Visualization is one of the most powerful mental exercises you can do.
Olympic athletes have been using it for decades to improve performance, and Psychology Today reported that the brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights are also similarly activated when the lifter just visualizes lifting weights.
So where do vision boards come into this? Well, they’re just one tool for reminding yourself about your goals each and every day.
Whether your kids want to spend time doing step-by-step visualization to improve athletic performance or whether they just want to create a vision board to have the daily, visual reminder, both will go a long way towards helping them achieve their goals.
Below, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to make a vision board for kids.
We’d like to go over what one is, the benefits (with examples) and ultimately a guide on how to make a vision board.
First, what is a Vision Board you may ask?
A vision board is a collage of the things you want, the goals you want to achieve, images that inspire you, and places you’d like to travel to. Consider it a treasure map of where you want to go in the future.
Making vision boards are great for helping you keep your goals for the future in sight and top of mind. They help you get clarity on your future, your dreams and ultimately keep your energy zooming strong on moving forward (taking action) on what you want.
The Power of Visualization
Have you ever heard of James Nesmeth?
He was just an average guy who enjoyed golf and dreamed of improving his game.
But then the Vietnam War happened.
And James became a prisoner of war.
Stuck in a 20 square-foot cage by himself for seven years, it didn’t take long for him to realize he had to do something to keep his mind occupied to avoid going crazy.
So what did he do?
He visualized himself playing his favorite golf course, down to the smallest detail, day after day. For 7 years.
After finally being released, Major Nesmeth’s condition had deteriorated, as you would expect. And yet, he decided, after returning home, to spend a day on that golf course.
Amazingly, he was able to shoot a 74, 20 shots off his average score before leaving for war!
After not touching a golf club for over seven years. All because he spent time doing visualization.
This is a classic example of the power of visualization. But it’s hardly an anomaly.
In fact, there is a LOT of research proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that visualization is extremely beneficial.
You may have, for example, heard of the experiment conducted by the Australian psychologist, Alan Richardson.
Richard divided study participants into three groups, testing them on the number of free throws they could make. After the initial test was done, he had the three groups take different actions:
- Group 1 practiced their free throws every day for an hour
- Group 2 visualized themselves making free throws daily
- Group 3 did nothing
After 30 days, he testing them again. He found that:
- Group 1 improved by 24%
- Group 2 improved by 23%
- Group 3 did not improve (no surprise, of course)
Imagine if he had divided the study participants into four groups and had one group practice for an hour daily and spend time using visualization!
Visualization has been proven to have a wide range of benefits including, but not limited to:
- Improving motivation
- Increasing confidence
- Boosting energy
- Increasing focus
Moreover, visualization can help to overcome anxiety and overcome fear or negativity from past failures.
Let me share a couple of famous celebrity examples where visualization has been life-changing.
Jim Carrey was a struggling actor early on in his career.
Depressed his career wasn’t going anywhere, he wrote himself an imaginary check for $10 million.
In the memo area of the check, he wrote “For acting services rendered” and dated the check for 1994.
He carried this check folded in his wallet and looked at it frequently for inspiration.
Sure enough, in 1994 Jim Carrey became a hit and went on to star in The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura and many other great hits.
“In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.” Will Smith
Many are paralyzed in life by taking that first step towards something when it appears like a massive task.
Not Will Smith.
He believes there is not “secret” to success and that it comes down to simply visualizing exactly what you want. Get crystal clear on the vision and then simply get started (one brick at a time).
Watch this interview with him on how simple it is to get started and not be paralyzed by big goals:
Other’s like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z, Lady Gaga and countless other celebrities, top CEO’s and athletes all credit the power of visualization as the key to their success.
Science has shown that when you visualize you’re actually priming the brain for the actual performance. You’re getting the cognitive process in the brain kickstarted, increasing your confidence and getting yourself ready for success.
Your goal should be to really zero in on the mental picture as much as possible, while also engaging as many of the senses as possible.
Thus, this is where the power of the vision board for kids comes in (the same applies to adults).
You’re bringing in sensory touch, vision, possibly smelling, sounds and/or tasting while creating this board.
One word of caution, though, before going through the step-by-step process for how to get started making your vision board.
Vision boards are a great way to focus in on your goal and inspire you each time you look at it, but they aren’t alone the magical goose that laid the golden egg.
Remember that an Arts & Crafts project alone doesn’t make goals and dreams come true.
Honing in on your goal, getting crystal clear about it and visualizing are all extremely powerful, but you’ve got to take massive action to make these dreams and goals come true.
Any negative press you read on vision boards tends to harp on the fact that many who follow this practice depend solely on the “vision board” as the answer. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Nothing came easily to any of the celebrities. They worked their butts off for it. But, yes, they got crystal clear on the vision.
Billionaire founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, is known for working exceptionally hard, non-stop, yet she also credits visualizing her success before each milestone as the key.
Your dreams aren’t always your children’s dreams, and thus doing this together as a family will also help you learn more about what your child wants so you can also best assist in helping them achieve their dreams.
So are you convinced?
Let’s get started with the How-To then!
How to Make a Vision Board for Kids
Collect all the necessary supplies for the family to get to work on making this masterpiece.
You’ll need as many magazines as possible, pictures and/or a computer to print out pictures or power words you find online.
Get a poster board, scissors, and tape and/or glue sticks.
Discuss with your kids the purpose of this project.
Remember kids brains are moving a million miles a minute (or more) so let them know this is about creating what they want most in life (not the newest video game, app or toy).
Help spark their creativity by asking and writing down:
- What impact do they want to have on the world when they get older?
- What superpowers do they want to possess?
- Where would they most like to travel to in the future?
- Which famous celebrities inspire them the most and why?
- What kind of home would they like to live in and where? How will they decorate it?
- What big accomplishments would they like to achieve in the future?
Ask them to really think.
Health, personal, family goals, life’s bucket list, books that inspire them, music, and what’s the “why” behind each of these?
Now that you’ve got this long list of greatness, have them spend the next few hours or days finding all these things in the catalogs and/or magazines you’ve collected.
Have them start cutting them out and placing them on the poster board.
Go over with your children each of the items they’ve cut out.
Attach to them an index card where together you’ll write down:
- Habits or Skills they’ll need to achieve to obtain this item and/or goal?
- What are the action steps the family or your child will need to take to achieve this?
- How can you measure milestones in achieving this goal and/or item?
- An estimated time of achieving this item and/or goal?
This is the most powerful part of creating a vision board that many leave out.
You see visions without a roadmap leave you lost. You need to get hyper-focused and clear, and this is the big lesson for your kids.
Hopefully you watched this quick 2-minute take above from Tony Robbins, and you’ll see it’s all about the RPM:
- R = Result you want from having this item on your vision board or goal
- P = Purpose and reason why you want this item or goal
- M = Massive Action plan to achieve that goal
You see by cutting out these items (or goals) and discussing it with your kids, you’re helping them not only get really clear on what their dreams are, but also helping them zero in on the purpose behind those items or goals.
By really zeroing in on this purpose, you’re helping them avoid the excuses that will arise when the inevitable obstacles show up in their pursuit to obtain these goals (and we all know obstacles will appear).
As Tony shares above, when you really know the result you want and attach the emotion/purpose behind that result with your why, it gets your juices flowing and nothing can stop you.
And lastly, by writing the answers to the questions above, you’re helping your kids create a specific action plan for achieving their dreams and goals.
Once you’ve come up with the goals and your kids are clear on the action steps needed to achieve them, you’re ready to glue them down and cement them in.
This action is your child agreeing that they know this dream of theirs or goal is attainable, that they know how to achieve it and they’ve now committed to it by cementing it to the poster board.
Hang that artwork up where it can be looked at daily.
This is where the inspiration comes in daily to reinforce that you’ve visualized what you want, have action steps on how to achieve it, measurable milestones to show progress and a timeline to achieve this goal or item.
This is where the power of creating a vision board for kids comes in.
They’re not just looking at something as a dream, but have attached the action steps they need to take, have verbally committed and made a promise to these action steps (accountability) and now can look at this daily to inspire and motivate.
Summary: Why Make a Vision Board for Kids
This guide has hopefully shown you the power of why kids should be encouraged to make a vision board.
This process helps them decide what’s most important to them and also helps them get clarity on actionable steps they should take to achieve their dreams.
Yes, plenty of world leaders and celebrities rave about how visualization is the key to their success.
But this guide has now shown you the importance of the entire process behind creating a vision board for kids and how it can help them achieve their dreams by attaching actionable steps needed to achieve them.
So are you ready to try this today with your kids? Leave a comment below.
There is no magic behind a vision board, but there is a magical benefit and that is having the actionable goals attached to the dreams glued on the board.
This six-step plan will help make the visions cemented on your child’s board a reality.