Crafting A Vision: The Art Of A Dream Board For A Transformative Year Ahead


January 8, 2024

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Having full disclosure, I’m genuinely passionate about goal setting, embracing dreams, and diving into various pursuits. There’s an undeniable sense of exhilaration in the air, especially with the arrival of a new year. As we step into January, it’s a time synonymous with initiating goals and relishing a fresh start. The excitement is palpable through the idea of a dream board.

This blog post dives into the essence of what January represents—a canvas for setting and pursuing goals. As you explore various posts this month, feel free to resonate with what deeply calls to you, and let the rest gracefully take a backseat. I want to emphasize that every insight shared here is something I wholeheartedly embrace and practice in my own life.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Crafting a Dream Board For A Year Of Change

In this blog post, let’s delve into the concept of inspiration. Specifically, we’ll be exploring the art of crafting a dream board that sparks significant change in your life this year. Before we jump into the four essential steps, it’s crucial to address fundamental questions about dream boards—what they look like, their meaning, and the buzz surrounding them. Are dream boards truly beneficial? Do they yield results? Is investing your time in creating one worthwhile?

A Personal Perspective On Dream Boards Vs. Vision Boards

When it comes to the concept of dream boards, many people refer to them as vision boards. Personally, I prefer the term “dream boards” because it resonates more with my connection to my aspirations. While I do have visions, my dreams hold a distinct place in my heart. Dreams, to me, are profound aspirations that I genuinely believe in and feel a deep connection to. They are not just fleeting ideas; they feel like imperatives, something that must be pursued. When I have a dream, it’s a compelling call to action. I should be actively working towards bringing that dream to fruition.

My dreams hold immense significance to me, and a dream board serves as a visual representation of what resides in my heart. It captures the essence of my daily thoughts, where I invest my time and energy, and the things that matter to me.

Exploring Dream Boards Beyond The Hype

Now, let’s explore the hype surrounding dream boards and vision boards. You’ve probably encountered a plethora of content on platforms like Pinterest, especially during the New Year. The truth is, people engage in creating these boards not just at the beginning of the year but throughout. You can even customize them to span monthly intervals if that suits your preference.

For me, creating a dream board is a year-long endeavor. Since my childhood, I’ve been clipping inspiring items from magazines, a practice that has evolved with time. Back in the days of planning weddings, I utilized the electronic version on Pinterest. However, what I’m sharing with you today isn’t the digital variant. I’m thrilled to delve into the actual process and share how I go about it. 

Now, let’s explore the hype surrounding dream boards. Many people, including myself, believe in the power of transforming the thoughts in our minds into a visual format displayed prominently in front of us. It’s about constantly immersing ourselves in that visual representation. There’s actual scientific backing to the idea that repeated exposure to such messages can be incredibly inspiring.

The Power Of Consistency In Shaping Actions

Just recently, in discussions with my students, we delved into a concept I find vital. It’s the idea that what occupies your thoughts consistently is what shapes your actions. The simple truth is, your thoughts dictate your path. Where your mind goes, your feet follow. It’s crucial to ensure that what you’re constantly exposing yourself to aligns with your desired destination. In essence, the daily visuals should reflect where you aspire to be.

Addressing the skepticism around dream boards, some argue that they might not guarantee the realization of every aspiration. Or that dream boards potentially set people up for failure. However, in my experience, while not every single vision materializes, the proximity to success is incredibly satisfying. Achieving goals that come close to the ones visualized on my dream board is a success worth celebrating. It’s not about perfection; it’s about progress.

Embracing the positive impact of dream boards, I choose to stay on the optimistic side, dismissing any notion that suggests potential downsides. For me, the process is about unleashing creativity, being inspired, and translating those dreams onto paper. The joy and excitement these visualizations bring me every day are unparalleled.

Does it work? Absolutely. It leaves me feeling not just good but truly amazing. Who wouldn’t want that daily dose of inspiration and positivity? I sure do. It’s a practice that consistently fuels my passion and keeps me motivated.

Crafting Your Own Inspirational Journey In Four Steps

Let’s delve into my four steps for crafting a dream board that not only inspires me but can also ignite inspiration within you. First and foremost the initial three steps play a pivotal role in ensuring the content of your dream board is genuinely motivational. We’ll touch on the practical aspect towards the end, but let’s lay the foundation with these essential steps.

I want to emphasize that the last thing I want is for you to create something devoid of personal meaning. We don’t want a generic collage with random images that lack a deeper connection to your aspirations. While including images of picturesque landscapes or luxury items can be enjoyable, that’s not what we are aiming for. The essence of a dream board that sparks transformative change lies in its ability to make you ponder, shift your thinking and prompt different actions. Ultimately it facilitates the evolution into the person you aspire to be. It’s about creating a board that genuinely resonates with your desires and fuels the journey toward meaningful change.

Step One: Unleash Your Vision For The Coming Year

For the first step, immerse yourself in envisioning the aspects you desire in the coming year. It’s time to unleash your thoughts on paper—capture what you want to embody, experience, and achieve. Detail how you envision your appearance, emotions, financial situation, physical well-being, home, relationships (including marriage and motherhood), personal life, work, and business. Pause, rewind if necessary, and delve into answering these questions comprehensively. These are what lay the foundation for a dream board that authentically mirrors your aspirations.

Step Two: Identify The Gaps And Obstacles In Your Current Situation

Moving on to step number two, scrutinize your current situation to discern the gaps preventing you from realizing the envisioned changes in your life. Identify the voids, unmet desires, and dreams yet to materialize. Examine each element you penned down in step one, asking yourself why you haven’t attained those aspirations. For instance, if spending quality one-on-one time with each child is a heartfelt goal, analyze what obstacles hinder this. Document the impediments holding you back for each identified aspiration. This step illuminates the barriers requiring attention, a crucial facet in crafting a dream board that serves as a catalyst for tangible transformation.

Step Three: Transforming Insights Into Fundamental Needs

Step number three entails translating the insights gained from step two into actionable tasks and fundamental needs. Fundamental needs, in this context, refer to essential activities that demand your attention to actualize the desired transformation.

For instance, consider the mom striving to spend quality one-on-one time with each child. The obstacles may include an overwhelming and cluttered home, overcommitment, an inability to disconnect from work, or social media addiction. The fundamental needs could manifest themselves as implementing a strict bedtime routine, dedicating specific days for one-on-one dates with each child, or establishing boundaries to curtail overcommitment. By dissecting every facet of your life through this lens, you uncover the fundamental needs crucial to becoming the person you aspire to be.

My Fundamental Needs

To embody the woman I aspire to be—strong, fit, and radiating a youthful vibe at 40—a fundamental need for me is hitting the gym three times a week. Committing to regular strength training sessions isn’t just about building muscle and shedding body fat; it’s a conscious step towards aligning with the image of a woman who exudes strength, maintains a cute aesthetic, and defies age stereotypes. This fundamental need is my pathway to realizing the envisioned persona and achieving the desired outcomes I’ve set for myself.

Ensuring I incorporate meal planning and preparation alongside consistently hitting the gym—three to five times a week—is crucial for me. It’s not just about the workouts; it’s the harmonious blend of a meticulously crafted nutrition plan and regular exercise that propels me toward my fitness aspirations. Allocating dedicated time for both meal planning and gym sessions stands as a non-negotiable commitment on my journey to embodying the health-conscious and active persona I aim to be.

Weaving Fundamental Needs Into The Fabric Of Your Dream Board

It’s not just about writing these down; it’s about the consistent repetition, the daily rituals that shape our identity. If you’ve been following my teachings, this might not be a new concept, but what I’m urging you to do now is integrate these fundamental needs into your dream board. Let those visual reminders reinforce the actions that lead to transformation. It’s the culmination of those small, daily efforts that, over time, weave together to craft the person you aspire to become—a testament to the power of intentional, repeated actions shaping the trajectory of your life.

It’s the culmination of those small, daily efforts that, over time, weave together to craft the person you aspire to become—

Indeed, this aligns seamlessly with the January letter we discussed in the last blog post. The synergy between these elements creates a robust foundation for the work you’re about to embark on in the coming year. It’s remarkable how each piece fits into the larger puzzle, forming a cohesive strategy for personal and transformative growth.

Step Four: Transforming Aspirations Into Images And Words For Lasting Impact On Your Dream Board

Step four involves transforming those significant aspirations from step one, encompassing desires like a special trip, specific date nights, financial milestones in your business, debt reduction goals, or family budgeting targets. Then also merge those with the fundamental needs identified in step three. These are to be translated into a visual format using a tool like Canva, incorporating both words and images to create a compelling representation.

While you can do this with magazines, it’s a little more practical to leverage Canva for this task. Begin by creating a free account and initiating a new project with an eight and a half by 11 design, mirroring standard printer paper dimensions. This ensures that when printed, your dream board will encapsulate images, words, inspirational texts, quotes, scriptures, family photos, personal snapshots, or visuals of a desired location. This effectively bringing your aspirations to life.

I’ve always found this step to be incredibly fun and visually engaging. For example, when my husband and I were in the process of buying our house, I included pictures of homes that inspired us. It’s fascinating to think back and wonder if those images on my dream board resemble the house we now call home. This personal touch adds a special element of reflection to the entire process of creating a dream board.

Transforming Desires Into Visual Reality With Canva

Alright, here’s how you dive into the exciting process of crafting your dream board. Start by pouring your dreams onto an 8.5×11 canvas on Canva, bringing vivid details to your aspirations. Once it’s brimming with your goals and desires, print it out in color and carefully cut out each element.

Now, the perfect spot for this visual roadmap? Right at the front of your paper planner for the year, on the backside of the cover. Every time you open it, your dreams take center stage, guiding your journey throughout the year.

I’ve been following this ritual for about five or six years now, and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer. Witnessing my dreams every single day is nothing short of incredible. So here’s the deal—try doing this with your friends. You can even make it a virtual gathering.

Don’t have a group of friends on hand? No problem. Seek out some virtual buddies in our free Facebook community and you’ll find a welcoming space to connect with like-minded individuals. You can involve your mom, your girlfriends, or even older kids if they’re interested. And hey, if your husband is into this kind of stuff, make it a collaborative effort!

A Dream Board With Influencers: A CEO Retreat Tradition

Annually, during my CEO retreat, I make it a tradition to engage in this dream board activity with my friends, and it’s an absolute blast. What adds an extra layer of fun is that one of my friends happens to be Polly Payne, the founder of Horatio Printing, the creator of the dream planner I use. Doing this with her is a surreal experience, and it truly underscores the power of this process. Interestingly, I began this practice right around the time I started my business, and it’s been a consistent part of my journey ever since.

It’s fascinating to reflect on the fact that the individuals I now share this dreaming experience with are the very people I once admired from a distance. I vividly recall crafting my first January letter, as discussed in the previous blog post. There was a sentence that read, “Meeting this person,” with a blank space because, at the time, I hadn’t identified who that person would be. Little did I know, meeting that person would turn out to be an absolute game-changer.

Upon reflection, I realized that I had anticipated someone entering my life and transforming everything for me, and it indeed happened. Back then, I didn’t know the specific individual, but as the year concluded, I acknowledged that the arrival of a person who would significantly impact my life had become a reality.

Unveiling My Dream Board

Here’s a sneak peek into my dream board. Currently, there’s a sticker reminding me to prioritize essentials like getting enough sleep, maintaining a clean diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly. Additionally, there’s a meaningful sticker that says, “have courage and be kind.” Kindness is a focal point for me this year, as I aim to navigate moments of frustration and anxiety more graceful​​ly. This phrase, inspired by the Cinderella movie, captivates me every time.

By incorporating this powerful reminder into my dream board— “have courage and be kind.” it serves as a constant reminder for me. It’s all about maintaining courage and kindness, even in the face of adversity.

In my dream board, I’ve included significant words like “hike,” “growth group,” and “retreat,” strategically placed within my marriage section alongside images of my kids, adventure, and quality time. Additionally, I’ve crafted a representation for being a leader, wife, mother, and fortress, drawing inspiration from Proverbs 31.

Among the various elements on my dream board, I’ve incorporated powerful reminders like “stay humble, hustle hard, and be kind,” symbolic music notes to signify my musical aspirations, and heartwarming pictures of my kids that evoke joy. Additionally, a romantic image with my husband serves as a visual representation of my commitment to deepening our closeness and intimacy in this season. I can hardly contain my excitement as I look forward to witnessing my transformation into the woman I aspire to become.

Time For You To Get Started

I’m genuinely thrilled for you to embark on this journey of self-discovery and growth. Feel the excitement as you create your dream board for yourself, your family, or even share this experience with your community and friends. If you’re feeling bold, go ahead and snap a picture of your dream board and share it within our Facebook group. We’re here to cheer you on. Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with joy and fun as you embrace this transformative process.


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