Updated: Jul 17
Blog post written by,
Carolina Gaviria, LMHC, NCC, CEDS
The beginning of the year offers a new opportunity to reflect on “what was and what will be”. Certainly, last year was not what we hoped for but that does not mean that we can’t dream and set some goals for this year. Last year taught us not to take anything for granted and to appreciate life at a deeper level. Creating a vision for your life can help you stay connected with your values and give you hope for the future.
A vision board is a fantastic tool to help you see your goals and visualize the path to achieve them. Goals need action steps and stamina to become a reality and having a vision board can help you stay committed with your motivation to make changes.
Making a vision board is very easy. There are two ways to start the process:
1. Take out your journal or pen and paper and answer the following questions:
What makes you feel joy? or how do you want to feel?
What are some of the things that your heart desires? (i.e. financially, material, spiritual?)
Where do you see yourself this year or in two years? (i.e. doing, having, being?)
What are the things that are important to you? (i.e. family, financial stability, etc.)
Once you answer the questions start cutting out pictures form the magazines that represent your answers. Then paste them on your board.
2. No idea how you want to feel or what you want to have? No problem! Get the materials listed below ready and start searching magazines and cutting out the pictures that speak to you. They don’t need to make sense. If you like the picture, quote, word, just cut it out! When you feel like you have an abundant amount of pictures, words, quotes, stickers, start to paste them on your poster.
What you need:
· Newspaper and/or magazine
· Images/Quotes printed from the internet
· Photographs you have
· Pages from a book
The visual aspect of the vision board becomes an anchor to your dreams and directs your energy and efforts into manifesting them. This is not just a cliché, there is a bit of science behind this: by visualizing your dream you are activating a series of “happiness Hormones” that increase your stamina and willingness to stay committed to the actions that eventually lead to achieving your goals.
These “happy hormones” include:
Dopamine. Also known as the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine is an important part of your brain’s reward system. It is associated with pleasurable sensations, along with learning, memory, and motor system function, which leads to ACTION!
Serotonin. Helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory, which contributes to marinating the wellbeing and balance, needed to work towards your goals.
Oxytocin. Helps promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships, which can contribute to you “being more loving and effective interpersonally.” These behaviors often lead to an increased sense of belonging and personal effectiveness that is useful for your long-term commitment to your goals.
Endorphins. These are your body’s natural pain reliever, which your body produces in response to stress, discomfort, or overwhelming feelings. Endorphin levels also tend to increase when you engage in reward-producing activities making you want to continue doing those things. This sense of self-efficacy helps maintain the goals that you have achieved.
Having a vision for your life will help you remain hopeful about the future and be intentional with your actions. If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan or lose motivation pretty soon into the year, so take some time to design the life you want and share it with someone you love, keep your vision board on sight and remind yourself that by committing to small actions today, you are moving in the direction of your dreams.
CAROLINA GAVIRIA, LMHC, NCC, CEDS Eating Disorder, Substance Abuse and Trauma Expert (EMDR Certified)
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