Inspiration boards: the how, what and why the heck not?

Okay, hands up, who actually has one? No? Never heard of them? Well until seven months ago I hadn’t either! In March I moved in with two flatmates and one of them had this exquisitely arranged board of everything inspirational stuck up in the kitchen. I noticed for weeks my eyes were repeatedly drawn to it every time I walked into that room (which let’s be frank is quite often..) and after feeling stirred each time I gazed upon it all too soon it was unquestionable that I needed to investigate this concept for myself. Now I do understand that for a lot of readers this notion may induce an eye roll, but hear your sister out. It’s not all airy fairy, gag-inducing fluff (I promise), it’s actually an exceedingly effective way to discover (or rediscover) pieces of a puzzle which make up your individual character, desires, creativity and goals. The formation of one of these truly was pivotal in my personal development.

J Board
The Jodie Board of Inspiration

The what:

No bombshells here but this concept has actually been around for years (perhaps I’m a late developer). Originally used in problem solving (“brainstorming”) for groups (such as employees in a company) it quickly spread to life-coaching, counselling, group projects and onto our flavour of the day – individual use. In its simplest essence the inspiration board is a self-designed collage of images, words or items that stroke your rhetorical muse. It should stimulate, empower and enable you to focus on what matters to YOU.

My board (as you can see from the image) is a mishmash of special gifts, hand-written notes, goals I’ve achieved, upcoming objectives I have set for myself and simple prompts for actions I should take when I am struggling with particular issues. As you can also see it has overflowed and is now taking up space on my bedroom wall.. One should never contain the creative juices when they flow! The thing that I’ve come to realise about these boards is that they should never be “finished”. I have subtracted and added to this board more times than I can recall, which not only aids in keeping it stimulating, but also prevents the familiarity effect taking its toll (when it becomes like a scratch on the wall). As a matter of fact since writing this post I have taken down two items and added three more.

The how:

There’s a squillion ways to go about this and you will in time find what works best for you. As you can see mine is very personal in nature. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Purchase magazines that interest you and cut out images from those (e.g. for fitness goals buy a magazine like “Women’s/Men’s Health”)
  • Ask people to write down for you what enthuses them and add what gels with you to the board.
  • Look through your drawers and see what memento’s you re-discover.
  • Dig out some old photos (or alternatively get some developed).
  • Re-read old cards and letters.
  • Try drawing.. painting.. making origami.. go with the imaginative flow.
  • Google Image search a concept that matters to you (e.g. “fearless”).

The world’s your oyster my friends. Why the heck not?:Go on team! Head on out and purchase yourself a cork board (mine was $10 from Kmart and came with tac’s!) or some clip boards.

There’s no expectation, it is entirely up to the inventive you! Try to not be coerced by trends or focus on making it “pretty” – listen to your inner voice and cultivate it as time goes on. Aren’t you curious to see what you may produce?  Keep those dreams alive Possibler’s!


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