Happy 2023!! To kick off the new year, we’re chatting about all things vision boards. This tangible art form can be a catalyst for dreaming and creativity. Plus, hear a couple of our favorite organizational tools and our latest bookmarks.
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Kerri: Happy New Year and welcome to the Flourish and Friends podcast. So glad to be back and to be with you. I’m your host, Kerri, and I’m here with my friend and collaborator, Esther.
Esther: Hey friends, happy New Year.
Kerri: Our goal for this podcast is to create an avenue for our flourish community to gather around important conversations that lead to more growth and more flourishing.
Esther: Yeah, nothing is really off the table because how we lead our life spills into how we lead at work, and overall, our brand reflects that, especially as creatives.
Kerri: Welcome to Our Vision Party as we enter the new year. We’d love to carve out some space today to cast some vision, talk about vision and vision boards and inspiration for the year. But first, let’s start with some fun things that are sparking joy in our lives.
Kerri: Esther fresh pick. first fresh pick of the new year. What, what do you got on your plate?
Esther: All right. Well, this week I wanted to choose one of my favorite apps. It’s kind of like an organizational app, but for your brain. So it’s a notebook. It’s called the Notebooks App. And it’s really cool because you can have multiple notebooks within the app. I’ll show you Kerri. So you can name them and…
Kerri: So cool.
Esther: within each notebook you can create a new document. I use this a lot when I’m taking notes. At church, that’s really the only place as an adult that I take notes anymore. But also I use it for my studio, so I have like a studio notebook and then I just either do voice recordings or type out my thoughts or make lists. It’s really helpful because writing is such a huge part of my process as an artist.
I just have a random notebook where I can just throw things in. But my sister showed me this a couple years ago and I use it at least every week, sometimes every day. So I definitely recommend it.
Kerri: I like how it looks, so we’ll have to include a screenshot. It looks so organized and I find myself with notes on my phone, like the notes app that Apple has. It gets real. Unorganized really fast. So the way I like how you had everything categorized and the notebooks had like a cool, looks like you can maybe choose covers for them and it just probably feels a lot more peaceful to like enter like, okay, I’m taking notes and this is like categorized here.
Esther: Yeah, exactly. And a lot of the time when I’m writing by hand, I have all of these thoughts for different things that end up in the same notebook. I’m like, how am I gonna find this later? But having, ok it’s the same place, but I can just. pick whichever notebook the category goes in, or I can change it later if I want to move it to a different notebook. It’s really helpful.
Kerri: That’s awesome.
Esther: mm-hmm. about you, Kerri? What’s a fresh pick for the new year?
Kerri: So I am on the elusive hunt for the perfect planner. If anyone has one that they absolutely love, email us. Started using it at the end of last year, and I’m excited to continue it into this year, this new paper. Planner, but it’s like a weekly dashboard and it has a spiral at the top.
So everything’s like on one, it’s basically like a notepad. And then you can just like spiral it over for a new week. And I’ve been finding myself using it with. A daily to-do list too, cuz I just really like to-do lists. So I think having a combination of being able to see the full like weekly zoom out in addition to having the daily to-do list has been helpful for me recently.
And yeah, I think integrating it with a digital task system and my calendar is always like the key part too. So not everything only lives on my paper. And having things on paper is always really motivating for me because I, instead of checking things off, what I do is I use a highlighter and I highlight the things that I, I’ve that are done.
I’ve done that kind of my whole life. I don’t really know why, but it’s really satisfying to see at the end of the week, like everything highlighted, everything that I’ve accomplished and what I like about this weekly dashboard. I don’t even think I said what it was. It’s by Ink and Volt, V as in Victor, Ink and Volt.
And it’s, it has like a weekly overview on the top and then it has, you can categorize by project underneath. So there’s like a little project list and you can just write in whatever projects you’re doing and brain dump your to-dos there.
So just a little inspo for the new year. I’m sure a lot of you are rolling out new planners, new paper planners, and maybe trying out a new system this year. So we’d love to hear from you if you have a system that you’re feeling really excited about and feel really passionate about. Cause I know planning is such a personal thing too. You have to find the system that works for you, and people like to shift it and adapt it from year to year and thought, this is kind of my latest iteration right now.
Esther: Yeah I love that. The combo of writing it down because I, I think, yeah, like you said, having it all in one place digitally, like through a task management system is great for overarching things, but then you wanna see just what you need to get done today or like for the week. So I think, yeah, that’s always been really helpful for me.
Kerri: All right, it’s time to transition to our Vision Party section. Grab your pens, your pieces of paper, your magazines or digital versions of things. And we’re excited to dive into our visions.
Kerri: Kicking off our vision party, I thought it might be helpful to define what vision is. This is just, again, one definition. There are a lot of different ways you can think about it, but if we’re thinking about vision for the year, kind of think about it as, An inspiration for purpose, your big dreams, the future state that we’re aspiring to, either in personal or professional life.
Think of like vision exercises as a personal thing. We’re not gonna, we’re not gonna be talking through like organization or business vision statements cuz that’s a whole, that’s its whole own process. Wordsmithing with stakeholders. This is more of personal vision for your life. So we don’t have to get hung up on wordsmithing or even having like one specific vision statement, although that may be something that you choose to do.
I know some people find centering on a word or on an intention, really helpful, and we’re actually gonna be diving into intentions and goals in an upcoming episode, so stay tuned. But yeah, just the opportunity to vision cast for the year is really exciting. And as someone who’s always future looking, it’s a fun exercise to just think, what are, what are the dreams that I have and what, what do I want to see come to life this year?
So we’re gonna be talking a lot about vision boards, which you may or may not have done, but I’d love to hear, Esther, what you, how you kind of approach a vision board. What vision boarding looks like for you at the start of a new year.
Esther: Yeah, I, I love vision boards because it is an opportunity to make what’s intangible, those ideas that maybe vision statement or word or hopes for your future and make it tangible. So, I love thinking about interior design and how interior designers are really good about listening to the client and understanding the vibe that they’re portraying and communicating, and then turn it into visuals, text, color. I think that’s, I’m, I mean, that’s just a staple of being a designer is being able to like, listen to. Linguistics, listen to words and figure out how can you visually tell that story.
Esther: So a vision board is just a really fun space. It’s supposed to be, no restrictions. It’s supposed to be a blank page. And sometimes it’s helpful to have structure. So I like, figuring out, okay, what is my vision board for? And then, allow space for different elements to come in that might feel contradicting. So maybe that’s, people maybe that’s experiences, places. Maybe it’s just a state of mind. What visually does that tell you? And then allow it to find harmony.
So like, I think by the end of your vision board, you should have harmony, and that whatever outliers start popping up that you can kind of see, okay, that’s not gonna work in this scenario. So it could, if you’re thinking personally about your future, it could be, I want all these big things to happen this year.
You’ve put all of them in and then you see visually oh, that’s a lot of stuff, and that actually feels overwhelming. You can start taking out like, okay, this big idea, maybe we save for another year. But I think that’s just how I think about vision boarding. I know that there’s a lot of importance with taking these ideas and putting them out and making them plain and visualizing them.
Kerri: I love the, being able to find harmony in the ideas and then also see what once it’s on the vision board, or once you’ve gathered all your thoughts, like what does feel overwhelming or what doesn’t feel harmonious to me this year? I think the, what’s interesting is there’s a lot of brain science around the process of visualization.
So like you’re saying, making intangible things tangible. So once it’s tangible and in front of you and you’re looking at it, it’s gonna prompt. That visualization for you and that’s going to, light up different parts of your brain.
And I was doing some research and I found some really interesting stuff about how vision boarding, neuro scientifically a helpful thing to do because it prompts us towards visualization, which when you have visualization, your brain has this process called value tagging, and that imprints important information onto your subconscious, and then it filters out the unnecessary information.
So it’s, it’s a way of I guess I kind of think of it as, priming your brain. And also like the more things that you see and repeat, the more your neuro pathways are gonna go towards those things. And, that will help produce action. You know, it’ll help you go to that state that you’ve visualized easier. over, over time. It’s not gonna be instant, but it’s that process of repeated action. And I think that’s the power of a practice like visualization and not only creating a vision board, but then like revisiting it or putting it up in a place where you can see it often.
Esther: Yeah. And I love that idea of you, you’re creating neuro pathways to then later create action towards, because I can see that most clearly when I vision board for a shoot. I’m filling my brain with these ideas and these compositions and this lighting. And then I’m trusting my brain that I’m not gonna look at it while I’m in this shoot, but I’m trusting that my brain will remember the things that stick out and how they apply to what I’m actually shooting, so I love that.
Kerri: Absolutely. It’s like creating those shortcuts almost. It’s not a shortcut technically, but like it’s just going there quicker. We can kind of unlock it quicker cuz you, you’ve created that mood board or vision board for your project. When you go, when you go to create a vision board, what are some things that you think about before you actually bring it to life?
Esther: Well, I, I always think about, what I’ve done in the past. So when it’s shooting, I think about, maybe if I’ve shot a similar subject in the past or if it’s more personal. I think about, my last year, the accomplishments, the things I overcame. It helps me understand my future when I understand my past. And by that I just mean I can understand who I am today because of what I’ve done or overcome. So I’m a different person today than I was last year. And if you just recognize that we’re always changing, I think you’re vision boarding your future, you can kind of figure out what you need to let go of and then also, what you’re hopeful for in the future.
We do have a couple of past episodes where we talk a lot about reflecting, which that’s something I love to do a lot more. Just reflecting on, how things have changed me and the wins that I’ve had and celebrating that. But then also I think what I do before creating just the vision or the visualization is defining exactly who and what it’s for is really helpful because especially when it comes to a personal one.
If you’re figuring out, okay, what do I want my future career to be? Uh, Maybe that’s something you wanna vision board because you’ve got so many ideas putting them all in one place. Or maybe it’s just, how do I want my family to feel and what do I want, you know, like our family life to look like this year. Who does that involve? And then bringing those people in is really helpful.
So defining what and who the vision is for the vision board. And then, picking out those through lines or themes that kept showing up last year, carrying them into this new vision board. So again, if I’m thinking about a photo shoot, I can do this as well where I carry whatever throughline that I had in my last shoot. Maybe it’s like simple backgrounds or it’s this certain type of composition. So in the same way when I’m thinking about it in personal ways, maybe we are on the brink of you know, finding more rest the weekends or finding more fun during the week.
So maybe you vision out, okay, how can I take that a step farther where it actually does become more of a value in my life? allowing those to lead you into what your vision is, can be really helpful. Cuz you don’t, like, sometimes we just don’t know where to. So looking back, it can be really helpful to pick those throughlines and themes to help you start.
Kerri: I love that. you’re so right. It’s, it can be overwhelming for some people to think, oh, I have this blank canvas like I want to create a creative vision board or to think about my vision for this year, but it can be hard to know where to start. So I like that. Looking back on what themes have stood out from the past year,
There are a lot of different ways I think we would just encourage you. There are tons of approaches to doing something like a vision board. Do whatever you feel drawn to, whatever feels fun and creative to you, and just really see it as an opportunity to explore and look through images and concepts and think through ideas that are really feeling joyful for you for this year.
And another way that you could approach it could be doing it by category. I know some people do it by category, so they have like my year or 2023, or maybe they choose a word for the year and they surround it with the different categories of their life. Like family, you mentioned, their, their spiritual category, their creative, fun category, friendships category, professional life, and kind of what are the different visuals and images that you wanna attribute. Or bring to life in each of those different areas.
You could also think about doing a vision board of the five Senses, and that’s kind of more of a mood board, like you were saying with the interior designers. Think through how, how do I wanna, what do I wanna see this year in my year? What are the smells I wanna smell? What are the things I wanna taste? That could be another fun way to think through what’s the, like, the journey that I wanna, I’m gonna be living in my body this year. Like what, what’s the journey that I wanna, go through throughout the year and maybe some new things that I haven’t experienced yet that I want to, or some things that I really love and are comforting to me that I want more of in my life.
So those are just a couple of additional approaches to think through that can maybe spark some inspiration and you can certainly do a hybrid or a mishmash of any or all, all of those things when you go to sit down and do that.
And I guess on that line, Esther, do you have, in terms of, so we talked about like vision and the importance of vision. And some different approaches to vision boards. When we come to the, like actual creating a vision board. What are the things that you have done in the past or like to do that is fun for you?
Esther: Well, I have a few tools I love to use. I almost always do it, online or digitally. So I’ll normally come to Pinterest, to start. I mean, I’m kind of new to Pinterest compared to some people. I’ve only been on it for a couple years. But I found the usefulness of it in the fact that you can search language right?
You can just search words and then a bunch of visuals pop up. So, sometimes I get really frustrated cuz my description’s. creating anything that I actually want. So I have to get pretty creative sometimes.
Kerri: The algorithm
Esther: Yeah, I’m like, that’s not at all what I want, and sometimes, you know, some people just haven’t created what is in my head, so that should be a good sign.
Basically like you would do, with magazines or something you just do it through Google, Pinterest, that type of thing. You’re cutting out text you’re cutting out visuals, then, I like to either drop it into Canva or Photoshop are great places where it’s just, like we said earlier, just a blank page where you can drop things in and organize it and kind of collage digitally.
Canva has this really cool color map now, they have, generator, so they kind of. You know how color schemes are created. So they have like AI to create color schemes and you can drop in colors you are drawn to and they’ll come up with like different ones or they have pre-made color schemes, so you can type in sunset or whatever and a bunch will pop up.
So I think that’s really helpful to have that tool. But what, what are some ways that you, like doing your vision boards carry? Are you more of a digital or, in person, person.
Kerri: I am more of an in-person person, but kind of a hybrid I would say.
Kerri: I don’t really get a lot of magazines. I mean, compared to probably 15, 20 years ago, myself had a ton of magazines, but, I think a pro tip or a fun, a fun thing you could do is get catalogs. So a lot of brands send like catalogs that are really beautiful, or you can sign up for catalogs.
I typically don’t, just because I’m trying to maybe reduce the carbon impact just a little bit, but you can take.
Esther: They also have them in stores too,
Kerri: True. Yes, you could pick some up, you could just drop by your favorite stores and pick up their 2023 catalog. But I do like, there’s something, I started back to our, I think our second episode with Creative Journeys. I loved scrapbooking, so I think there’s something nostalgic for me, about cutting something out and using glue or using some sort of sticky tape and putting it on a piece of paper that feels just really in the moment and fun for me.
So I think that doing that with existing materials like magazines or catalogs, but also being able to search online and then print stuff off, which is also really fun cuz you can still print it off and cut it out and add it and something that I’m not as good at, but have goals for is kind of the idea.
I know some people, they do a completely doodled vision board, so they draw it themselves. Feels a bit overwhelming for me right now, which is okay. But if that’s your thing and you like are a prolific doodle or like doodle your vision, like that would be. Really fun. Or I have friends who are really into calligraphy.
So even just writing the words in different colors, like it, it can be whatever you want it to be. It can have visuals, it can just be the visual of the word written in a beautiful way too. So, yeah. But I’m definitely more of a, in. Physical, a physical one, and I’ll put it up. I have a pin board above where I work, and we’ll just stick it up there. So, yeah.
Esther: That’s so cool. I had a friend, a couple years ago, show me an exercise in just like creative visualization and it was essentially taking a magazine and cutting out like half sheets of your favorite pages and creating 100 small, like one inch by half inch little rectangles. And then you go through the process of editing.
So it actually helps you edit out things. You’re basically going from 100 to 50 and then halfing it every time until you end up with one single piece of paper. So I think that’s just a fun exercise I wanted to throw in there.
Kerri: That’s amazing. I’m gonna challenge myself to do that. I love that.
Esther: Mm-hmm. It is a lot of fun.
Kerri: So once we create our vision board, what are some things that you, how do you use it? Like if you’re doing a personal one for this year, for 2023 do you have some things once you’ve created it that you reflect on? Or is it something that you put in a place that you try to revisit? Or do you have any sort of rhythm around it?
Esther: Well I am a words person. I might actually turn it back into words. So maybe it’s a vision statement or a single word or, just a few ideas. I think the process of like answering questions through the vision board. So maybe you are trying to get an answer from a question, and that’s why you’re creating the vision board. So then reflecting, okay, what themes am I seeing show up in that board.
Revisiting it is always good because life gets busy and we kind of forget what we did in January by the time June hits. So, I like what you do, where you put it up, where you can see it regularly. I’ve never, like, I, I don’t have like that physical item, it’s more so if it does just live on Pinterest or it’s a document, I think having those written down things where I can see them prompt me. So sometimes, yeah, I’ll just, like last year we chose a word I wrote it on a piece of paper and we just put it on the fridge. And so every time we’re in the kitchen, we see that word.
Kerri: I love that.
Esther: But yeah, revisiting it is helpful.
Kerri: Well, we wanna encourage our Flourish community to, if you go through this process of creating a vision, vision board to just really dream big and take it as an opportunity to explore and have fun and just see what images and words you’re drawn to and which ones inspire you.
And then I think beyond that, if you have the opportunity to share it with a close friend or a loved one, or even do the exercise of creating a vision board with someone in your life, do that because I think. We so fully believe in community, really helping our dreams and goals come, come to life. So use this as an opportunity for your personal reflection and if you feel called to share it with someone that you love as well.
Another reminder before we wrap up this segment that we have our January book Club Digital Minimalism coming up. If you had the chance to read it over the holidays, fantastic. If not, you still have some time. We’re gonna break down this book in an upcoming episode later this month. So check out digital minimalism.
Esther: All right. Moving onto bookmarks. Kerri, is there something you’ve been reading, watching or listening to that’s been sparking inspiration?
Kerri: A lot of things, and my bookmark is actually an app.
Kerri: Into the world of a lot of content, but you may or may not know the Libby app. If you have a library card somewhere in America. I don’t know. Does Australia have Libby? Do you know Austin?
Esther: No but I still have a US library card so I can access it.
Kerri: Perfect. Yeah. Libby is a free app. If you have a library card download it. You can get a lot of content, A lot of both Kindle books, audio books, and then what I wanna share as a bookmark is magazines. And you know, I have a long history of magazines. I thought I was gonna be a magazine designer at one point.
But when you talked about earlier, Esther, the uh the process of editing, I think one of my intentions for this new year is I, I really. I value news, I’m a journalism background, and I think just this concept of being able to edit down the news that I’m intaking to a format like a magazine, which is put together so beautifully, which pieces are intentionally put in and also taken out.
And so I’m trying to read some, like weekly magazines instead of just always having this constant unedited inflow of information. So they, Libby has a lot of different magazines from different news sources. So you can choose the magazines that speak to you. Choose magazines that also don’t speak to you so you can read a diversity of thought.
But definitely wanna just give a plug for the magazine as an art form and as a tool to, help edit down the constant flow of information that’s out there. I will also say there are some fun magazines out there on really niche specific topics. Like I found this magazine all about crockpot cooking and the whole ma, the whole magazine is only recipes of that.
You can like put in a crockpot and it was great. I like I took some screenshots. I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that, but I did. I took some screenshots and found some new recipes, so you can also just look for some fun niche content that’s in a, in a fun magazine.
Esther: I love that. I love magazines so much.
Kerri: Yes. How about you, Esther? What’s your, what have you been watching or reading?
Esther: So this week I wanted to highlight Shaylene Louise, who is a creator. She’s a painter. I think she said third generational floral painter and I am just obsessed with everything she puts out. So if you like florals at all, you should go follow her. but I just…
Kerri: I am looking it up right now.
Esther: yeah. I just found, so she has like these really cool reels that, are just process videos. But I just found out she does YouTube as well. So I know that YouTube’s a little bit better for creators. They pay a little bit more, so if you want to go check that out, she’s releasing tutorials now, which, I’m past the tutorial phase. I don’t have time for that but I do enjoy watching all the processes.
Kerri: Oh my gosh, I just looked her up. This is beautiful. So much talent. I am always just like shocked like artists, and painters specifically. I’m just fascinated. I could just sit and watch the paint come to life on the page. It’s mesmerizing.
Esther: Yeah exactly and It’s watercolor, which is even more mesmerizing, I think. But yeah, that’s my bookmark this week. Go check out Shaleene Louise.
Kerri: Thank you for joining us today and be sure to check out Flourishcreative.co/podcast to see the show notes.
Esther: We’d love to hear from you. You can send us a note to email@example.com or tag us on Instagram. We are @FlourishCreativeCo. Feel free to leave a review wherever you’re listening and help new friends discover our podcast community.Kerri: Happy New Year once again and until next time, live well and flourish.