I’ve been creating a yearly Inspiration Board for three years. It’s easily one of my favorite ways to orient my mind in the right direction at the start of a new year and align my actions with intended goals. I created my very first Inspiration Board after finishing a very tough year (2012), and it really helped me emotionally.
My Inspiration Boards are pretty epic. They’re stunning visual collages of my dreams and aspirations for the next twelve months, and they never fail to get me excited for the brand new year.
I’m no expert, but I can tell you from my own personal experiences that creating an Inspiration Board will do wonders for your life:
* it will encourage you to reflect on the previous year and learn from mistakes
* searching through magazines will help determine what inspires and excites you
* clipping, cutting, and gluing are excellent stress-relievers
* creating the board will force you to dedicate a few hours of “me time” to yourself
* having a visual representation of your desired yearly outcomes will keep you motivated all year
* it’s a great way to track your changing desires with each new year
* having a physical manifestation of your hard work, in the form of a large poster, feels great
* it’s fun!
The process is lengthy but I promise it’ll be worth it.
– a good pair of scissors
– 2-3 glue sticks…avoid using liquid glue (you’ll go through glue like crazy!)
– variety of magazines (I recommend having a stack of at least 10 from different categories – beauty, cooking, running, etc.)
– a large thick poster board (22 x 28)
1.) Grab a pair of scissors and start cutting out any magazine clippings (words, images, etc.) that you like. These cutouts should reflect things that inspire, encourage, and motivate you.
2.) Once you’ve collected a good stack of clippings, start loosely organizing them by category (EX: food, exercise, travel, money, relationships).
3.) Use the categories, which will become your “areas of focus” for the new year, to start planning the general layout of the Inspiration Board.
4.) No gluing yet, this is still the planning phase. Start with the largest clippings and use them to fill up space on the poster board. They will become the base layer on which smaller images will be placed. Remember, you want to ultimately completely cover up the poster board with clippings in a collage format. No empty spaces allowed, overlapping is highly encouraged!
5.) Once you’ve organized the largest clippings, move on to the next largest clippings and start organizing them around the already placed images (remember, no gluing yet). Continue this process until you start laying out the smaller cutouts. At this point you can stop this planning phase since the smallest clippings are easiest to fit into the overall collage and can be added later. The main goal of this organization is to make sure you include all the larger images that consume the most space.
6.) Once you filled up the majority of the board, snap a photo of the layout before proceeding to the next step. Use this photo as reference when you start to glue on the clippings.
7.) Start with the largest clippings first and begin gluing them onto the poster board in the same layout as they originally were. At this point many of the cutouts will shift around and lose their original order. This is where that photo you took earlier will be of great use!
8.) Fill in the emptier spaces with small clippings. Get creative! You want this Inspiration Board to be busy and eye-catching. You want it to be inspiring to look at! Messiness is great…since when is life perfectly organized anyway?
(my 2014 Inspiration Board)
And then you’re done! Choose a special place to hang your Inspiration Board. You want it to be in a place where you can easily view it when some inspiration is needed, but you also don’t want it to be too apparent to the point where your eyes simply start ignoring it.
Useful advice for beginners:
– Start collecting magazines early in the year so you won’t have to scramble buying them at year’s end.
– Clip anything and everything that catches your eye. You can always save it for next year’s Inspiration Board if you don’t end using it this year.
– Make an effort to cut out images and words of varying sizes. The larger clippings will help cover empty spots while the smaller cutouts will add some spunk & depth to your board.
– Organize the clippings by logical categories for simplicity. You’ll quickly discover that these will naturally become your areas of focus for the new year.
– Clip & cut first, write your intentions second. The semi-automatic process of collecting clippings will shed light on what you truly desire out of life. For example: you notice that many of the photos collected involve travel, and you realize your soul is craving a vacation. Once you organize the clippings, set aside some time to write down general goals that will ultimately dictate how the Inspiration Board will be organized (this can be done between step #3 and #4 in the directions above).
– Don’t let perfectionism get you! This process should serve as a stress-reliever and happiness inducer, so don’t overthink the board’s organization. The way it ends up coming together will be a beautiful reflection of your innermost hopes and desires. Life is messy and that’s great.
– You don’t need to complete the Inspiration Board in one sitting. In fact, I suggest spreading the process out over the course of January. This gives you a chance to spend the first few weeks of the new year realizing what you want out of the remaining eleven months.
– Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process!
I highly encourage all of you to create an Inspiration Board, and please share it with me if you do! Good luck and happy gluing!