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Dream Boards: how they can enhance our lives

Dream, or Vision Boards are visual representations of what we aspire to have and be. Dreaming, however, is only wishful thinking. This article describes the limited benefits of Dream Boards and 4 action steps to advance those dreams.
Julie Nelson, FamilyShare Modified: July 6, 2014 at 10:19 am •  Published: July 8, 2014

Athletes, motivational speakers, artists, and others in successful careers know the value of visualizing success. The Olympian's training is not only physical, but mental. In advance of the race, he visualizes lining up at the start; he hears the gun and sees himself running, then crossing the finish line first. By doing these mental exercises, he affirms his ability to win even before suiting up.

Likewise, mapping our life goals, or finish lines, as conscious realities increases our chances of succeeding. Dream, or vision boards are one way to accomplish this. Examples are found everywhere, including Pinterest. Pinterest itself is just one gigantic Dream Board. They are a collection of what we love and want to have or be in any area of life.

Dream boards have their value. Families can create a family dream board as well as the individual members. Traditional dream boards are created from photos, magazine pictures, small objects, and anything you can pin up on a cork board. Displaying the board in a prominent place helps to activate your purpose and determination each day.

Benefits of dream boards

Kids love tangible objects. In fact, the brain craves concrete visuals. It stimulates memory. Kids also love cutting and pasting pictures, keywords and objects into a collage-like display that represent their creative side; who they are, their likes and dreams. They start with possibilities, then narrow down to focus on what they really want.

Families and individuals have made representational shields, or family crests for centuries. These tell the viewer who they are in a few symbols and pictures. The same can be done with a dream board. Divide the area into four main quadrants of human development:

1. Physical: display a picture of a person swimming the butterfly stroke with a stopwatch and the timed goal, or a picture of people hiking.

2. Socio-emotional: cut out and post a picture of friends having lunch together or post a birthday card to remind you to send one to another.

3. Intellectual: display a diploma with your name on it and the desired degree, or a list of books you are wanting to read.

4. Spiritual/values: post words such as "service" "compassion" or hands folded in prayer. If we include a spiritual compass and values-based goals, we tend to choose more worthy pursuits that infuse meaning and purpose to our overall goals.

Adults as well as youth may find using electronic "boards" a better fit to create and display their dreams. Use it as your computer or phone wallpaper. These give others an opportunity to peek at your life goals ("Hey what's that on your computer screen?"), listen as you describe your passion and progress (or lack thereof) and help you along the way.

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