Selective attention: We can’t pay attention to everything all the time. A vision board heightens the awareness of the items on the board, so we become more attuned to them when we encounter them in the world.
For example, if you want to change jobs and place a picture representing you in your new position on your board, you will be more likely to notice job postings related to your ideal position.
This is similar to what is referred to as the “cocktail party effect.” Imagine you’re at a noisy networking party and everyone is talking. Somehow, you are still able to concentrate on the conversation right in front of you.
When the rest of life is full of “noise,” a vision board will help you “hear” the actions related to your future.
Goal-setting: Of course, there is a lot of research demonstrating that having specific, challenging goals goes a long way in goal attainment.
This suggests that the images on your vision board should not be general. Instead of a picture of a plane to represent “travel,” how about pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Venice Canals to illustrate the specific places you wish to go?
Cognitive dissonance theory: According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, we like to be consistent—we don’t like our thoughts and behaviors to be misaligned. So, by creating the thoughts (attitudes) in our heads related to the vision board, we are more likely to change our behaviors to match.
Of course, sometimes our unconscious mind is sneaky! Instead of changing our behaviors to match our attitudes, we could very well change our attitudes to match our behaviors! That’s what happens to many people when they create a vision board and stick it in a drawer somewhere. They don’t change their behavior and soon tell themselves that the vision board was nothing more than a fantasy.
This is why I believe it is so crucial to partner with a coach to help you stay focused on your vision while developing the behaviors necessary to move from vision to reality.
Do you plan to create a vision board for the new year? Share your thoughts in the comments.
To learn more about vision boards, get my free report, From Vision to Action: Fast Tracking Your Business with Vision Boards.