Blog with Friends - New Year / How to create a Vision Board

Welcome back to another episode of Blog with Friends - this month's theme is New Year.

Not only are we diving into a brand new year, but an entire decade. Certainly a good opportunity to get on top of things - whatever they may be.

I will use this post to talk about techniques and tools to take a look at your future life. 

Intrigued? Keep reading.

First a little intro to get you going:

One day this expert Stephen Covey (you may have heard of "the seven habits of highly effective people") was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes." 

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.
Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered. 

"Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted. 

Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all."

Here's an alternate ending I heard, and I swear I didn't invent it myself, and I'll tell you why afterwards. 

Here goes:

The speaker didn't pour water in his jar. Instead he used beer. The point of the illustration was "no matter how full your calendar or task list - there's always time for a beer!"

Now I like his point!

The reason I didn't come up with it is that is that I would have used Champaign for the analogy, not beer. Hahahaha!

Also, this:

Anyway. I was looking for a nice picture of a jar filled with rocks and pebbles. Instead I found this one. Very pretty, and I want to use it as a reminder not to lose sight of the magical little things in life. 

Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash

Back to the rocks.

What are they, and how much attention do they get as our everyday life gets hectic?

Sometimes I feel like getting through the daily grind does not leave space for our important life priorities, and they get to the back of our minds - much like rarely used spice containers in the kitchen cabinet.

What can we do about it?

Have you heard of vision boards? 

Think of them as scrapbooks where you keep your favorite memories and decorate them with pretty stickers and stuff - only vision boards are all about framing your future, so to speak.

The way they work is that by creating your goals, putting much thought and effort in it, placing your board where you look at it frequently, you start to visualize your goals and think and act on achieving them, and by doing so you're emitting energy into the universe, blablabla. 

I can't explain or prove it scientifically, but apparently it has to do with the law of attraction - the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on.

It makes sense. 

"Begin with the end in mind" (again, Stephen Covey)

Athletes use it all the time. They visualize a great performance that leads to winning the game or race, and boom, they train hard, they eat healthy, they have faith and they succeed.

Personally I tend to think positively about the little things. We'll catch the bus, I'll get the hair appointment next week, and so on.

Hubby, on the other hand - and I always scold him for doing so - explains Murphy's law to Colin: what can go wrong, will go wrong, so better be prepared for the worst.

While there is nothing wrong with being organized, I think if you always consider the worst, you instil a terrible fear and pessimism. 

Back to the job at hand. 

How to create a vision board?

Start with creating some atmosphere to get your vision board workshop going: 

Play inspiring music, light some candles, sip a cocktail, whatever sparks your creativity.

First decide whether you want to do a physical vision board or an online version. 

Then think about what your goals are in some of the following areas: relationships, career, finances, home, travel, social life, education and health.

Picture yourself at New Years Eve 2020 going into 2021. You're celebrating with your favorite people, and you hear yourself saying "this has been the most amazing year yet."

What needs to happen in order for you to say that?

Write down what comes to your mind. Don't judge, don't rate, just take notes what your unconsciousness is telling you.

Mine was a lot about wanting my peace and quiet!

Search for images that represent these goals as if they were already true. They can be photos, quotes, stickers, you name it.

Use pushpins, tape or clue to arrange them to your board.

If you want to go clutter free, you may want to use Canva or  Corkulous to create your vision board online.

There are not many rules, except don't make your vision board a Christmas wish list "I want a yacht, a penthouse and a million bucks in cash..." 

That's my personal opinion, though.

I have seen YouTubers sticking pictures of Porsches on their boards and claiming they got one soon thereafter. 

By all means, if you want that dream car, go for it. Who am I to say that visualizing your dream ride may not manifest?

I'm all about keeping it real, though, so just try to focus on how you want to feel.

Does the car stand for the freedom and independence you're looking for? 

Would the cool cash prompt you to quit your day job and to focus on your real passion?

Are you craving a cozy home to feel at ease and recharge, represented by the fancy apartment? 

Sure thing then.

One more thing. I was looking for something more than just to randomly slap some pretty pictures on a board, so In line with the Feng Shui Bagua Map, here are the nine areas I tried to loosely consider:

Also don't feed your unconsciousness with negative terms. For example, instead of writing "go debt free" word it "financial stability" or something along these lines. Your brain will pick up on the pictures and words you put on your board, so you want to make it a positive input. 

What you focus on expands. 

Now that it's completed, print, laminate and display it where you look at it regularly. 

What next?

Emotionally connect with the items on it, feel vital and happy while affirming that these things have already happened in your life, using positive "I am statements". (I am confident, I am proud,... to make up for all these I am exhausted, I am pissed we use on an hourly basis.) 

Lastly, get out there, allow these things to happen. 

Will you give your vision board a go? If you do, please share what it'll contain.

Before you get to work though, please visit my friends' posts:

Karen of Baking in a Tornado made some delicious Butternut, Carrot and Gingersnap Casserole.

Tamara of Part-time working Hockey Mom wants you to focus on your goals and dreams by creating a Vision Board.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius comes up with ways to reset your classroom for the new year / semester.

Dawn from Spatulas on Parade wants you to see the new year in a fruit cup. Her post is called Damaged vs Broken.

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments values relationships (especially) in 2020. 

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles wishes you a very happy New Year.


  1. I had heard that story before, but don't remember the "rocks first" ending. I guess there are many lessons to be learned from that one story.
    And I think the idea of a vision board is great, the first step in hope is knowing what you're working towards.

  2. Yes I've heard the analog many times. Many many years ago vision boards were a big deal. Actual physical, cut and paste, vision boards. I could never get in to it. I see the advantage of having a reminder, a goal as it is but I am a list maker, a writer. I have list and they go with my word for the year. "Intentional". Being intentional in our finances/being a good steward, being intentional in my marriage relationship/being more present and so on.
    Great idea and I really like the 9 areas you shared with the graphic.
    Spatulas On Parade


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