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Can a Vision Board Help You Stay Sober in 2017?

Vision boards are a great way to pull together a bunch of different inspirations and ideas to help you turn a dream or goal into a reality. As we move into the new year, a vision board can be an excellent tool for manifesting your New Year’s resolutions. It is the kind of thing that is perfect for recovery goals because they are specific but have a lot of room for creativity.

If staying sober in 2017 is your primary goal, you can create a vision board that will help you to flesh out all the things you can do to turn that into a reality, pulling pictures, quotes, and actionable tips together into one place that will inspire you throughout the year.

Here’s how:

  1. Choose your format. You can do an online vision board using a site like Pinterest where you can pull together everything that inspires you to stay sober or you can make one live and in person. If you go the in-person route, you can pick up a poster board and glue your items on for more permanence, or pick up a bulletin board or magnetic board, giving yourself the option to move things around.
  2. Choose specific goals. Of course, staying sober is your primary focus, but for your vision board, you will want to home in on specific goals to help you make it an actionable vision for 2017. That is, instead of focusing on goals or resolutions that are vague, like “I want to stay sober,” choose goals that will result in you accomplishing that achievement. For example, you might say, “I want to attend one 12-Step meeting every day this year,” or “I will go to at least one holistic therapy like yoga, acupuncture, or tai chi every week.” You don’t have to pick just one or two. Anything that you would like to see manifest in your life – like more time with friends or a healthier lifestyle through working out regularly or eating more vegetables – that will augment your ability to stay sober can be represented on your vision board.
  3. Gather your inspiration. Whether you are on Pinterest gathering memes of awesomely inspiring quotes and links to articles and blog posts that will help you to accomplish your sober goals, or cutting out pictures of all the places you will be able to travel now that you are sober or clipping workouts that you can easily reference each day, it’s time to start gathering your inspiration! Anything and everything goes; you can never have too much.
  4. Put it all together. If you are on website, group your inspirational links into sections – workout tips on one “board,” healthy recipes on another, books you want to read on another, etc. If you are building an in-person board, arrange and rearrange as you like so your eye-grabbing pictures and quotes are where you want them and all the lists are easy to read or easy to pull down for use.
  5. Put your vision board somewhere visible. You want to look at your vision board every day, multiple times a day. If you have your vision board on your phone, have it be visible every time you turn it on or on your quick-access menu in plain view. If you have an in-person version, put it where you will look at it frequently – next to where you eat or even in the bathroom – where you will have time to read it and be inspired by it in the natural course of your day.

What Is Your Vision for Your Sobriety in 2017?

As you head into the new year, whether you are new to recovery or have been working toward sustained sobriety for years, you have the opportunity to honestly consider where you are in your life and where you would like to be. If you are not quite sure where to begin with your vision board, consider some of the following ideas:

  • Find a new alternative therapy to add to your recovery regimen each week (e.g., a sports therapy or arts therapy).
  • Get your GED or enroll in a prerequisite class for a college certification that will boost your earning potential.
  • Spend an afternoon each week with a family member you are working to connect with in sobriety.
  • Go for a swim, lift weights, or go for a walk every day for 20-30 minutes.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables at every meal.
  • Improve your sleep habits by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Create a budget in order to get your spending under control and pay off debt.
  • Work through the 12 Steps.
  • Sign up for a new class (e.g., learn a language, learn how to paint, learn how to cook, etc.).
  • Pick out a new travel destination, museum, or park or beach to visit at least once a month.

Without the limitations that come with addiction, you have the freedom to create the life you want for yourself in sobriety. How will you make 2017 the year that you turn your dreams into a reality?