Why Vision Boards aren’t whacky by Lucy Kippist

Vision board by Lisa Kippist

Why Vision Boards aren’t whacky

According to folklore (okay, People Magazine) Oprah Winfrey made her first vision boar
back in 2006 at the behest of Michelle Obama.

“I was speaking with Michelle [Obama] and Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver – we
were all doing a big rally out in California. At the end of the rally Michelle Obama said

something powerful: ‘…I want you to leave here and envision Barack Obama taking
the oath of office’, I created a vision board, I had never had a vision board before. I
came home, I got me a board, put Barack Obama’s picture on it, and I put a picture of
my dress I want to wear to the inauguration.”

Well, my vision board journey had more humble beginnings. Eight year-old me spent hours
cutting and pasting from my mum’s Vogue Living and Women’s Weekly magazines, and the
various pamphlets that filled letterboxes back in the 1980’s, creating houses, families and all
the imagined details of their lives with painstaking detail.
Adult me re-discovered this system (aka vision boarding) five years ago when my life took an
about-turn. Every January since, in the week before heading back to work, I’ve created a
vision board for my year ahead.

My boards are large and lateral, ie, I don’t set out with a specific goal; just like 8 year-old me,
I flick through the pages of the magazines, looking for inspiration for the year ahead.
The process brings me a familiar sense of order, inspiration and sheer enjoyment from my
childhood, only now the stakes are higher – the life I am creating is mine!
Creating my vision board helps me expand my sense of what is possible and better
understand myself; I feel resolute, curious, inspired, organised, focussed and more creative.
As author Jack Canfield wisely wrote: “If you don’t have a clear direction of where you’re
headed or where you want to go, it can be very easy to get caught up in things that aren’t
actually good for you.” Indeed.
My vision board “process” has evolved over time, but these three steps set me up for
1. Be intentional
2. Create a list of follow-up actions
3. Review daily
Be intentional
For me this looks like a 5-10 minute meditation where I try to clear my mind of chatter.
Exercise or clearing out a couple of junk drawers or wardrobe cupboards also works well
too. The idea is to make some mental space.

I then spend about 5-10 minutes journaling. I try to focus on what emotions and experiences
I’d like to have more of in the year ahead, where I’d like to visit and who’d I’d like to spend
more time with.

Favourite questions include, “What do you want to experience more of in 2024? What do I
want to spend more time on? What do I want to spend less time doing? Who else is there?
What is important to me? What will I regret not doing this year?”
If you are creating a board with a specific goal in mind, ie a holiday, just reword the
questions to fit. For example, “What do I want to spend time doing on this holiday? Who do I
most want to travel with? What is most important for me to see when I’m there?”
Focus on how you want to “feel” in the future vision you are creating
To my way of thinking, the feeling of your goal or intention is even more important than the
“thing” itself. Feelings engage your senses which in turn supercharge your focus and
therefore the likelihood of your success.
Imagine you’re at the dream holiday destination. What does it “feel” like when you finally
arrive? What will you smell, see, touch, taste? How will you interact with the people you’re
travelling with? What will you feel like when you’re coming home? What will you remember?
Joy, relaxation, peace, excitement, stimulated, more “alive”. List all the words you can think

2. Create a list of follow-up actions
According to science, goal setting becomes even more effective when you clearly identify
the action steps you need to take to accomplish the goal. And as powerful as visions can be,
they only work when you take steps towards them.
Back to the holiday example. Once your vision board is created you could start a Google
Doc or spreadsheet and brain dump the steps required to get you there, ie, buy plane
tickets, research hotels, set travel budget.

3. Review daily
What we focus on grows, so keep your vision board somewhere you can’t help but see it.
Mine have lived on the door of the fridge and blu-tacked to my desk – this year’s board is
swinging by a peg on the garage wall above my exercise mat.
Create your vision board by combining these three steps and not only have you created a
tangible representation of your biggest, most heart-felt goal for the year ahead, you’ve also
got a step-by-step action plan to keep you on track and accountable.
Nothing whacky about that!

Lucy hosts vision boarding workshops locally at her home in Helensburgh.

Find her on Instagram: @heartvisionboards

Worklife newsletter