Transforming Your Retirement: Introducing Vision Boards to Achieve Your Dreams

As you are transforming your retirement into a joyful and fulfilling time, you need tools to help you focus on your goals and dreams. Too often we think of goal setting and creating big changes in your life as requiring lists and deadlines – the kind of things we might want to leave behind as we transition from structured jobs and careers.
We look at that list of dates and to-dos and we’re instantly overwhelmed with the enormity of it all, so we file it away for “later.” And often “later” will be never. So looking for other tools is a great idea. We have dreams of how our retirement years can be, and that’s what vision boards are all about: dreaming. In fact they are sometimes called dream boards.

Rather than a bland calendar or spreadsheet with dates and impressive sounding goals on them, vision boards give you the creativity to let your dreams grow. It is a visual tool that helps you feel the achievement of your goals and dreams. That’s the real power of a vision board.

What Exactly is a Vision Board?

It’s a collection of images, quotes and symbols that have meaning to you and which represent your life as you would like it to be. Vision boards come in many different formats, both digital and physical. We’ll talk more about that later, but for now, let’s take a look at the components of vision boards.

Images. By far the most common item on vision boards are images: photos, drawings, mind maps, sketches or anything else that has some meaning for you. For example, if world travel is one of your goals, you might include photos of historic landmarks you want to visit, or airplanes or ships (imagine the feeling of freedom associated with those).

Motivational messages. Your vision board might include messages you see posted on social media, phrases you read and jot down in your journal, or even testimonials from your clients or nice things others have said about you. Anything that’s motivational to YOU.

Inspiring quotes. Inspiration is different for everyone, and the sources are endless. You probably already have favorite quotes; expand those by doing Google searches by topic or by person.

Everything else. What else inspires or motivates you? The blue ribbon your grandmother’s quilt won at the state fair? A small vial of sand from that secluded beach you’ll retire to someday? Vision boards can include these treasures as well. You just might have to be a little creative when it comes to adding them.

Transforming your retirement calls for new tools like Vision Boards. See additional posts for more specifics on how to create and use them.

Transforming Your Retirement: Recapture Dreams that Still Excite You

Dreaming new dreams as you are transforming your retirement is an invigorating process. (See

There are other dreams from other parts of our lives that may be worth rediscovering. Perhaps this is the time to make them come true. They may be ideas or possibilities that are big or small. They may be skills, hobbies or experiences or just things about which you want to learn.

What were your talents and interests as a child? What did you want to do and be when you grew up? Think back to childhood and see what you find, first in your elementary school years. Where was it? Imagine being there again – that will help you recall those things that may be so deep in your memory. For me, I attended a one-room school house in southern Wisconsin. There were around 30 students in 8 grades, all in one large classroom. I lived with my parents and two younger brothers in a large house on an acre of land just outside a small town. In that place and time, what you were interested in, what did you excel in, what hobbies or activities did you spend time doing? Do you remember wishing you could do something that wasn’t possible then but might be now? Jot down what comes to mind.

Move on into your high school and young adult years. Think about the same questions and jot down your answers. Are there any patterns? Is there anything that stirs up old emotions that you’d forgotten about? Particularly look for things that make you think, “I wish I had done that” or “I’d still like to do something with that.”

Now take a quick scan of your adult years and look for the discarded or submerged dreams and hopes. Make a list of things you had wanted or intended to do or be that didn’t happen. Alongside each item, write down one or more reasons that it didn’t happen. It could be a choice you made, or that someone else made for you. It could be that it just dropped lower on your priority list when you moved, or got married, or had children. Perhaps the resources to make it happen just weren’t available. Then look back and identify which ones still have appeal and pull at you.

As you look back at all of the items from the different parts of your life, are there some that still stir up a desire? What would it look like if you chose one or more of those interests, talents and dreams from earlier in your life and did something with it NOW? Perhaps you want to pursue them as you transform your retirement into a time of life you really enjoy.