EDIT: I prepared this post a while ago before the corona virus decided to turn our lives upside down. I’ve decided to still publish it as it might help somebody to have something to do and / or get some structure into their days while learning something new. If you’re struggling to get into a routine at the moment, you’re not the only one. I’m struggling, too. So let’s make some vision boards for when this is over!
You’ve probably heard of vision boards, but you’ve probably never made or used one. A vision board is essentially a large poster that you construct to help you achieve your goals. It contains pictures that represent your goals.
For example, if you dream of climbing Mount Everest, you might include photos of the mountain, your hiking boots, Sherpa, and famous mountain climbers.
It might sound like silly new-age nonsense, but a vision board can be useful!
So how can it work for your German learning?
Consider what a vision board does for you:
- It forces you to decide on your goals. Your German learning goal might be to learn enough for a holiday, reach level A2, have a conversation with new friends or even get a job in Germany.
- It requires you to review your goals daily. What do you want to achieve every day? 10 minutes of grammar learning perhaps, or read 1 page a day of that German book etc…
However, it does not magically make the objects of your desire appear in your life without any work on your part. You’ll still have to work (don’t look so disappointed ☺), but a vision board can be invaluable.
Use these strategies to create and use an effective vision board:
- Decide what you want to be, do, and have. This is one of the primary reasons that vision boards can be so effective. They require you to think about what you want and to make a few choices.
- You might need to spend a day or two working on this. Think about what you want for your life. Remember that you can’t have everything, so think carefully and choose the things and experiences that are most important to you. Just like you do with a New Year’s resolution, don’t just say ‘I want to learn German’, think what exactly you want to learn and why.
- Be bold. If your vision board doesn’t inspire you, it won’t be effective.
- Find visual images that represent what you want to be, do, and have. You can look online or in magazines. What’s important is that you have the same feeling when you look at the photo as you do when you think about that thing. The sensations should match.
- Arrange your vision board in a way that pleases you. You can be orderly or use more of a collage style. Each objective can have its own board, or everything can be combined on a single board. There are no rules. Follow your instincts and allow your creativity to flow.
- Hang your vision board where you’ll see it frequently. A vision board sitting in the closet isn’t of much use. Consider your daily activities and put your vision board where you’ll see it most frequently.
- Take a photo of your vision board. Use your phone and take a photo. That way, you’ll have it wherever you go. You can always pull out your phone and view your board.
- Start and end your day with your vision board. Or at least take a long look at your vision board before you do your daily German practice. You might need to rely on a photo if your vision board isn’t in your home.
- Use a process to view your vision board. Think about each goal you have and look at the photos that represent those goals. Allow yourself to feel excited about achieving that goal. Feel yourself having fun on holidays in Germany, having a conversation in German, getting that job in Germany or finally tackling that difficult bit of German grammar.
- Go through each item on your vision board and experience success in your mind.
- Be persistent. Vision boards don’t work overnight, but they do work. They remind you of your goals and keep them at the forefront of your mind. They allow you to experience positive feelings with regards to achieving your goals. Keep at it.
- Take action. Avoid the belief that your dream car will suddenly appear in your garage one morning. You still have the responsibility to take action. Using your vision board will allow you to notice more opportunities. Take advantage of them.
Start your first vision board today and use it daily. There’s nothing to lose. Making a vision board can be fun.
What will be on your German learning vision board?