Joanna Cooke has lots of experience in helping people realise their dreams. As a corporate trainer for 30 years, before being an art teacher, she spent a lot of time helping people set visions and goals. “From a self-management point of view a vision board makes a lot of sense,” she says. Although obviously she’s mainly left the corporate world behind as a creative teacher.
“We all have visions,” says Joanna, “a vision board is where you put things you dream of in your life.” She explains that it needn’t have dates attached to it, you don’t have to do the things on the vision board by a deadline or expiration date. “It is a visualisation of who you are,” she explains. It can consist of things like pics torn out of a magazine, your own artwork, scribbles of writing, inspirational quotes, images you like, paintings you love by an artist you admire, or a person you admire. Images that represent intentions – like playing more – a child with sunglasses on, jumping through a sprinkler. Or a picture of an ice cream which reminds you to live in the moment more – conjuring up the feeling of just stopping and enjoying something. “It doesn’t have to be big,” she continues, “it’s visions you have for yourself. When it’s New Year we think about what we want in the year ahead. But a vision board is freer for you than New Year’s Resolutions.”
“Put it somewhere you’ll see it everyday,” says Joanna, “put it in your workspace or even your bedroom.”
According to Joanna, the vision board gives us a sense of who we are amidst the noise of what we should do and be. “It should be fun! The biggest value of a vision board is that it’s been proven to be essential for manifesting change. The images reinforce it. When we see something every day it reinforces in the subconscious that vision, that state, and you’re more likely to achieve it.” It’s been proven that people remember what they see much more than they remember what they hear. The visual memory is far stronger than the memory for words. A picture therefore has more impact than words or what we hear.
“To give mine as an example: it’s got an old oil painting that I did as the background - with a picture of a child in sunglasses looking happy and free and they’re wearing a t-shirt with a heart on it. There are also some experiments I’ve done with colour combinations; some scribbly lines and sketches; some sentences about who I am; and two written intentions: ‘experiment with colour’ and ‘experiment with line’.”