by Cricket Wingfield, MD

" The important thing is that we must be constantly moving forward — yes, the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. And our growth should never end."

~ Og Mandino

Personal growth is self-improvement, stretching and challenging ourselves, learning new things, or new ways of being. We can grow in so many ways, and if we’re not growing, we’re standing still. Let’s explore some ways to grow and use a vision board for dreaming big, setting your goals and dreams, and actually reaching and achieving your goals.

What a Personal Growth or Self Improvement Vision Board should include

There’s no absolute end goal to personal growth and development, it’s a joyful life-long process. There’s so much to learn about ourselves and the world, and that learning doesn’t happen all at once. Curiosities, challenges, and life circumstances will offer plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Consider what’s at the top of mind for you now. It could be dealing with a strong emotion, like grief or anger. It could be a new interest like learning a language, following a passion, an area of creativity, a new depth of communication and transparency, a new business venture, a new level of assertiveness, or other self-expression. Consider how you want to be as you grow into this new sense of self, who you need to be to take on the new challenges, and what you want to experience as you release old ways of being and grow into someone new. What new beliefs do you want to believe about yourself to support the emerging self?

When you create your vision board, consider all of this, and find words and images to support the new you, the one who reaches her goals, and grows into her new skin. I am a budding Italian speaker, I am kindly expressing my needs and wants, I am clear about my boundaries, I can feel my anger and express it in healthy ways, owning it as my own, I am becoming more creative in every area of life.

Easy-peasy, right? Gather your poster board, or living vision board, some magazines and scissors, a bold pen, and claim the new you, the one you’re growing into. It’s a step by step process of seeing and clarifying your personal and life goals, and taking even baby steps toward what you want. Of course, massive action will move you more quickly, but even small changes toward the direction of your dreams on a daily basis will have a huge impact on your life and reaching your goals. Your vision board can work for you, keeping you reminded of what you want, and the law of attraction. Adding motivational quotes can also help you stay aligned and motivated.

“If you are moving forward in your life, If you are progressing personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually — you will be happy.”

How a vision board helps in personal effectiveness

A vision board or the Living Vision Board helps you stay aligned with your dreams, values and life goals. It also keeps you connected to your WHY, the reasons you want what you want, who you want to become, what the impact will be to you and those you love. That’s the motivation to keep you moving forward. In addition to words, be sure to include images that represent how you want to feel. More confident, peaceful, joyful, adventurous. Whatever aspect you’re wanting to grow, call it in, show it in as much detail and emotion as you can muster on your vision board.

You can use visualization tools to deepen your experience as you create. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the state you want to embody. See your growing edge expanding, whether it's a new skill, a new feeling, a new way of being. Feel it, own it, believe you can accomplish and reach your goal. This is pre-paving and using the power of visualization to set the stage for you. Brighten this image, see it as happening.

Where to keep your vision board

Keep your vision board where you can see it, access it, and spend a few moments every day connecting with your dreams so you can reach your goals. Even a few minutes connecting with your goal and the feelings you want to have when you reach it, can make your vision board more potent and effective. The time you spend connects your goals with your subconscious mind and keeps your brain creating new neural pathways, and shedding the old ways that no longer serve you. That’s one of the ways vision boards work.