My vision board…front and back.
Stephanie Tishler of Tishler Coaching Services hosted a Vision Board Party. Full disclosure: Steph has been a client and friend for years, which is the reason I went. I’m not anti-vision board per se, but it’s not something I would normally seek out on my own.
I didn’t know if I was going to know anyone else at the event (turns out I did), but I was a little concerned about creating a vision board with a group of people I didn’t know that well. It seems sort of personal. I had nothing to worry about. The entire night was great—better than I expected. In fact, I’m writing this post because I think it’s a great way for a group of friends, co-workers, or interesting strangers to spend a few hours together.
The Set Up:
We basically got together, mingled a bit over snacks and drinks and then went to a long table where Steph had everything we needed. She provided note cards for us to jot down our visions. What goals did we want to reach for? What did we want our day or our future to look like?
Then we flipped through magazines—some Steph had provided, some we all brought. You started to get a taste of people’s interests based on the magazines they had brought. In my recent purge challenge from last year, I’d thrown away nearly every magazine I owned, so I had to bring some of Matt’s Aerospace magazines. I’m not sure if they provided inspiration to anyone.
As you flipped through, you cut out images or words that applied to your vision. Sometimes you could find the perfect match. Sometimes, you couldn’t find anything. Sometimes you had to think outside the box—could this pool represent the pool I want even though it’s not exactly what I’m picturing? Could this picture of people on a beach represent the dream vacation I want? Could these Harry Potter books represent wanting to read more? I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, so I had to let that one go. In one case I found the Northern Lights. I hadn’t included that on my notecard, but for years I’ve wanted to go see the Aroura Borealis so I cut it out. Once you have everything cut out, you glue and paste.
What Made the Vision Board Party so Meaningful:
When we are young we have regular art classes, but after high school or college that goes away. I’ve often missed the structure of an art class. You are simply taking time to be creative at a table, but there are others in the same setting—you can talk, discuss, get tips, but yet you have something of your own to focus on, whether that be a clay pot, a painting, or, in this case, a vision board. I loved that aspect of it. It’s something I truly miss in adulthood. The paint bars that are popping up everywhere create that environment too. But I didn’t expect it from the vision board so it was a really nice surprise. It was both the comradery and the creativity of the experience that I want more of in life.
This was a fun way to meet people because you immediately find ways you connect, “Oh, you like wine. I like wine. You can’t sleep? Neither can I. Neither can I. Neither can I.” Turns out about half the group struggled with sleep. And, the world must know that because there were no shortage of advertisements for a better night’s sleep in the magazine we were sifting through. The group experience help create bonds.
There are a few factors that play a role in creating friendships. One is sharing multiple unplanned experiences together. Another is being in situations where you feel safe to confide and reveal yourself a bit. That’ why we typically make most of our friends in high school and college—both meet those two requirements. I’m not saying this one night making a vision board created lasting friendships for everyone there, but it certainly was one of those types of moments. So if you are looking for ways to bond people and create friendships, this would fit that category.
A vision board party would be fun with friends, a bridal party (whether you each do your own or make funny ones for the bride), co-workers, or teammates. Anyone who wants to bond creating their own visions or connect creating visions that unify them would benefit from this process.
In addition to the benefits with the group, I had a couple self-realizations too.
My Vision Board:
My ‘skies the limit’ notecard filled with my visions/dreams for my future included the following:
Peace/calm/comfortable not being busy
Write a Book—Tour—Talk on NPR
Close relationships with good friends and family
Healthy relationship with food
A pool with a pool boy (the second part of this a piece I am just realizing did not get on my VB)
Travel—Private Jet—Just Go
Time with people I love
Moments that make me smile
Chocolate that doesn’t have calories
As I started hunting through the magazines, I realized that I have a lot of the things I want for my future already. Sure I have goals that I’m working toward and haven’t reached yet. The pool boy and the private jet aren’t current realities (sigh). But I have lots of moments that make me smile. LOTS. And I have a good relationship with a number of important people in my life. And in some ways those may be my most two important visions. Because with those, I feel like I’m more capable of achieving my goals.
How Vision Boards Work
Here’s the thing. I don’t buy into the concept of the Secret, although I’ve never read the book. I don’t think you can just think yourself somewhere, which may not be what the Secret says, but is simply my impression. That being said, mindset matters. There are studies that show the effectiveness of visualizations. But here’s the important part. Visualizing something helps if you do it. If you are a golfer and you visualize yourself practicing your swing it will help you get a better swing. If you never golf, but you envision golfing, you don’t become a golfer. You must take action.
But vision boards can force you to take a moment to check-in and decide if you are on the path you want to be on right now. Then they provide some accountability. If you work with a group, you’ve voiced some of your goals out loud. When you go home with the board if you place it somewhere you’ll see it, it’s a reminder of what you want to work on or toward.
When I first moved back to Connecticut, I was unemployed. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to let everyone I knew know that I was looking for a job. That’s how I found one. I looked at job listings every day, and I applied to anything and everything in education or writing. I never saw a listing for an opening at the Mark Twain House. Matt’s Aunt saw it and sent me the info. “You’d be perfect for this,” was her message with the job description. I’d never seen it on my own, and if I had, I’ve always wondered if I would have thought I’d be perfect for it. Her immediate determination that I would be right for the job provided confidence for me.
A group vision board party is like that. You announce to the people you know what your future holds and together your friends and family help you find what’s right.
If you would like to get in touch with Stephanie Tishler to plan a vision board party, she can be reached here: Stephanie@tishlercoachingservices.com