Vision boards are powerful tools that help us reach our goals. They are mentioned in The Secret and are one of Oprah’s favorite topics. If you’re new to the world of vision boarding, allow me to break it down for you: To create a vision board, you basically create a collage of inspiring images of things you want to attract, and then keep that collage in a nearby place where you’ll see it every day. The idea is that if you look at these images enough, you will begin to see them manifesting in your life.
I’ve made lots of vision boards in the past, and I do believe that they’re an effective way of staying aligned with your dreams. However, I began to notice that after a few months, my “vision” would often evolve. Suddenly, things I had once felt so passionate about wanting and had placed on my board were no longer relevant. I was curious as to why this kept happening for me, so I decided to try something new. I decided to create what I call a “happiness board.”
Taking the pressure off all those hard goals and creating a piece of art that simply reflected all the things that made me happy felt like a smarter way to approach life. My first happiness board was a collection of quotes that inspired me, photos with friends and family, a few career achievements, and pretty pictures. Sure, I kept some “goals” on it, but I approached those goals from a very different place. I asked myself, Does this bring me joy? If the answer was no, it didn’t go on the board.
After I made my new and improved vision board, it got me thinking, Sure, goals are important—it’s awesome to be focused on achieving things in our lives. But what is driving those goals? What are we really striving for? I don’t know about you, but my personal happiness is my inspiration behind everything I do. To me, success is synonymous with happiness.
I see so many women reaching for dreams that they are not even sure are their own. They’re going for promotions, losing weight, looking for partners, or starting businesses because they feel like they should. They’re goal-seeking based on factors like age, status, and money. They’re not taking the time out to really think about what they want. They’re not focusing on happiness first.
I encourage you to take a good hard look at your own goals (or your vision board, if you’ve already made one) and ask yourself, Do my goals align with the happiness I know I deserve, and the kind of life I want to live? What does success feel like to me, and how can I get there?
For goal-setting that really works, create your own happiness board. Here's how:
Purchase a corkboard (or a magnetic board).
I choose corkboards because images can easily be removed and switched out. After all, we are dynamic, evolving women! And change is extremely healthy.
Make a list of everything that is currently making you happy.
What feels good to you right now? Whether it's happening in your life, your business, or your relationship, just write it down!
Start collecting words, photos, and imagery.
Now that you're inspired, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea, light some candles, and go to town. Grab some magazines, print images from your Pinterest boards, and find personal photos that you love. I have everything on my board from a photo of my birthday ride at SoulCycle, to a recent article I was featured in, to an outfit I love. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your happiness! This is your time to get super creative, so have fun with it!
The beauty of using a corkboard for this project is that you can constantly update it. Revisit your board once or twice a month, and think about what you can add or might want to remove. Add something you’re looking forward to, or something new that is making you happy. Keep it fresh!
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For more spirit-minded life-hacks from Cara Alwill Leyba, check out:
How to Turn Your Jealousy into Inspiration (Really!)
How a Life Coach Can Help You Find Your Purpose
When You Do Your Own Weird Thing, You Grow Wings