“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”
~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard about Vision Boards. They quickly became all the rage during The Secret craze back in 2006 (thanks to Oprah’s influence).  It seems now that everyone has tried their hand at creating a vision board or three.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, let me walk you through the process.

  1. Gather posterboard, scissors, magazines and glue.
  2. Thumb through the magazines for words and pictures that illustrate what you want in your life, or who you’d like to be.
  3. Cut out the images and words and glue them onto your posterboard in whatever fashion suits you.
  4. Optional: decorate your board further with glitter, art, handwritten items, etc.

As you can see, it’s quite a simple process.  I’ve kind of discovered some challenges with this standard model (for me at least).  Now that I have this large posterboard, I don’t really have anywhere to hang it.  Sometimes, when I want to create a new board, I don’t have enough magazines with the kind of images and words I’m looking for.  And other times, I’m just not feeling all that artistic to take on such a large-scale project.

As it happens, there are some simple alternatives to the Vision Board.

Write a List – I think this is my go to visioning tool.  I will often write a list of what I want.  I created a list like this when I wanted my first teaching job and then another when I was ready to finally settle down and find that guy (who later became my husband – we celebrate our 8th anniversary in just over a week and our 11th anniversary of the day we met Memorial Day weekend).

It’s a simple process.  Over a couple of hours or days, start brainstorming what you want (in life, in love, in your clients, in your home, etc).  Get as specific as possible and don’t be afraid to say what you don’t want….I want clients that can afford my services, but aren’t yet making 6-figures; I want a pre-war apartment, but it must have central air and new wiringI want a man that knows that family is important, but isn’t a mama’s boy.  You get the idea.

This exercise will help you to get clear with what you do and don’t want.  You’ll find that in no time, you’ll see different aspects or line items from your list come into your life.  That awareness is half the fun!!

Write a Letter – This is very similar the making a list in that you need to be as thorough and as clear as possible.  Where it differs is that instead of creating a list or what you want to attract, you’re writing a letter from the perspective of having already received this wonderful thing you so desire.  It’s already there, in your life and you’re so excited and thrilled that you just can’t wait to share the news with your friends, your family and/or your partner.

Make sure when using this tool, to really go into those sensual details (meaning your five senses)…how does it look, feel, smell, taste, sound, etc.  And remember to make extra sure that YOU are in your descriptions (for example: When I sit down for my morning tea, I look out my beautiful bay window and admire the birds and the flowers in our gorgeous backyard.  You have to see this to believe it!)

Use a 10×10 or 12×12 Frame – This is similar to creating a vision board, but it’s on a much smaller scale.  And it’s much easier to change out each time you create a new vision board.  You could really play around with this like it truly is wall art and maybe have one frame for each month or quarter or maybe one for each aspect or theme of your life.  It could be more challenging finding small enough images, or it could be much easier for you.  I just like that it’s smaller and easier to work with.

Use a Blank Journal – Again, this is similar to creating a larger vision board.  Instead of creating one board with all of the things you hope to manifest, you can use different pages for different focuses.  I use both a large artist sketch book (larger than a binder, but smaller than needing an easel).  I also have a smaller sketch book that I use more as a journal (when the mood strikes) where I play around with creating my own art (ha!).  So I not only have small collages around a theme, but I also have pages where I write quotes or ideas that strike me as well as pages where I doodle and play with stamps.

Any size journal or sketch book can work for this.  And you can use it however you wish.  You can have one theme or focus per page, or you can mix things up.  Another neat thing about using spiral sketch books or journals, you can open them to a particular page that inspires you and leave that open on your desk, or you can prop it up with an inexpensive plate/photo stand (I get mine at Micheal’s).

Make a Recording – If you’re not feeling quite so artistic or creative, you can create audio messages. You can then load these messages into your iPod or smart phone and listen to them while you drive or while you fall asleep. Thanks to applications and programs like AudioBoo, Cinch and reQall (and so many more), you can make short (and even not so short) audio messages quickly and easily.

Basically, you can use any tool in your toolbox to help you create the vision for the life you want to live and the business you want to have. So don’t hold yourself to any one particular model or modality.  Use whatever works for you.

What tools or techniques do you use to get clear on your vision?


As a side note, my mentor, Christine Kane has a great ebook on creating vision boards if you want to take a peak at is.  You can find the details here.