Do Vision Boards Work?
Are you familiar with vision boards? Do vision boards work? Would you use one yourself? How might they work with a child?
A vision board is basically a large piece of paper cardboard maybe a pin board or something that you can stick pictures on.
There are lots of examples of people who use vision boards and think they’re a really good way to help them achieve their goals. This includes athletes, psychologists, business people, and many other people of all walks of life. Different people will tell you different reasons why they think vision boards work. Business people will often tell you that the main purpose is that you look at your goals and concentrate on getting on and getting things done. Psychologists will tell you that it’s because you’re using your reticular activating system part of the brain which shuts down what we’re not interested in, in order to concentrate on what we want to notice. It’s a bit like when somebody buys a red car and then notices red cars all over the place.
So if we put a particular holiday on a vision board it might be that we happen to notice when there’s a special offer for that destination. Whereas maybe we would never have noticed otherwise, and would always have assumed that that place was out of our price range.
Some people even argue that just thinking about something a lot but we want draws it towards us.
Whatever you believe is the reason for vision boards working, it does seem that they make a difference. They are also good fun to put together and might be an enjoyable way to have discussions about things that you and your children would like to achieve.
I have created vision boards on pieces of paper, online (Hay House have a vision board app for the iPad), and I also have a book that I’ve put things in that I stick pictures in and write ideas and thoughts. I have enjoyed doing this so much that I decided to create my own book on Amazon which is available for you if you would like it. It just has blank pages in so that you can either write or stick things in.
Vision Boards on Paper or Cardboard
For children I think it would be most fun to create their vision boards on paper or cardboard. They often enjoy cutting and sticking and decorating and this would allow them to do that.
As I said before, this should be an enjoyable activity.
Have a chat with your child about what you’re planning to do with them and make some notes. This will give you a chance to gather together some materials. You might want to collect some pictures from the internet or get some magazines and also collect things like scissors, glitter, coloured pens and colourful pieces of paper.
You could just have a general chat or you might want to divide your conversation into 4 sections maybe have, be, do and learn. This is just my idea.
First, talk about things that your child would like to have. Help them understand that they are not going to get everything or even anything in the next few days or weeks or maybe ever. This is for them to think about what sort of things they really like and maybe find ways to earn money or to know what they want when they go shopping so that they don’t waste their money buying things that they then wish they hadn’t bothered with. You can talk about the fact that lots of people buy little things as soon as they have got money and so never have enough money saved up to buy the bigger things that they would really like.
This list might be quite useful for you as well. You’ll have a place to go to see what your child would really like without you having to ask them and then disappoint them if you decide you don’t want to get it. It might be interesting to encourage them to think about small things that they would like, medium value things and larger things that it is unlikely that they will get but if they were very lucky that would be what they wanted. You might want to use some of the smaller things they ask for as rewards for them when they achieve some of their goals. If they go to spend pocket money or birthday money you might encourage them then to look at that vision board to see what it is they would like to buy. The medium sized objects might be useful for special occasions or special rewards. Maybe if you have uncles and aunts or grandparents asking what they would like for a present then that will give you some ideas. Then the larger the larger items could be reserved for special birthdays, Christmas, passing exams, etc. and you felt they deserved a really big reward.
Here is where you would talk about what your child would like to do what experiences would they like to have. Although again, you could use these as rewards they might also be very useful ideas for some of your family experiences. These are the sorts of things that children will look back on in years to come and value the time that you will spend together.
Be (when they get older/grow up)
I’m splitting the “be” section into two because I think there are two aspects worth considering. We will look up what they want to be when they get older or grow up first.
See if they know what they would like to be when they grow up. This doesn’t need to be set in stone. It can however be highly motivating. For instance, if they say they want to be an astronaut you can talk about some of the things that an astronaut needs to do for instance the need to communicate well, to do maths, they need to learn science, and they need to be able to think for themselves and solve problems. This might encourage them to take an interest in all these different areas. Later, they might decide they would like to be a marine biologist, which they might never have heard of when they were seven, but a lot of the things that they took an interest in when younger might help them to get on a course to move towards this as a career.
This section might also be for things like hobbies, for instance, be a scout, be a brilliant birdwatcher, be a super singer.
This bit of the “be” section is about their character. What sort of person would they like to be? Would they like to be fit, kind, clever, strong, friendly, and/or hard-working? Would they like to be the sort of person has lots of friends? Would they like to be the sort of person who goes on exciting holidays? What can they do now to start to work towards being this sort of person.
In this last section, let’s consider “learn”. You might like to talk about what your child would like to learn, how they would like to learn, and when they would like to learn. This should give you lots of ideas for activities to do. It may also give you some interesting milestones. I think one of the issues for children is they often don’t recognise their own progress. They see what’s ahead of them and think I’ll never learn all this, but they often forget what they have already learnt and and don’t see how far they have already come.
Too many suggestions
I am aware that I have made too many suggestions here. You might want to take just one or two ideas and work with those to start with.
Why not create a vision board of your own first, so that you’ve got an example to show your child. Then you can talk about your aims and goals and the things that you would like to have and how you’re going to go about working towards these.
Some Useful Resources
These are from Amazon. I will get a small amount of commission if you decide to buy any of them.