Fresh off the shit storm that was 2020, I looked into ways to passively motivate myself because I was stuck in a pretty deep and dark rut. I was unhappy in my life and career, unable to find anything that I felt passionate about. I’ve always been one to get interested in an emotional outlet for a few months then move on, be it painting, needlepoint, cooking, etc. I have never been able to find something that helped me long term.
I happened upon the idea of vision boards and if we’re being totally honest, I thought it was all flowery bullshit. The concept of just looking at something and manifesting it into reality seemed a little out of my comfort (and ability) zone. But when I truly commit to something, I go all out. I bought cork boards, yoga and National Geographic magazines, found trinkets and small gifts from loved ones to use. I spent hours locked in my bedroom one weekend trying to design the perfect boards for myself. Even after all of that, I still wasn’t convinced that they would work.
I hung them over my desk in my home office, so that I could have them always in my peripheral view – a truly passive act. Over time, I found that the vision boards were a comforting reminder of what I wanted without being overbearing. It wasn’t an alarm on my phone reminding me to drink water or my Fitbit reminding me to walk every hour. It was something that lovingly stared back at me while I worked, passively supporting my goals.
It’s starting to feel like a broken record to say – but 2021 was a pretty garbage year. So how did the vision boards impact last year? As a whole, I’d say they were a great addition to my life. At first I looked at them as more of a challenge; ‘what sticky note can I remove today?’ was a frequent thought. However, the longer they hung on the wall and the more busy and shitty my life got, I forgot about the presumptive challenge. It was just a soft light, glowing and saying ‘Hey, I’m here when you’re ready’. On days when I couldn’t complete an entire goal, I’d use check marks to track my progress. This didn’t work on every goal, but the large scale goals like ‘Read 10 books by X date’, I would mark as I went.
While my professional life was somehow miraculously excelling in 2021, my personal life was crumbling fast. How did the vision boards help during this? The easiest answer is they kept me focused. Whenever my mind was whirling with overwhelm and doubt, I could always just glance up at the boards and remind myself of what I needed to do or what I was working towards.
I wasn’t able to complete all of the goals on my vision board for a million reasons, but that’s okay. It’s just a vision, a goal, not reality. It did help to create a baseline of my vision boards for 2022 though.