Why I Hate Vision Boards

blank poster pregame magazine

Create a vision board?! No, thank you!

Truth is, I dislike making vision boards and making new years resolutions. I always have.

From an early age, I vividly remember sitting at the round communal art table with my peers who were excitedly drawing out their deepest wishes for the new year, expecting that I’d be excited too. I wasn’t.

I usually loved expressing myself. I enjoyed reading in front of the class. Writing short stories. Choreographing dance routines for the talent show. Anything other than being asked to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up or goals I had for myself in the coming year…I’d panic.

What if I guessed the wrong career? Or chose the wrong color? Or wrote down the wrong goal? What if… They were all “what if’s” that caused me to have a paralysis of sorts.

I would usually be the last student to finish these activities, drenched in sweat with barely anything on my poster board to show. All the while, the other students were prancing around the room showing off their colorfully filled boards. Comparing. Commenting. Laughing. Not me. I tried to disappear into the background hoping no one would see me.

As an adult, this deep rooted anxiety has increasingly become worse, with vision boards and mantras being the newest of fads. Every December and January, I get a plethora of wonderful invitations to vision board parties. The invite reads:

“Bring your magazines, scissors, glue and glitter. I will provide wine, tea and light snacks. Let’s get our visions realized!”

The minute I open the invite, the fifth grade butterflies immediately come back flying all around the insides of my stomach.

Once, I told a friend, those types of parties weren’t something I loved participating in. With her mouth agape, she looked at me like I was crazy. Maybe I was! Though, it got me thinking.

Why do I have so much anxiety about making a vision board? I wanted to test myself. I looked online — “How to properly make a vision board.” I discovered there are many different ways to make one. I found an article that resonated the most with me and began collecting magazines and newspapers for the next few weeks. I found some cool artsy paper and most importantly bought my board. I made a date with myself to sit down and make a vision board. I thought, maybe if I wasn’t in a group setting I wouldn’t feel as much pressure.

So, there I was on a Friday night…a glass of Cava by my side, scissors in hand, and the cutting began. I liked the cutting part. Everything was going well, until I realized I was simply cutting out images with no real purpose. I’d get frustrated with myself. Try to refocus on what images and texts would help me visualize my desires for the new year but I couldn’t help but think what I was doing was cheesy and pointless.

I realized, everything I cut out were things I thought I wanted based on lifestyles my friends and family lead. Subconsciously, I chose visions I hoped others would think would equate to success but none were truly my own.

You see, I’ve always been a doer by nature. When I decide on something I want to accomplish…I just do it! I dive in head first, even if I don’t know how to swim, I figure it out. I make mistakes. I change courses. I let the process and experience guide me.

Aha! That was it.

Making that vision board made me feel like I was competing against societal norms and setting myself up to be disappointed if I did not achieve said goal in the new year. Instead of living in my goals. I believe that is where growth and happiness truly come from…in the doing. In the experience. In the process.

You can paste a thousand different ideas of your dream life, visualize daily about those goals and what you hope to accomplish in the coming year, but without taking strategic, committed action, those cutouts remain just that. Cutouts!

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