A tried-and-tested tool for many, the vision board is by no means new for those who believe in manifestation. The general idea of a vision board is to give the ideas and visions in our head, about something we want out of life, a physical manifestation. It also serves as a reminder to work towards something we want in the future – constantly seeing something in front of us has the potential to help us get micro doses of inspiration to consciously or even sub-consciously work towards what we want.
What Is a Vision Board in Coaching?
Well, even in the coaching context, the premise of the vision board exercise is similar – to serve as a reminder, motivation, and inspiration to work towards what an individual wants. Also sometimes known as an ‘inspiration board’ or a ‘dream board’, the way a vision board works is by using a collage of visual imagery to not only understand and picturise who we want to become in the future or what we want to achieve but also how we can get there.
A vision board works on the premise of visualisation – one of the most powerful mind exercises one can do. Olympic athletes have been using it for decades to improve their performance, and coaches (especially life coaches), use it with clients to help them turn the image they have in their head into something more tangible.
But engaging in a vision board exercise is not simply about creating a collage of images and texts about the things you want; it is also about using the vision board to focus on how you wish to feel in the future. The more your vision board helps you zone in on how you eventually wish to feel, the more likely it is that it will come to life.
The main purpose of using a vision board is to teach our mind to focus on the things that are important to us. It is a great way to connect to our subconscious wants, desires, and needs – and make them conscious!
A few ways a vision board can help coaching clients:
- Help them identify their visions, dreams, and aspirations
- Make their goals seem more attainable – thus improving their likelihood of achieving those goals
- Serve as a constant reminder for action towards their dreams
Vision Board Ideas
A vision board can be used for pretty much anything your client desires. Here are some ideas for some common areas around which people usually use the vision board exercise:
a. Financial goals
If your client is hoping to attract more money into their lives, you can ask them to include things that they would want to buy/do/own as a result of achieving their financial goals – the things that the money will enable for them. Buying a home or car for instance, or going on a world tour.
b. Travel goals
This is where one can get really whimsical and include all the travel goals they fantasize about, from the exact locations and spots they wish to visit to the activity that they intend to do there – think hiking, snow-boarding, or having a cup of coffee on the pebbled streets of Paris. Encourage them to be as specific as possible – the more specific one is, the more likely it is for them to live the closest version of their dream!
c. Relationship goals
This can work in two ways – changing or bettering the relationship that one already has, as well as manifesting a new relationship the way one sees best for them. Again, the feeling the vision board invokes is vital and not necessarily the exact imagery only – though that can serve as a catalyst for the same.
d. Happiness Goals
This can be a general vision board not specifically directed at attaining or achieving or owning something, but rather focusing on anything that makes the individual feel happy, fulfilled and content.
Instructions to Give to the Client
1. Put thought and emotion into the research
Ask your client to collect pictures, images, words, and quotes that speak to them and convey a strong message and sense of association with what they wish for. The important thing to remember is to not overthink the process – it doesn’t need to technically or logically make sense to an outsider, only to the person making the vision board. Secondly, it needn’t be something necessarily material, but something that evokes an emotion or feeling – for instance, one may have a picture of plants and trees on their vision board because it gives them a sense of grounding and tranquillity.
2. Don’t sweat the format or output
There are no rules about how one needs to make the vision board – it is purely personal and not an art project. Sure enough, people can take inspiration by looking at vision board examples online, but all that matters is that it makes sense to the creator and is all clear to them!
3. Create one or many vision boards
Clients can choose to have a single large board or several mini boards each dedicated to a particular area on which they want to focus – then scatter the mini boards at different locations around their household, if they can. To get started though, you can encourage your clients to just start with one board that calls out strongest to them in that moment and then take it from there.
4. Keep the vision board visible
The vision board(s) must be kept at a place where it can be seen at all times, so that it can serve as a constant reminder (consciously and otherwise) and be a source of inspiration and motivation.
5. Spend time with the board
Ask your client to take time out once in a few days (if not every day) to just stand or sit in front of their vision board and soak it all in in a conscious, aware manner, instead of glazing over it as they might tend to do in their daily hustle and bustle. It will help bring their awareness back to what it is they are going after and help them refocus on their bigger vision.
A vision board is one of the simplest coaching tools that you can employ with your clients, and it is one that has proven to be rather effective. It allows clients to use their hands, mind, and creativity to put together a visual representation of their dreams and visions, bringing in a lot of focus and perspective.
You can ask your clients to do it privately at their own time in between session, or if you’re holding a group coaching session, you can have a workshop session where every member can put together their individual vision boards in the context of themselves and their team in a fun and interactive session!
The Coaching Tools Company, Jack Canfield, Huffpost, The Ultimate Coaching Guide
1. What should a vision board contain?
There are no rules or regulations in terms of what a vision board should or ought to contain. People usually use pictures, images, quotations, and words of affirmation on their vision boards. These could be in the form of paper, objects, or anything else that can be stuck onto the board. The idea is that it should be a visual amalgamation of elements that represent something you want in the future, both in the material as well as the emotional sense.
2. What are some substitutes for the vision board exercise?
If you find that physical vision boards are too much work for you, you can even do a digital version of a vision board using Pinterest. If a vision board is not an exercise you or your clients enjoy or resonate with, other substitutes can include keeping a journal for things you want but don’t have or even writing a dream life journal!
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