Susannah Taylor: I’m getting crafty with my goals

I’m not into writing about New Year resolutions, 100-day exercise challenges or how to cut out food groups. Considering what’s happening in the world, it doesn’t feel right committing to extreme regimes. However, there is one gentle but powerful practice that I’d like to share for the year ahead and that’s creating a vision board.

A vision board is a collection of images and words that represent your dreams in an impactful, visual way. Creative coach Tommy Ludgate recommends vision boards to her clients, finding them a great way to bring ideas into reality. ‘We all have ideas floating around in our heads,’ she says, ‘but we often shut them down, or tell ourselves we don’t have enough time or that we could never make them happen.’

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A vision board helps us to move beyond that. Essentially it can help you capture the essence of your goals, then help you get there. ‘The vision boards I do personally have always come to fruition,’ says Tommy.

So where to start? You need a big piece of cardboard or foam board – A3 or bigger if you want (I say the bigger the better), some magazines and a glue stick. Tommy then suggests you take your time to go through the magazines, tearing out images, words, headlines, phrases, colours or textures that speak to you. The goal, she says, is to end up with stories you have been drawn to – a narrative, theme, an item, a place or colours. ‘Whatever gives you joy or you feel inspired by,’ she says. If you have a general goal (for example, to write that book or start your own business) you can bear this in mind as you do it.

Take your time to move things around (don’t stick anything down until the end) and you may see themes starting to appear. ‘It’s about creating a feeling of what you want to happen,’ says Tommy. When you are happy with it, get sticking!

Isn’t this something you could do on Pinterest without a visit to a craft shop? Tommy doesn’t believe so. In creating your own physical vision board you may come up with ideas you’d never considered before – you may even get an ‘aha’ moment. That’s because, Tommy says, doing something with your hands can disrupt the usual pathways in your brain, leading you to ideas you may not have thought of. ‘It can unlock a creative way of thinking,’ she says. Another reason to create a physical board is to make a daily reminder of where you want to be.

Other tips from Tommy are to create a new vision board with every season, because ‘New Year’s resolutions are unrealistic,’ she says. ‘If we set intentions for the whole year it’s easy to fall off the wagon. If you set intentions for a shorter period of time, then they are more likely to happen.’

It’s also important to remember that just because you have created a vision board doesn’t mean it’s going to happen by itself. At the end of her workshops Tommy encourages people to take an active step towards their goals. It’s like reading about exercise – you can know everything about cardio but if you don’t actually practise it you’ll never get fit.

And if you’re thinking to yourself that you’re not creative enough for a vision board, think again. Tommy says, ‘The people who say it’s not for them are the ones who need to do it most.’

Join Tommy Ludgate’s vision board online workshop on 20 January at 7.30pm, price £15,

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