It might seem like a trap, thinking that happiness can be found only if picturesque ideals on a board come true. Reality can sometimes disappoint, so it’s possible that those ideas may never come to fruition.

Disappointment is scary, isn’t it? It settles in like a cat, heavy on your chest, and suddenly you forget what it feels like to hope and to dream because you’re just trying to breathe through unmet expectations.

It’s this fear of disappointment that had me rolling my eyes when others would decide to make vision boards. Unlike them, I was afraid of casting vision for my future because I was afraid that the things I longed for might never happen.

Yet, George Washington Carver said it very well when he said, “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” So, I decided to say goodbye to fear, chose hope instead and made a board myself. If disappointment is a cat, hope is like the dog anxiously awaiting your arrival home; with every lick, it reminds you that you’re enough.

When we recognize that happiness isn’t something to achieve but rather a choice of being, it frees us up to fearlessly set goals and dream about our desires without worry that they might not come to pass.

Below are some helpful hints for creating a vision board and venturing into your own hopeful visions!

Why You Should Create a Vision Board | DARLING | Photo by Lisa Diederich

Whether you’re a digital diva and prefer an online method for future inspiration, or you fancy yourself an old-fashioned soul, like myself, there’s a place for all of us to map out the hopes we have.

If you prefer the online method, Pinterest is the best resource I’ve found for creating vision boards. While it is a well-known resource, it’s that way for a reason. It’s so accessible, just use the search bar to type in what words or images you wish to discover and they will guide you to a variety of photographs you can digitally tack to your board.

As far as what pins make it onto your board, the point is inspiration. Also, keep in mind that different colors evoke different emotions, so as you pin take note of any color schemes that may appear. They could be alluding to moods you weren’t aware you were even experiencing and they can also help guide what you pin.

When you see something you like and you pin it, it is not only an acknowledgment of your hopes, but of yourself; it is an essential act of seeing and hearing yourself.

You can create a multitude of boards in various categories with personal captions and they’ll keep them organized for you while you stay sticky-free! But, perhaps the best part of Pinterest is the Pin It Button, which allows you to go to any website you want and pin any image you find so that you’re not limited to the images on Pinterest alone. Unlike other social media sites, you don’t have to stay on that site/page to pin, so the entire Internet can become your oyster!

With an endless amount of online material, vision boarding could easily become your next hobby.

For my old-school friends, you’ll need a variety of magazines or old books that you don’t mind cutting up, along with some tape or glue and a sturdy piece of paper or cardboard to stick your images to.

Since magazines can be pretty pricey, try going to your local library and asking if they have any old ones you can take off their hands. They’ll often have a rack of books and magazines they give away for free. Also, if you happen to live near any offices (doctor, dentist, book store or, in my case, post-production houses) you can ask them for their old magazines, too.

Why You Should Create a Vision Board | DARLING | Photo by Lisa Diederich

While paper is traditional and may seem outdated at this point, it’s still around for a reason. There’s nothing like waking up to a note on your mirror that reminds you to meditate on what is good and true. Paper is the bridge from the past to the present. There is just something about the tangibility of paper in what can often feel like an intangible world that roots us in the here and now, that connects us to the birth of creativity in those who came before us. I recently found old love letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother and they are my most prized possessions.

Imagine that people will one day find your vision board, what would you hope they would discover about you? What would you want the board to say on your behalf?

Furthermore, with a paper vision board, you get to decide where its placed so that it serves as a source of daily reminder and encouragement. You can’t hang your computer on your mirror, but you sure can hang a traditional vision board there. Simply flip, cut and paste!

Whether you decide to pull out a magazine or your computer, I recommend playing music that brings you joy and inspires you as you search for the perfect picture or word embodying the future you desire to create. I also suggest setting aside specific times for doing this so that you don’t rush through it anxiously or thoughtlessly.

And remember, while making a vision board doesn’t equate to getting everything you want for your future, it is a good practice for dreaming as well as intentionally focusing on the things you hope for in a life you are already enjoying. Happy vision-boarding friends!

Do you like creating vision boards? What’s on yours, currently?

Images via Lisa Diederich

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