One of the best things that Keith and I started doing to help our retirement was to start talking about it. What do we want our retirement to look like? It helped us realize that we want a period of “unretirement”. It’s one of the reasons that we started this blog.
But there are times when simply talking about future goals isn’t enough. And even writing down goals isn’t enough. I want to see more than the words. I want to see what the future may look like. Visualize it.
A vision board can be a good way to do that. Vision boards are a tool used to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do, or have in your life.
There are many ways to create a vision board. Maybe you keep it in a journal. Or a bulletin board. For me, I’m finding the perfect place to keep a vision board is Pinterest.
A few years ago, I wrote a 5-day plan for learning Pinterest on HR Bartender. Since then, I continue to see activity and engagement on the platform. My experience with Pinterest is that it’s less of a dialogue or conversation platform and more of an inspiration, utilization platform. Think of it like a digital bulletin board.
If you’re looking for a way to stay focused on a goal, consider creating a vision board to help make that happen. Here are five things to note:
- You can make it secret. Not ready to share your vision board with the whole world. No problem. Pinterest has a feature that allows you to make a board “secret” so only you can see it.
- Section it to fit your needs. Pinterest has a nice feature where a “board” can have “sections”. So, your vision board could have a personal AND a professional section. For example, your retirement vision board might have sections for your encore career, where you’d like to live in retirement, and places you’d like to visit.
- Pin images, articles, and quotes that help you achieve your goals. One of the things I like about Pinterest is that I can pin a variety of things – images, articles, quotes. I can pin stuff from the internet and photos I’ve taken or articles I’ve written. Bottom-line: it’s flexible.
- Change it when you want to. After pinning something, you can move it to another board, or delete it completely. Let’s say you pin a list of the top cities for retirees. Couple of months later, you see a better list. Delete the old one and replace it with the new one.
- Delete what doesn’t work. One of the downsides to vision boards can be a feeling that you look at it and say, “I’m not getting to my vision fast enough.” Or “I’ll never achieve the goal.” It’s important to remember that our goals change regularly, and we have to be willing to let go of some goals in order to make other ones happen. Vision boards must be flexible to be effective.
- Your vision board can be portable. I’m not against the bulletin board type vision project, but there’s something nice to me about having my vision board with me all the time. If I’m at a conference or out at dinner, and I hear something, I can immediately post it. Versus going home, then finding/printing/posting it.
- When you’re ready, you can share it. There might be components of your vision board that involve coworkers, family or friends. Maybe you want to start a business. Or move to a different city. Pinterest allows you to share boards with others.
Vision boards can help us with our career goals, life goals, and maybe even retirement goals. We have the flexibility to create something that fits our needs. Because the goal with a vision board is to make it happen. So, if it works, take advantage of what Pinterest can offer.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby somewhere in Fort Lauderdale, FL