Social media often gets blamed for fueling our anxiety, but it also offers ways to improve our self-care routines. From manifestation techniques on Instagram to hot girl walks on TikTok, now there’s another new way to channel our positive energy – vision boards that target future goals and aspirations. As we settle into 2023 – especially as New Year’s resolutions may start to lose traction – vision boards provide a creative method to refocus energy on personal aspirations.
Planning Your Process
You can create a vision board in a carefully planned evening, or assemble one as a quick homework distraction. In creating my recent vision board I found it helpful to plan first and then create. This process involved thinking about the time period I wanted the board to apply to and which values I wanted it to reflect. These values could even be jotted down through a journaling exercise. For my board, I chose the upcoming month as my time frame with aspirations of adventure, getting outdoors, and embracing a gentler attitude toward myself. Vision boards are an easy solo task, however, vision board parties have evolved as an encouraging and productive get-together. While the process is ultimately personal to you, surrounding yourself with the encouragement and inspiration of others may enforce accountability… Plus, everyone loves a social excuse!
It’s time to return to your middle school Pinterest era (or maybe like me you never really left). Fill a Pinterest board with images that speak to you. To compile them into collage format, use Canva for pre-made templates, or even a Word document for more creative freedom. You can also use digital vision boards as inspirational screensavers or printed to display in your room. If you’re looking for more of a hands-on activity, vision boards can also be assembled onto a poster from magazine photos and newspaper clippings.
Implementing the Vision
Once you’ve assembled your art piece, place it in a visible location as a reminder of your future focus. While this activity may encourage goal planning, it acts simply as a starting point. Take the next step by reflecting on specific and measurable ways to incorporate those chosen practices and values into daily life. Bonus points if you can write out a plan or share it with a friend for accountability.
Notes on Aesthetics
By nature, vision boards are an aesthetic form of expression, appearing perfectly curated and likely different from what your daily pursuits look like. However, what matters most is how you feel when pursuing these goals, and not if they perfectly match the aesthetic on your board. Personal development is a mental process more than a physical one, and aesthetic composition shouldn’t dictate true success. While vision boards are a fun inspiration, they should be created with a gentle attitude that honors what flexibly fits you without setting unreasonable expectations.
Now go plan your 2023!