses of wine and surround ourselves with piles of magazines. We shared images that we thought our friends would like, laughed at the latest gossip from tabloid magazines and sometimes cut out a few inappropriate pics to share with friends as jokes during the evening, mostly of men we wanted our friends to date (or not). By the end we of the evening, we took home poster boards filled with words and imagery we wanted in our lives.
For me, the act of cutting out positive words, phrases and images, even printing out a few pictures of my own favorite moments of the year prior, allowed me to set my intentions with my eyes rather than just my head. It was something I could commit to doing every year.
The act of making a vision board was also creative, fun, and highly empowering, bringing me back to the days of making scrapbooks and collages as a teen. Set your favorite tunes from the 80s and work away!
I now like to put a picture of myself in the middle of my vision board and then surround it with images of things I want to bring in, attract, achieve and experience for the rest of the year. My last three vision boards have allowed me to manifest love when I least expected it, travel to places I never thought I’d end up, and meet people I have always wanted to. Two years ago, I had a picture of a sailboat on my vision board, and didn’t realize until last year that the exact boat belonged to a woman I interviewed for a story and then became good friends with. The image I had of Jerry O’Connell with his shirt off in the library may have manifested itself into bringing me an awesome boyfriend who also looks good with his shirt off and happens to be incredibly smart.
I really do believe that what you envision for yourself, you can manifest in your life. I know I’m getting all hippy on you, so I’ll compare the act to surfing bigger waves. I used to be terrified by surfing waves only head high. Then, I started watching movies of girls surfing waves five times their size. I began envisioning myself in the videos and after a while, when I paddled out in waves only as high as my head, my perspective shifted. Head high waves seemed manageable. I was no longer scared. Double overhead waves, well, that’s another story J
This year, my boyfriend and I made vision boards together. I put a picture of us in the middle as well as my happiest moment from the year prior and surrounded it with imagery of my goals for commitment, being more grounded, meditating, laughing more, and being more accepting of the present moment. I still want to write a book (a vision I have kept on my boards every year). I also want to write more honestly, write more comedy and learn to Twerk (I dance more awkwardly than Elaine from Seinfeld. My visions this year are more adult visions than ones I put on my vision boards years prior, (which were mostly filled with imagery of meeting a hot man who was good in bed and surfing waves in remote places).
I don’t always complete my vision boards my January 1st. Sometime I finish them mid-January, or in February, or a few months later, but it’s something I commit to doing every year with my partner or my friends, and it’s never too late to make one.
FIVE STEPS TO MAKING A VISION BOARD
1. Print out pics of your favorite moments from last year, or at least one image of you for the center.
2. Grab old magazines (you can even ask your doctor for old mags from the waiting room) or buy them cheaply at the local library.
3. Cut out images and words you want in your life. I often find images to be more powerful for words. For example, wanting balance, I found an image of balancing rocks. Wanting focus, I found a magnifying glass focused on a flower. Wanting to eat healthier, I found an image of a rainbow made from fruits and veggies. If I can’t find an image in a magazine, I use Google images, cut and paste them on a word doc or using Pages on my computer.
4. Arrange images and words in whatever manner you want, but put what’s most important to you in the center.
5. Place in an area of your home you look at every day whether it’s the bathroom mirror, the fridge or a window by the dining room table. You can even take a picture of your vision board with your cell phone and keep a copy on your computer or use as a screensaver or desktop image.
6. Look at your vision board every day, smile and let yourself manifest your own dreams through your eyes.
7. Keep your vision Boards or take pictures of hem so you can see what you have manifested over the years.
8. Get Ready to Live The Life of Your Dreams.