By Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC

I love creating vision boards, dream boards and collages!  I especially love combining my dream boards with journaling for a powerful manifesting practice.

We all have dreams and desires swirling around within us.  Are you wondering what to do next to take action towards your dreams?

When was the last time you allowed yourself to daydream about the type of life you want? Or some new experience you might love to have?

During these heavy Covid times, it might feel like you are more in survival or simply coasting mode as we all do our best to get through this challenging time in safe and healthy ways.  One of the best ways I know to get through difficult times is to put some energy into dreaming forward.

Creating a vision board has become a popular activity in recent years.  A vision board is simply one tool that helps you visualize your dreams and your goals. How so, you ask? Here are 5 ways vision boards can help you reach your goals…

1. Vision boards make you focus on what’s important to you. 

Whether you combine a personal vision board with a professional one, or have more than one vision board for different areas of your life, thinking about what you want in life helps you to prioritize what’s important. Do you want to buy a new house (or renovate the one you have, which is what we are embarking on) or move to a warmer climate or write a book? Maybe you want to go on a writing retreat or a tropical vacation when we get to the other side of the travel and other restrictions (that’s what I want to do!)?  Maybe you have big dreams for your business or want to put more passion into your relationship or infuse your retirement with new creative possibilities.  Whatever it is you desire, a vision/dream board can help you energize your hopes into reality.

Journal writing prompt:  What’s most important to you at this time?

2. Visualization stimulates the creative side of your brain. 

Placing your vision board in sight of your desk or computer serves as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve. Some believe keeping it open by your nightstand helps stimulate your subconscious before you go to bed, which makes you motivated upon waking. With your creativity soaring, keep a notebook handy to jot down any ideas you have for making your dreams come true.

I often wake up in the early morning with new creative ideas pouring into my thoughts.  In fact, that is where I got the idea to create the new Write & Vision Your Dreams Into Reality retreat.  I went to bed one night, after listening to the rather depressing evening news, and set an intention to wake up feeling more inspired and hopeful.  And that’s what happened!  Not only did I wake up feeling more inspired, I had multiple new ideas of things to create flowing through me.  It feels so good when that happens.

Journal writing prompt:  Try this. Set your intentions on something before you go to sleep tonight.  Have your journal by your bed and as soon as you wake up in the morning jot down any ideas, dreams, images, symbols – anything at all that might have come to you through your sleep time.

3. Focusing on goals makes you recognize new resources or opportunities. 

Visualizing yourself as a published author or living in a warmer climate or whatever your primary goal is, will not only motivate you to work towards that goal but you’ll also notice new opportunities or resources which can lead you to reaching your goal. These resources may have always been present but now that you’re focused on your goal, you will see them in a new light: as a way to help you reach that intended goal.

I made a vision board called “The Writer” (see photo) many years before I published anything.  Since making that vision board, I have published numerous articles, courses, a co-authored book and this year will see the publication of two more books.  Holding that vision and dream “to be a writer” up front in my mind and heart, long before it happened, helped me draw the people, circumstances, resources, opportunities, commitment and focus to make this dream a reality.

Journal writing prompt:  What is a goal you had in the past that you have already accomplished, in part, because you visualized it happening long before it did?

4. Break out of your comfort zone by stating a big, scary goal. 

Are you stuck in a rut because you’re afraid to break out of your comfort zone? Acknowledging big goals – as scary and outrageous as they may be – will help you step out and take on new challenges, all in the name of reaching that scary goal. If your goal is to speak in front of an audience of 5,000 at your favorite conference, then you’ll start to see more opportunities for smaller speaking engagements. These smaller gigs will give you lots of practice and build your name recognition so when the organizers of your favorite conference advertise they’re looking for speakers, you’ll be well prepared to submit your name.

At the moment one of my blue sky goals is to continue to grow the IAJW into a thriving inspirational and transformational membership community for journal writers worldwide, that contributes to individuals and causes in positive ways. And another big goal I have is to finish writing my adoptee memoir, publish it and release it out into the world.

Journal writing prompt:  What’s your big, scary, thrilling, exciting goal?

5. Seeing a big goal forces you out of the daydream and into action. 

Nothing happens without some action on your part. Vision boards are not magic tricks; they are instead a tool that spurs us into action because we finally know what we want out of life. Visualize your ideal life then approach each day with action steps which will lead you toward that ideal life.

Aside from these reasons, creating vision boards, also known as dream boards, can be very relaxing, inspiring and fun!. So, grab some glue and some old magazines and start daydreaming.

Journal writing prompt:  What is one action step you can take this week towards one of your goals or dreams? No action is too small.  Action energizes us and our dreams.

Remember, what we focus on grows.  Our dreams matter and can make a difference.

“I have a dream today.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
online retreat workshop happening on February 19th!  Learn more here.
About the Author:  Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC is the Director of the International Association for Journal Writing.  She is a Registered Social Worker and Certified Professional Life Coach with a passion for the transformational and healing power of writing. She is the author of Life Source Writing and co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection.