Oh…did I just scare you away?  Does the term ‘Vision Board’ make you think of ooie-gooie magical unicorns and crunchy, yogurt eating, yoga pants wearing hippies?  Probably.  But maybe you’re a little curious and you question, why do professionals need a vision board?

I know.  Vision Boards is a scary (or is that mushy?) phrase.  So I’m going to do you a big favor.  I won’t call them Vision Boards anymore, at least in this blog post.  So what do we call it?  How about an action plan?  I’m sure you create a lot of action plans for tackling projects at work.  So instead, let’s call it a Goal Board.  But keep in mind, they all mean the same thing.  Just like a Vision Board, a Goal Board is a visual representation of the goals that you want to achieve.

Goals.  As a professional, I’m sure you have business goals as well as personal goals.  You probably even have action plans for all or most of them.  But did you know that a Goal Board improves your ability to meet your goal?  And that’s not ooie-gooie magic!

Why Do Goal Boards Work?

According to a post in Psychology Today “Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same instruction as actions.  Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain:  motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory.”

See an image of your goals and think about how it feels to achieve those goals.  And in doing so, you are priming your entire mind and body to help you meet that goal.

Another reason why Goal Boards work is the very fact that it’s Visual.  In a previous post, about Goal Boards, I wrote about learning styles.  65% of people are Visual Learners which means that seeing pictures helps them remember.  Another 5% are Tactile or Kinesthetic learners, which means they need to move or manipulate what they are learning, these are the hands-on learners.  So the process of creating a Goal Board helps them to remember.  The other 30% represent auditory learners.  These are the people who learn best while listening.  These are the people who work best with Affirmations, which can be built into a Goal Board.

If you are unsure of your Learning Style then head on over to the above blog post where there is a link to a quiz.  The quiz will help you determine your best learning style and even give you tips on how to take advantage of your learning style.

Steps To Create Your Best Goal Board

Think of an athlete visualizing their next match.  They not only picture how well they will play but how great they’ll feel when they win.  So how do you translate that into a goal board?  Follow the steps below.

  1. First, reflect back on what you’ve accomplished so far this year.  Both professionally and personally.  It’s ok to feel good about what you’ve accomplished so far.
  2. Now look ahead to the end of the year.  What do you still need to complete,  What new things do you want to accomplish by December 31st?  How will it make you feel to accomplish those goals? (Successful?  Accomplished?  Loved?  Proud?)  How you feel about your successes is just as important as accomplishing them.
  3. Now it’s time to determine your best Goal Board style.  After you’ve taken the Learning Style quiz, you know whether you are a Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic learner.  Find magazines and cut out words and phrases to match your goals and how you want to feel.  If you want to feel successful, maybe a picture of an athlete crossing the finish line with their arms raised in victory represents that feeling.  Or if you want to feel loved, a picture of a person cuddling with a puppy or kitten.  What pictures speak to your feelings?
  4. If you are an Auditory Learner, it’s important to find affirmations or create affirmations to go on your Goal Board.  If you can’t find what you need in a magazine, then use your computer to create your own and print them out.  Or you can write them onto your Goal Board.
  5. If you are a Kinesthetic learner, then you need to be able to manipulate what you see.  Do this by either creating a Portable Goal Board or by make your Goal Board a little more touchy-feely (but not in a new-agey way!)  You can add flaps over your goals so you have to lift the flap to see something or you can add glitter or puff paint to your board so you can run your fingers over it.  Anything to make your Goal Board more interactive.
  6. Lay out all your pictures and phrases until you find something that’s visually pleasing to you and then glue everything down onto a piece of cardboard.  You will be putting this up somewhere that you can look at it every day.  Maybe on top of your bureau or on your door.
  7. If you’re an Auditory Learner, then it helps if you repeat out loud the phrases and affirmations that you added to the board.
  8. If you’re a Kinesthetic Learner then lift those flaps or better yet, pull out the accordion style Portable Goal Board.  You can also repeat some of your goals and affirmations while you’re walking.
  9. Remember, there is no wrong way to create this.  There is only your way.  The way that works best for you.
  10. Repeat every day.  Or even more than once a day.

Now that you have your Goal Board, it’s important to look at it every day.  Nothing magical is going to happen, but it will help you to keep your goals in your mind.  Keeping your goals in mind will also help you to recognize those opportunities that help to further your goal.  It will also help you to recognize those instances that will take you further away from your goals. It’s up to you to make the choices that bring you closer to your goals.

Look at those pictures daily.  And like an athlete see and feel yourself achieving those goals.  You are now one step closer on your path to meeting your goals.