You may have already seen my post about my Rule of Life and how I decided to use this as a framework for 2020 (and beyond!) rather than choosing a resolution or word of the year. I’m still excited about my rule and have been referring back to it regularly. BUT I’ve also added something new and, for me, quite different.
Last week, Jessica Rose Williams shared how she makes a vision board for each year on her new YouTube channel. I’ve loved Jessica’s content since I first stumbled upon her Instagram account (via a followed hashtag, I believe). I follow a good many advocates for simple living, but there was something about hers that really resonated in a different way. So, when I watched her vlog about her vision board my mindset went from “Nah, not very me” to “Maybe I should give it a go.” I went to the freebie table at the library and the shelf of magazines at the local thrift store to gather materials, picked up a roll of kraft paper that I can use for a variety of other things as well, and grabbed a glue stick. On a lazy Saturday morning, I sat in the floor piecing together my vision board while my husband sat nearby and a football match played on the television.
I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about the process, seeing as I don’t really consider myself a very creative person and I tend to get quite frustrated with details and moving parts and assembling. I also wasn’t sure how my magazines were going to work out – I had a limited selection and many of them didn’t quite feel “me.” But as I worked, looking for anything that resonated and going with my gut, as Jessica had recommended, I settled in quite nicely, tearing pages from ads, articles, and the like. As I sat down to assemble, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I started to feel the juices flowing. I was having fun! By the time I completed my board, I felt proud. Proud that I had created something lovely and representative of my values, out of essentially nothing.
The next task became displaying it somewhere I would see it daily. Now, I live in a very small (less than 700 sq ft) space with my husband. I don’t have a desk or a nook or any space open for superfluous items really. The only space I could come up with was the inside door of my closet, as it would allow me to see it daily without impeding any of our shared spaces. The only problem: I use the inside door to store shoes, socks, belts, and other items in an over the door hanging pocket organizer. After a bit of creative moving, the organizer was attached to the back wall of my closet (out of sight, covered by clothes) and my lovely little vision board now greets me when I open the door. That change alone has been quite profound, as instead of seeing my mess first thing, I now see my values. My closet just feels better.
All that said, on to the board! I tried to create my vision board with my Rule in mind. But, rather than focusing on strict goals, I focused on things that just resonated in some way with the spirit of my Rule.
Now, let’s look at it, bit by bit. In the top left corner, I see visuals of stripping away the non-essentials of life; being a good neighbor and member of the community; taking care of my home and making it warm, welcoming, and inviting; being more hospitable for guests; and practicing yoga weekly.
In the top middle, I see visuals of making more home cooked meals, eating more greens and veggies, and generally building a better immune system.
In the top right, I see visuals of indulging myself in more creative state of mind, simplifying my daily routines and rituals, and building my capsule wardrobe.
Moving down to the middle left, I see visuals representing my desire for hobbies (reading, making every day life fun) and attitude (kindness and calm).
In the center, I see visuals for my garden dreams that, this year, I’m relegating to packets of seeds (rather than spending a ton of money on plants at the garden center).
In the middle right, I see visuals for my work goals: indulging more in creativity with photography and writing, focusing on my growth as an SLP and product creator, and a dream of starting a book club through this space.
And then, to the bottom left. I see visuals related to generating less waste and spending less money.
In the bottom middle, I see visuals related to the overall “vibe” I want to have: comfy, coziness; zen in my rituals and desires. And, more practically, a goal to update my bedding.
Lastly, in the bottom right, I see visuals related to spending more time outdoors, both at home and on the road; I see visuals related to the time I want to spend in the world, traveling and truly seeing what there is to see.
Within all these images, I see a vision of all seven areas addressed in my Rule: my spirit, my mind, my body, my relationships, my work, my resources, and my home. Because I pursued this project with my Rule in place, seeing this board several times a day brings to my mind an overall rhythm I’m trying to achieve, rather than a lot of minute details and goals I’m striving towards. It presents a picture of the life I want my Rule to facilitate.
I really loved this practice. I’m glad that I took to it a little later in the year’s beginning, letting some of my aspirations sink in before aiming to visualize them. For me, this worked so beautifully. The vision board didn’t dictate my goals – my hopes guided by vision board. And, rather than occasionally looking at a list of goals, seeing what I can tick off, feeling stressed or overwhelmed by what I still have to achieve, I open my closet each day and feel a sense of groundedness, a little glimpse of my dreams that serves me throughout the day. If you haven’t tried a vision board, I urge you to check out a video and give it a try! You may just find it as rewarding as I have.