Create an effective vision board

There is power behind your daydreams, believe it or not.

When you come to after picturing yourself on an island somewhere or as a top executive at your firm, you may feel motivated to go on vacation or work harder for that promotion. This idea of visualization has been around for years, used by successful athletes, CEOs and actors alike. And for good reason – it works.

Visualizing success and the steps it takes to get there can serve as a catalyst for making it a reality. Our brains take this mental image we’ve created and replay it over and over, giving us confidence and motivation to make it so. Whatever your goal, a vision board is an easy way to take your daydreams to the next level and incorporate visualization into your daily routine.

Serving as a tangible, inspirational reminder, a vision board is a collection of photos, quotes and words that reflect where you want to be and how you want to feel. On the surface and to outsiders, it may appear as simple décor, but to your brain, each item is speaking to a specific goal you have set for yourself. It won’t happen overnight, but with this mental picture in the back of your mind at all times, your subconscious will bring opportunities to the forefront that you may have missed otherwise.

Seeing is believing, so why wait? Get visualizing with these three steps to creating an effective vision board:

Step 1: Clarify

If you’re like me, you may not have everything figured out. You have this broad picture of what you want your life to look like, with little to no thought into how you might actually get there. The first step in creating an effective vision board is to define and clarify your goals. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years? Are you still with the same company? Have you been promoted? Take the time to write out what it is you want to accomplish and come up with steps that will help get you there. Evaluate where you are now and set specific and measureable goals that include challenging timelines to hold you accountable.

Step 2: Illustrate

This is the fun part. Now that you’ve clearly defined your goals, you can start piecing together your vision board. Look through magazines, newspapers and your favorite websites for anything that inspires you and can be associated with your personal goals. Is there a specific company you hope to work for one day? Tack on a photo of their office. Do you have a quote you love by your favorite author? Print it out. Is there someone you look up to that ended up where you want to be? Include them. The point is to create a mental image of your end game – what does that look like for you? There are no wrong answers.

Step 3: Affirm

The board is complete, now what? It is going to take more than a glance every now and then to make your board a reality. In order for the vision board to be effective, you need to spend a few minutes each day focused on it, going through the goals you have and the steps you need to take to get there. Remind yourself that you will get there. Don’t let potential obstacles weigh you down. Awareness of your thoughts is key – keep it positive and you will be that much closer to actualizing your goal.