Dr. Lori Ann Roth
Vision boarding is a perfect companion activity to traditional forms of journaling. We had to the pleasure to speak with Dr. Lori Ann Roth who shares how vision boarding can help you grow comfortable with new ideas, enhance awareness of potential opportunities, and crystallize a dynamic new action plan. She also shares ideas to help you start your own vision board today.
Lori Ann is a life-long learner with over 35 years of experience helping individuals be their best. She is the president of “Learning and…Reflective Growth,” a company that specializes in training and coaching, and she is the author of The Journal Book: Your Journaling Journey.
To learn how you might incorporate vision boarding into your own journaling practice, listen to our interview, or read below to see highlights from our talk.
What Is a Vision Board and What Do I Do With It?
A vision board is a collage designed to be a source of inspiration. It usually features images, quotations, and stand-alone-words that represent the maker’s goals and desires.
An office wall can be the perfect place to hang your vision board. Let it motivate and influence your actions as you go about your day. At her former workplace, Lori Ann managed a team of employees, and they crafted boards together and hung them in a common space where they would see them each day. Alternatively, if your vision board is for your eyes only, hang it inside of a bedroom closet door to ensure that it inspires you every day!
Just like traditional forms of journaling, vision boarding does not require fancy materials. In fact, you probably already have all the materials you’ll need.
- Hang on to old magazines. Get out your scissors and enjoy some old-fashioned fun! Clip images that represent your juiciest goals and intentions. Look for quotations and words that inspire, and glue them onto your board.
- Google it! Search online for specific images you desire, and print them in color on quality photo paper.
- Grab a dictionary and thesaurus. Choosing just the right words to paste onto your board takes time and patience, but the results are worth it.
Make Your Own Vision Board
Lori Ann shares tips and techniques to help you begin visualizing your wildest dreams!
- Set a goal. Lori Ann believes that the secret to creating a successful vision board lies in the preparation done beforehand. She encourages people to identify goals and desires in clear, comprehensible terms before moving forward. This first step, she explains, is an opportunity for deep self-reflection. This is the time to explore values and wishes and to envision the future you’re working toward.
- Make time to visualize the life that you want. Many people create a new vision board once each year. For some, the start of the new year seems most fitting, while others mark birthdays, anniversaries, or the beginning of a new school year by making a vision board. Choose what works best for you. There’s no wrong way to do this.
- Write it all down first. It can be a challenge to identify or pinpoint specific goals, but journaling first can help.
- Gather and glue. Collect the images you’ll use for your board and start pasting!
What the Research Teaches
Citing the work of Australian psychologist Alan Richardson, Lori Ann points to a study involving three groups of basketball players. The first group of players repeatedly practiced shooting hoops together. The second group did not practice; instead they visualized shooting hoops successfully. The third group did not practice or visualize throwing basketballs. Predictably, the players in the third group did not improve their skills. The players who improved most were those that practiced shooting hoops. Interestingly, those in group two who only visualized their improvement did nearly as well as the players who had practiced playing ball.
The research findings grow more interesting with a second study Lori Ann mentions involving players who combined visualization with practice. Overall, these individuals experienced the best outcomes.
From this study and others like it, Lori Ann concludes that it’s the combination of visualization and action that bring our goals to fruition.
As we continued to talk, Lori Ann shared the deep impact vision boarding has had on her personal life. After being single for 15 years, she recognized it was time for a new relationship. Lori Ann began to visualize the relationship she desired. Combing through a magazine, she even found a picture of a man who radiated qualities she was drawn to. She vision boarded this image along with other photos and quotations that evoked fun and romance. To accompany her vision board, Lori Ann wrote two typewritten pages to express her feelings and desires in words. Along with visualizing a relationship, she took action steps by going on dating sites and putting herself out there among good people she could connect with. It was through this process that Lori Ann met her husband to whom she’s been married for 2 ½ years!
Lori Ann left us with a few words of advice. A wonderful aspect of journaling is that there are so many approaches and all of them are right. Lori Ann assures us that vision boarding works similarly. Some of the people she works with take a linear approach to vision boarding. They might make boards with goals for the next six months, year, or even five years ahead. Others find this format too restrictive and choose a looser, less linear method that does not involve timelines.
Choose the method that resonate for you. The important thing is to be open to the messages your board reveals and to take the steps that turn vision into action.
Your Action Plan
- Connect with Lori Ann on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Also visit her website.
- Read Lori Ann’s new book, The Journal Book: Your Journaling Journey.
- Listen our conversation on The Power of Journaling podcast.
- Start work on your own vision board today!
If you enjoyed our conversation with Lori Ann, you might enjoy our article “Walk the Five Paths of Journaling.”