Journaling and Dream Boarding, Oh My!

Dream Board #3Happy Monday!

I’ve been killing my goals so far this month. I’ve done yoga every day but one, but even when I missed I got right back on my mat the next day and started again. No excuses. I’ve written every day this month, with a grand total of 15 consecutive days of writing. When I make it to the end of the month, I’ll be on a 35-day writing streak! Last week, I was feeling really motivated to keep working on these goals, to keep my eye on the prize and really reap the rewards of the self-care I’m putting in. I wanted to bottle the feeling I had, the motivation and excitement for this new routine.

I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, and have been thinking about ways to take that kind of material and put it into my everyday line of sight. Aaron and I tried making dream board a few months back – when we were still in Atlanta. We bought two big cork boards at Target, and printed a bunch of images – sports cars and fancy houses for him, flower crowns and Gatsby quotes for me. All of them certainly fell into the “dreaming” category at this stage – but they were so intangible I’m not sure they actually supplied very much motivation for us. They were great, for about two weeks. Then the corners of the papers began to fold, and the images lost their vibrancy. They didn’t serve us well, hanging in the corner of our little apartment – mostly out of sight.

So last week, I thought what if I can make a dream board with more intention, more visibility to me in my everyday life, that focused on my direct goals. I went on Amazon and bought a laminator, and 100 sheets of laminating paper. I spent less than $35, and it would all be here in just a few days.  I was amazed. Why doesn’t everyone have one? Does everyone have one except me? 

The package arrived while I was at work on Friday. I came home and tore it open like a little kid on Christmas morning. I laminated 8 pages of inspiring images, yoga quotes and reading reminders, daily affirmations and sweet notes, all before I’d even changed out of my work clothes.

Dream Board #2The other part of this project, is the commitment to re-up the dream boards every month. I’ll use my goal tracker as my basis for what I need more of. Am I missing yoga too many days? Am I needing words of encouragement to spend more time reading? Seeing those habits, I’ll update my board each month and cycle through my inspirations.

I’ve even thought, but what will I do with the old ones I take down? If I’m done with them, I’ll put them in an envelope and send them to friends who need a little love and encouragement right now. I know I’d be thrilled at being on the receiving end of this idea, so why not? I already have my update dates on my calendar, so I really should just get some empty envelopes and stamps ready for those days too.

Isn’t it amazing how doing one right thing, like recommitting to a daily practice, can in turn lead you in a cycle of happiness and kindness? It’s not directly the yoga that is turning my mind, though surely the calm and pensive time on my mat each day is encouraging my new fortified spirit. I feel empowered by the success of my own ideas, that I set out to track my habits, and be more in control of my emotions and happiness, and now I am seeing fruition. I am happier, lighter, more solid, and I am now working to spread that organically in my life.

Needless to say, by the time I got to work this morning, I was dying to put this thing together!

The power of journaling and dream boarding in unison can be really powerful. It allows you to visualize and see the things that are important to you throughout the day, adding them intentionally to your life. I’ve always found journaling to be an incredible tool for reflection, creativity, and self-awareness. Often, the organic act of journaling can allow your mind to wander, at least for me. Some weeks I seem to have a theme going, others I am all over the place. Adding intention to journaling can be even more powerful. Some days I just pick a subject – a word even – and write as much as I can about that topic. Peace, for instance, or Solitude. I try to pick words that I hold near and dear, or one that has been sticking with me. Other days, though, I find myself sitting in front of my keyboard unsure of what to write. With this beautiful display of inspiration next to me, I can simply pick a quote, a line, an image and write about it – react to it – explain why I took the time to print it, laminate it, and pin it up in my office. These images, for one reason or another, caught me and made me pause.

What would your dream board look like? If someone took all your pictures from Pinterest and Tumblr, printed them all out, laminated them and pinned them up, would that be a proper visualization of you? An inside look at your personality and what makes you happy? Or maybe it would just be a start. Are there some images you would immediately take down? Are there others you’d want to make bigger, more prominent? What does that mean, what does that say about you?

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