What are inspiration boards (mood or vision boards, whichever term you prefer) and why should you consider creating one?
Inspirational boards can function in both personal and professional settings, and can be used for brainstorming purposes or even function as a coaching tool.
It’s a place where you can visually organise your thoughts and sources of inspiration in a way where you can customise it to best work for your needs. While I love Pinterest (let’s be friends there too!), we create these beautiful boards where we pin and pin and pin… and all our inspiration gets pushed further back down until we are overwhelmed with options and ideas. You also can’t simply glance at your boards while deep in thought; or first thing in the morning; or before bed. Well, in a way we can, but we don’t.
So what you’re essentially doing, is creating a Pinterest board, with the things that inspire, motivate, exhilarate, and often push you to fully develop goals you’re possibly too afraid to even entertain.
Use this board to place things that visually appeal to you, and that you’re instinctively drawn to. For those naturally creative, this would be a fun activity you probably will feel very comfortable doing. For those of you left-brainers, this activity can be a risk-free way to brainstorm your ideas in a random and freeing way without over-thinking and analysing. Put away the part of your brain that immediately discredits big dreams as unrealistic or too difficult.
Who would have thought that we’re five posts in I’m already recommending you to put aside your conditioned need to rationalise and plan! We need that side to help our goals become a reality, but it also may limit your openness and ability to think BIG!
And now the how
Firstly, it’s important you realise there are no rules. As your base you can use paper, card-stock, cork, magnetic board, netting, or foam. You can make it small or you can make it huge! You can even frame multiples and add it among your art wall. My only recommendation is that you first think about where it’s going to be placed so you can take into account space; and how you’re going to hang it up. Make sure it’s a place where it can easily be see and you can refer to it often.
Next, don’t make it a chore. If you don’t have the time to search for images or are beginning to rush the process, step back and space it out. Collect your pieces and store them somewhere safe (especially paper cut-outs, we don’t want to fold those). Let inspiration just come to you! Collect anything you love to look at. Don’t worry about making sense of them yet, you’re just letting it happen organically so that it really brings your inspiration to life. You want to use this activity as a way to collect your thoughts and take them out of your head and onto something tangible. In a way it’s like journaling, trust the journey!
You can choose to make your board a free-for-all, a brain dump for all the things you love; or you can make it specific to your goals.
Ideas for specific boards can be:
Fitness – workout schedule, challenges, motivational words and photos, before and during shots of your progress, fitness gear and beautiful landscapes
Career/ Entrepreneurial – office inspiration, outfits, motivating quotes, courses, sketches, similar products, color swatches, branding.
Home Renovation – floor layouts, home decor, color palettes, paint swatches, fabric samples, storage solutions
The possibilities are infinite! Exaggerating? Not by much.
Remember – no rules! These can be images roughly cut or torn out of a magazine, or you can place everything in a specific order cut up perfectly. The best part is (unless it’s for a presentation) you don’t need to justify or explain any part of it to anyone else.
Once you have all your favourite images and items, lay them out in a way that makes sense and is most pleasing to your eyes, and then proceed to either pin or glue them down. Don’t be afraid of adding texture and dimension with your pushpins, materials and other little bits and bobs you can add that make you smile.
Also, don’t be apprehensive to leave some space for future inspiration, or to eventually remove something that is no longer part of your vision.
After a few days of glancing at your board, you might notice you’re thinking about the words and images you’ve chosen and why they appeal to you at this point in your life. You might find that apart from the obvious, the images also represent a deeper need inside. Maybe to start that new business, concentrate on personal growth or spirituality, to build a family or to leave a relationship.
Sometimes pretty flowers on a desk are just that, pretty flowers. But other times an image like that can get us excited about possibilities and change, of building and creating, all through the inspiration of a well placed vase of flowers.
And so finally you realise your inspiration board did just that. It’s inspired you to make big changes and move forward towards your goals.
What do you use for your daily inspiration? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the type of of inspiration boards you’d consider creating, or have done so in the past.