Do you set an annual theme? Or make a vision board? Or maybe both?

I started using an annual theme as a tool a few years back to keep sight of the direction I wanted to go in. The theme can cover personal quests, family, work, creativity, hobbies, health, bucket list, financial, and more, essentially whatever areas you feel you need or want to work on. It can cover all of these or a few or just one area.

The theme does not identify a specific goal such as "lose weight" but is more general in nature. For example "reduce" could cover a number of areas you wish to work on: losing weight, reducing spending, getting rid of clutter, watching less t.v., and so on. 

Discovering your theme for the year is usually done after setting goals or creating a vision board, but for some there could already be a theme you’ve been working towards that you have intuitively figured out. And not all of us follow the calendar year to set or re-set a theme. I seem to update mine about every 8 months or so. 

As you set goals for the year or make a vision board, a theme starts to emerge – one of mine from a few years ago was “connecting” and for another was "building successes". This latter one was not just about, well, building successes, but also about creating three dimensional fibre art buildings for an art exhibition, the first time I had worked in 3D.  Other people have identified intentions and themes such as “slow down”, “network”, “healing”. Usually one word or a short phrase is all that is needed. 

Vision boards are a process to help us create the life we want, a visual representation that we see daily to remind us of the directions we wish to pursue and the goals we set. Just like the theme, it can cover many areas or a key goal or purpose. It's an intuitive process, unlike the theme that describes a connection among the areas we wish to work on. Thinking in pictures can be a very successful way to keep on track, a form of visual journalling or storyboard, speaking to us in images and symbols. Athletes are a great example of people who use visualization techniques to pursue their goals and achieve success. 

Goals identified on a vision board can be big ticket items, but could also be steps that you wish to take toward something bigger, leaving us feeling less overwhelmed. It can be a good way to get started on something new: a workshop you want to take, a new exercise to try, connecting with family every Sunday - things that are of significance to you.

Creating the vision board helps us dig a bit deeper to see what our heart desires. By working with images, we are accessing our dreams and creative side, not just our logical brain to discover what we need to focus on.

I've been making vision boards for a few years now, and recently came across a very different way to create a board, digging even deeper than before. I think this new vision board will fit perfectly with identifying a theme for the upcoming months.  

I will share this new vision board process in a future blog post, once my board is complete and with some feedback from others who are using the same process. It's a process I already think is better and I'm excited to see how my board turns out. 

Do you set themes or create vision boards? I'd love to hear from you.


"Music is full of longing and movement.  Painting should be the same." I read this quote in Hundred and Thousands: The Journals of...