Back to school challenge: decorate lockers as vision boards

Back to school can be stressful with harder classes, unfamiliar teachers, and busier schedules. Students are working toward something–but they do not always see what that is. Some wade through the drudgery, hoping they will get somewhere eventually–but there is a better, more fun way to do this. They can envision the exact future they want and choose the right process for themselves! How? Through vision boards!

A vision board is like a scrapbook page that can be hung or propped up, except the purpose is not to save up memories but to create future ones. Think of it as a scrapbook page from the future. What would that future ideally look like? Then imagine it will come true and decorate the vision board to portray those specific goals.

Students can transform the drab lockers that are filled to the brim with stress-inducing content like textbooks into fabulous vision boards with all their hopes and dreams. This gives them a sense of purpose and direction throughout the school year. What do they want to accomplish in fifth grade? Ninth? Eleventh?

The constant exposure to these boards can help them visualize a future and remind them of the action they need to take to get there. Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith utilized visualization to get to where they are today! While Oprah often repeated, “My life will not be like this,” and visualized a better life for herself, Will Smith once said, “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know about it yet.”  

A survey on vision boards further showed how effective they could be. Participants who created vision boards felt double the confidence that they will achieve their goals than those who did not make vision boards. 82% of participants reported they accomplished more than half the goals on the board and were still going strong! Want to see the same results with your child?

First things first, let your child write out a list of all their goals. This is a chance for them to learn the importance of goal setting. What is significant to them? What future do they want? What is their intention? Afterward, let them prioritize what is most important and least important, making sure to ask them why. The more important the goal is, the bigger the space on a vision board can be saved for it. The stronger the why, the likelier the goal will be reached.  

Secondly, make sure your child has the right focus. Have them focus on feelings more than the results. The vision board should evoke strong emotions such as pride, victory, and resilience. If they only envision the end goal, particularly material gains, they will not be as motivated. For example, instead of pasting a picture of a nice house, your child can place a picture of a happy family having a picnic on their lawn. The warm and fuzzy feeling from viewing that picture will last longer and be more effective.

In a similar vein, have them focus on the process more than the results. If they get stuck on visualizing the ending, they may lose sight of how to get there. They will feel satisfied with the false feeling of achievement that comes from daydreaming. This, in turn, will decrease the drive and effort to actually realize the dream. A lot of hard work will be required, which they must always remember and accept. Include pictures of the process, such as a student rigorously studying at a desk or a mathematician surrounded by crumpled up pieces of paper.

Advise your child that they get out of it what they put in. The more effort they put in, the likelier the goals on the vision boards will come true. Oprah and Will Smith may have successfully manifested all their desires for success and influence, but they were able to do so because they also worked extremely hard and persevered through challenges.  

Thirdly, let your child be creative! This is a time to express themselves. They can show what kind of people they are growing up to be and what is important to them through their vision boards. Students should browse many books and magazines, as well as tap into their artistic side. Make boards personal with doodles, drawings, writings, and photos.

Fourthly, make sure the boards are encouraging! It is supposed to be your child’s cheerleader, so fill it up with positive affirmations. Students will be constantly exposed to the inside of their lockers, so these boards should boost their moods and confidence! Parents could share their favorite motivational quotes and write notes of love and encouragement so their child always feels bolstered.  

Once you are convinced that vision boards will uplevel your child’s life, find some fun content and get creative! Help your child out if they need and watch as they work toward their dreams! Have an amazing school year, and JEI hopes they reach all their goals.