A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”

~ Robert Heinlein

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

By Andrea Novakowski

Want a way to keep your yearly goals at the top of your mind? Create a vision board.

A vision board is a collection of words and/or pictures that represent what you desire in your business and in your life – but it’s also much more than that.

As you look for and assemble images that express what’s important to you, the process helps reinforce the goals you’ve chosen. When you’re finished, you have a powerful visual reminder of where you’d like to be.

Here’s how to get started building your own vision board.

Your vision board can be completed in the space of a few hours, by yourself or as part of a group. You can break the process into steps, or you can do it all at once when the spirit moves you. What you include is up to you. Some years, my board is filled with words. Other years I lean more toward pictures and visual depictions.

In 2013, I created a vision board with a group of women friends while on vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We all had aspirations for the upcoming year and wanted to be more intentional in accomplishing them. It was a beautiful day, both outdoors and in. As we searched for pictures that captured our visions, we talked of our dreams and goals for the future. There was laughter, quiet thoughtfulness, pens and markers, colored paper, and glue. Lots of glue.

One of my favorite parts came at the end, when we took turns describing the elements on our boards and the futures we wanted to create. This process took my vision to another level of reality. No longer was it just in my head, or even just on my board – I had shared it with others.

My friends also gave me a new idea: get the board laminated. I took my work to an office supply store, where, for a couple of dollars, I had it reinforced so it would hold together permanently.

The vision board worked in surprising ways, as such projects often do. For instance, I chose the words “I collaborate.” This translated into working with Giuliette Nardone to design my new logo and with Suzan Czajkowski to create a new website.

I also included the words “Beautiful workspaces,” along with pictures of a serene space and a new office chair. Check: I got it done and I love it!

Here are some ideas for your vision board:

  • If you’re having difficulty with a business partner or peer and would like to improve the relationship, find an image of what that would look like. Feel free to use metaphors. If you wish things would calm down and smooth out, you might choose a picture of a boat under full sail on clear blue water, indicating “smooth sailing.” Or you could have two people smiling and shaking hands. You decide which images speak to you.
  • Want to launch a new project? How about a picture of you popping the cork on a bottle of champagne?
  • Have hefty sales goals this year? Put the number on your vision board.
  • Time to upgrade your technology skills? Include a certificate of completion for the program you want to take (if one isn’t available, design your own version).
  • Ready for a promotion? Place your new title on your board.

Remember, what you’re doing is taking your goals and intentions for the year and making them visual. You may also want to post your word of the year on a prominent place on your board.

The beauty of a vision board is that you can’t do it wrong. The board can serve many purposes. It can include both your personal and professional goals, your aspirations for just this year or for your lifetime. You can complete it now or add to it as you go along. Some people create a book instead of a board. Others place pictures around their offices and homes.

Click here for examples of how different people approach vision boards. And for even more inspiration – along with additional ways to nudge your dreams along the road to reality – feel free to email or give me a call.

Coaching Call to Action

Have you ever created a vision board?  What results did you get?  Share below to inspire your fellow Tip readers.