Vision Board

Hopefully you’ve got some supplies started: magazines, glue sticks, and something to stick them on. As we head to building #3… the vision board.

The vision board is much like the inventory book. Except it allows you to be more vague. Perhaps you are not clearly defined. The inventory book helped me clear out all the stuff I was thinking about and put them in concrete categories. It helped me see it visually. Having a full understanding of who I am helps me. But, perhaps… you are working from another angle… or, you need something to supplement.

Do you have a vision? Do you know what you want to do? Or… are you still trying to figure it out? Maybe… you are somewhere in between.

With the vision board, get your magazines out again. Rip, rip… rip!! Again you don’t have to be an artist to do this. You’ll need the same tools as with the inventory book, with the exception of the sketchbook. You’ll want to substitute poster board for the book. Start… ripping photos and phrases that speak to you. If you linger on something for more than a couple of seconds, then rip it out. It’s OK if the images or phrases are negative. Perhaps, you’ve got something you are working through right now. The difference is… between this exercise and the last one, you don’t have to know why. With the inventory book, we had a list of categories. This time… it’s a free for all.

A vision board is helpful in determining what is it that you want to see in your future. For me, I have a vision for a nonprofit that I want to make a reality. But, I am not sure what it will look like. I don’t feel as concrete (due to insights and new ideas) on how to get started or what the end result will turn into. Allowing myself to create a more vague representation helps me see the direction I want to go in. It allows me to be flexible in the vision. I can rip out and start again (on poster board).

Perhaps your vision board represents your career, the way you want to live your life, or something that is meaningful to you. Right now, you may be less able to define it or put words to it. You may be in a vague place. You want to start somewhere… but, you don’t know where. Trust me… on this. The act of doing this exercise will enlighten your mind. You will become more aware of yourself, your desires, your passions… where you see yourself going… more importantly what you want for yourself and in your life. Those things may have been lying dormant for some time lost in the compartments of your mind.

How do you create your board?

You’ve got your clippings ripped out. Now, start to place them in an arrangement on your poster board. You’ll decide what goes where. Allow yourself to be flexible. Try not to limit yourself to concrete categories. Allow yourself to see the big picture. It’s OK if it’s messy. And, it’s OK if you’ve got some negative stuff in there. You can arrange like clippings with like clippings or your board can be more spread out.

Now, take a step back.

What resonates with you? What do the photographs and phrases mean to you? What do they suggest? What is your board representing?

Have you learned about yourself in this exercise? What important areas of your life longings have been laying dormant? Is there something specific that you want/need to work through?

This board may be a good step for you in getting unstuck. As it allows you to not have everything defined right now… and to allow yourself to be OK with that. You don’t have to have everything laid out or all-put-together right now.

A great place for this… hang this on your refrigerator or on the wall as a reminder of what you want or are trying to accomplish. Use this as motivation. Put it in a place you will see it.


Inventory Book

OK… so, you’ve got a SWOT Team… now what?

Well… it helps to know what you want to do.

Have you got ideas? Are you starting completely from scratch? Do you have direction? What’s holding you back?? It’s time to aim at another building. Are you ready? OK… you know what to do… let’s aim… shoot… and land!

Building #2 — Gaining perspective by taking inventory of yourself.

How does taking inventory help you gain direction? An inventory helps you better understand who you are… and not specifically the career side of yourself. You’re whole self. You’ll be able to determine visually from your findings what fits you and what does not.

We’ll look a few different methods.

Taking a personal inventory of yourself can take shape in several different ways. Some methods may work for you and some may not. I’ll share with you what works for me… as well as, some other methods to try.

First Method: Inventory Book

I’ve created an inventory book… including everything from my values to my ideal office. What works for me… may not work for you. When asked… it’s difficult for me to spontaneously make a list of my accomplishments, skills, values, etc. — my mind goes blank. I have trouble articulating quickly or generating a list of my talents. What I am not able to articulate via lists or stories. I can articulate through pictures and words found in magazines, postcards, and other paper media sources.

There is something special that happens when you allow yourself to tap into different parts of your brain. So, that’s what we are going to do. You DON’T have to be an artist to do this.


  • Sketch book (mine is a 70 pg Academie sketch diary — 14″x11″)
  • Magazines
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissor (specifically for cutting paper)
  • Magic Markers

If you don’t have any magazines, most local libraries recycle magzines and offer them free of charge to the public. So… go crazy. Collect all types. Don’t limit yourself to only magazines you would usually purchase.

I like to have a variety of magazines covering: home, small business, money, backpacking, computers, etc. Look at manuals, post cards, newspapers, and brochures. I think that the post cards for local events offer great slogans and photos.

What to do:

  • Rip, rip, rip!!!
  • Tear out ANYTHING that stands out to you. If you find something that you linger on, rip it out. Rip out words, phrases, and best of all photos/pictures.

1. Once you’ve got a pile of clippings ripped out (ripped or cut, they don’t have to be cut perfectly), start to sort into piles the clippings. Like goes with like. For instance, I’ve sorted mine via: fashion, work, ideal office, values, personality, home, relationships, odds & ends, recipes, etc. Do what works for you.

Where to start:

I started with my strengths. I’d been working through the book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” put on by the Gallup Organization… the book includes a special quiz you can take that will determine what your five primary strengths are. Plus a description of what that looks like. Mine included: Strategic, Relator, Individualization, Ideation, and Input.

You can start with anything: strengths, values, what you were like in junior high, your personality, interests, etc. It’s easier to let your book evolve naturally instead of planning it out per each page. You may realize that you want to add or subtract information.

My table of contents looks something like this:

  • Strengths
  • My Ideal Job
  • Spiritual Gifting
  • Personality
  • Fruits of the Spirit
  • Top Three Values
  • Life Values
  • Natural Gifts
  • Honoring Gifts (including realizations)
  • What I don’t want
  • Fears
  • Interests
  • Ideals (Career) — office, ideal day, wardrobe, etc…

I will add more as I continue to take inventory of myself.

2. With magic marker in hand… label your page in large letters.

3. Next, grab your glue stick, scissors for trimming (if you want), and clippings. Start placing them on your page. It’s up to you to determine the best layout/placement that will communicate what you are trying to say.

I found as I was arranging my clippings, insights would form. For instance, while I was creating my natural gifts page… it helped me to see visually all of my natural skills and talents. As I am on unemployment searching for a job (paying rent is good). I realized… by being able to “see”… visually seeing something I had physically created… this collage showed me that taking administrative jobs was not an answer! Yes, clerical jobs may be readily available… but, they don’t fit me. I also was able to see what natural gifts I was NOT honoring. And, from there… the realization of what I DID NOT want to do in the vision that I have. What a surprise that was! And… what a relief to realize it!! Now, I can better hone my role and my vision.

So, let your pages evolve AS you are doing them.

From creating this book, not only do I better understand myself… I better understand changes I want to make to my vision and how to present it. I know what my passions are and now I can see better what they are not. Very important in gaining ground and determining direction in your career.