When my friend Colleen invited me to do a vision board with her and some friends, I couldn’t respond fast enough.
It had been seven years since I’d done one and it seemed like the perfect way to kick off the new year and a great example of self-care. Clipping out pictures, headlines and copy from magazines that spoke to me and pasting them onto poster board imagining what I want my life to look like.
I was excited to get clear on my goals and do it in a fun, creative and no pressure way. However, after a 15-minute walk from the subway and getting lost in the building, I arrived at the Center for Social Innovation pissed.
Then, I saw 12 people sitting at a long table covered in a sea of magazines gleefully ripping out pages and chit chatting, and my stress melted away.
A few minutes in, Anna who had organized the event had us sit on couches so we could set an intention for the session. A little focus? Bring. It. On.
She walked around with a bundle of burnt sage as she guided us through a brief meditation. I don’t know if she was purifying the room, clearing out any negativity (like the agita I brought into the room) or what, but I dug it.
She took us through a visualization exercise where we said to ourselves, “2019 is going to be a ______ year.” Then, we opened our eyes, introduced ourselves and shared what the one word describing our year was going to be.
“Fulfilling,” one woman said.
“Magical,” added another.
“Kick ass,” I responded. The group laughed and while that wasn’t my “intention,” I wasn’t complaining.
We returned to the table and I chatted with the woman next to me and her boyfriend. She had a stack of “O” magazines (required materials when creating a vision board) in front of her and I asked to borrow one whose cover immediately spoke to me.
“Sure,” she said hesitantly.
I told her if she wanted something I cut out, I’d give it back to her no problem.
I moved on to the next magazine and then a little while later, she asked if she could use the cover. I was a little bummed, but then I had to Believe. Trust. Let go. As much as I loved that cover, I had to trust that I’d find something else just as good or even better and I gave it back to her. No hard feelings and we resumed our conversation.
Then, I noticed some of the women moving away from the table to start pasting their pictures and messages to poster board.
I started to get a little nervous.
I was having a hard time finding a man in these magazines and whoever “he” was was definitely going on my vision board.
Colleen came over to check in.
“How’s it going?” she asked.
“I can’t find a man,” I shot back as I sped through “Allure” thinking the title would conjure up pictures of attractive and fun men.
The guy across from me offered me some of his male cutouts (sloppy seconds, if you will), but they were too pretty boy for me. I needed a man who spoke to me, had character, wasn’t perfect and seemed like fun.
I flipped through magazine after magazine featuring women. “Real Simple,” “Glamour” and publications like “Momentum” that I’d never even heard of.
Colleen told me to check “Men’s Health.” Something told me those guys were going to be too chiseled and not my type, but I tried to be open-minded. I flipped through it only to find more women. WTF?! (Turns out in my haste, I was looking at “Women’s Health.” Damnit!)
And then I saw it. A man… at long last.
Jay Z on the cover of “Bazaar.” Sweet! I flipped through for my kind of guys. No dice.
I raced through “Lifestyles.” Too uptight-looking.
I thumbed through “Departures.” Too old.
Listen, I didn’t want to settle for just any man - fictitious or not. I wanted the real deal.
Then, I spotted a magazine I had ignored the whole time. “Anthology.” What the hell is that? I’ll tell you what it is. A G-ddamn goldmine of my type of guys. Jackpot!
I found pictures of everyday-looking guys cooking and playing the guitar. Sweet!
Couples picnicking. Nice!
Even guys doing dishes. Giddy up!
I cut them out fast and furiously and raced over to a counter to lay out my board. With an hour and a half left before I had to go host a show in Brooklyn, I thought to myself, “Plenty of time.”
I went through my clippings and organized them into different piles. “Yes’s” went on the board. “No’s” - to the left. “Maybe’s” in front of me.
I stepped back, took one look at my vision board covered in pictures and clippings and thought, “It has no vision. It’s just blurry.”
It was a mess. I was stressed and like Domino’s, I had to be there in 30 minutes or less. (Rhymin’ Robin FTW!)
Plus, if I had to look at this vision board every day, it would overwhelm the shit out of me.
Jesus Christ! This is supposed to be a relaxing experience!
I ferociously chose an anchor picture for each quadrant and then selected a few key phrases that represented that area of my life. Despite the limited time, I surprisingly found some new ways to rearrange some of the words, glued everything on and was ultimately thrilled with how it came out.
Was it incredibly stressful? Yes.
Was it supposed to be? Uh, no.
Would I do it again? In the blink of an eye. (You’re welcome.)
Have you ever done a vision board? Do you set goals for the new year? A theme? Tell me below. I’d love to hear from you!