Allira Potter shares how to use a vision board to think about your future

By Allira Potter, she/they. Allira is a proud Yorta Yorta woman.

Thinking about the future is really important, but it can also be a bit overwhelming or even scary. You might not know what you want your future to look like, and as a young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, you might have had teachers or others tell you that there isn’t much hope. There’s also been so much uncertainty in the world in the last few years, it can just leave you feeling unsure about anything!

I want you to know that even though ‘the future’ can sound big and scary, it might actually just involve thinking about tomorrow or next week. The main thing is to have something to look forward to – whether that’s a big thing like a holiday, or something a little smaller like kicking a footy around with a mate.

I really think that vision boards are a great way to help you with this, especially if you’re feeling stuck or in a funk. Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals, that you fill with notes, pictures and other things to help inspire and motivate you for the future.

Creating and flicking through a vision board can help you to decide what you would like to do moving forward, whether that’s choosing a course to study, stepping into a relationship, travelling overseas or maybe even getting a job that you’ve always wanted.

The main thing to remember is that vision boards will look different for everyone, because everyone’s future is unique.

I want to remind you that it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do in life in the next week, month or even year. I like to create my vision boards when I’m feeling overwhelmed about the future, because they help me feel present and hopeful about what my future might look like.

Download the transcript.

A vision board is something that I love to create when I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed with where I'm at in life.

How to make a vision board

How you create your vision board is entirely up to you. I like to physically make mine using paper, pens, magazine cut-outs and whatever craft materials I have at home. Some of you might like to use your mobile phone and notepad app, or even make a Pinterest.

Step 1: Get your materials

If you want to get a little more hands-on and physical with making the board, you’ll need the following:

  • paper

  • pens or Textas

  • old magazines or newspapers for images and words

  • scissors

  • glue.

Step 2: Set the scene

Here I’m talking about playing your favourite music, burning a candle, or having some yummy food nearby – anything that helps you to create a space where you can be present during this process.

Step 3: Make it happen

This step will depend on how clear a vision you’ve got of the future you want. If you think you’ve got a good idea of what you want to focus on for your vision board, then you can get to work finding pictures and words and anything visual that represents that focus and those goals. Try to group things together in a way that will help you to work out the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

If you’re struggling to imagine what your future might look like, have a sit down and flick through the magazines or scroll through Pinterest for some inspo. Include in your vision board anything that makes you stop and think, whatever it is. Your first vision board doesn’t have to be perfect. It may just be something that gives you some food for thought to help you make decisions and set goals later. So, anything you put on your board will be useful for getting those creative juices flowing.

Remember that, regardless of whether you’re feeling really clear or a little foggy, there is no right or wrong. You might cut out images of places you’d like to visit, to get you motivated to book a holiday; you might add words or sayings that inspire and motivate you to apply for a job; or you might write down a few key things that are important to you for your future, such as having kids or learning how to cook your nan’s famous curried sausages.

You can take as long as you want to make your vision board. If you get stuck, or if you need to hit pause, you can always come back to it later and keep building on it. Vision boards are meant to be a living and breathing thing. This means that as you think about your future and things change, your vision board can change, too!

I like to put my vision board in a place where I’ll see it regularly to remind me of what I’m looking forward to and what I’m working towards. For you, this might be in your bedroom, or on the fridge, or even on the bathroom mirror!

I’m really excited for what your future holds. I hope that making vision boards, in whatever way works for you, will help you to get excited about it, too.

What can I do now?

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