Earlier this year, I made my first vision board. It sits at my writing desk immediately behind my laptop screen, and any time I look up — tired, frustrated, stuck or otherwise — it’s there. It’s also the first thing I see after I finish something I’m proud of. It reminds me — with its colorful yogis in headstands and directives to “wear confidence” and “align myself” — what I’m working toward. In those quiet moments of pause, my vision board is working its magic.
A vision board is a physical collage of pictures, affirmations and things that represent your goals. It can express what you want to do, have, learn, be and feel. The creation process results in a physical “sacred space” that visually displays what you want your life to look and feel like. And, when you look at that board every day, it helps realign your choices — big and small — toward that goal life.
Marketing maven Nikki Bussard has been making vision boards for 15 years and leading workshops like the one I attended for 12 years. Bussard uses her vision boards as the marketing arm for her brand strategy business, Marketing Bodega, and helps others create boards that turn their dreams into reality.
“Vision boards allow you to keep your eye constantly on the prize, so you don’t just write down your goals and put them away,” says Bussard. “It keeps them in front of you when you set your intentions every day and keeps you accountable to meet those goals.”
Vision boards work through the interplay of visualization and manifestation. Every time you look at your board, you’re doing a short visualization exercise. For decades, Olympic athletes and powerhouse CEOs alike have used visualization to activate brain patterns that improve performance. Psychology Today reported that similar brain patterns are activated when weightlifters lift heavy weights and when they just imagine doing so. The visualizations are “mental rehearsals” which affect many cognitive processes in our brains, like motor control, attention, perception, planning and memory.
Because of that, they can also affect the outcomes of some actions. Consciously and subconsciously, when you look at your vision board often, you realign your decisions and actions with what you see. You begin working toward your dreams instead of just working, transforming the theoretical pictures into your real life.
“Most business people are into it because they understand the power of manifesting and creating goals. People who are passive about goal setting and intentions might think it’s woo woo, but you can’t just sit around and wait for your goals to come true,” says Bussard. “That never works, for anyone!”
Bussard’s past clients and workshop participants include Realtors, doctors, small businesses, financiers and even her own kids. Some make separate personal and business boards or layout strategies for an account they want and sales targets. It’s a tool for anyone who wants to see things come to fruition, she said.
Bussard also notes, “You can add stuff, take away stuff, and change what’s on your board any time, as what you think you want changes — because we change and so do our aspirations.”
Amazingly, everyone Bussard knows who uses vision boards has had things come true. Rapunzel Maurice, one of Bussard’s workshop participants, cut out a beautiful island house on her board, knowing nothing about it. Maurice’s husband was transferred to the Bahamas, and to her shock and joy, that exact house was up for sale. Bussard smiles, “They bought it! Rapunzel came back into the office screaming and telling everyone that her vision board had come true.”
In Bussard’s own life, she’s manifested her first book. She wrote the manuscript in 2014-15, put on her vision board this year that it would be a New York Times bestseller and had it accepted by the first publisher she sent it to in October 2019. It comes out this spring.
“We have the ability to create our own destiny through how we think,” explains Bussard. “When you define what you want for yourself, the vision board becomes a path to help you get there. You have the ability to change your life and create a life that you want.”
Bussard runs vision board workshops for professional organizations, businesses and even groups of interested friends. She can be reached at 305-894-0958 or [email protected]. More business information is available at marketingbodega.com.