Teens are told all the time to find a passion, find their sense of purpose. But that’s not so easy to do without some serious self-reflection. Is your teen having trouble figuring out what makes them truly happy? A vision board for teens could be the key to unleashing their dreams!
Self-Reflection is the Key to Purpose and Drive
Teens and tweens lead very busy lives, with almost no downtime. Days are consumed with school, sports, etc., and there is almost no time to stop and think. And even though they’re told to find out what they love, they are still developing the skill of self-reflection needed to do that.
Kids are now in a rat race to get to college. Getting the right grades, playing competitive sports, being the lead in the school play. Is that enough? Shouldn’t everyone make time to think about what is their passion? What can they really do to make them happy. “If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.”
One way to improve your chances of keeping what makes you happy at the forefront of your plans is to create a vision board. A vision board has so many incredible benefits, from giving you a chance to be creative, to activating your subconscious to work towards a goal. They’re almost magical!
The Power of Vision Boards for Teens
Your passions should be driving your goals, and the power of visualization can take you there. We’ve seen this at work recently in our own home. After a few conversations about what he wanted out of his tennis training, our teen’s tennis coach suggested that he spend some time building a vision board for his tennis goals. He spent a couple of hours looking for pictures on the Internet that represent his biggest tennis dreams: Stanford tennis, tennis trophies, inspiring Rafa Nadal quotes… This was a great start. But the best part was that, after only a couple of days, my son worked on his own plan for more focused fitness training, match play, and tournaments. And now he keeps going and following his plan, inspired by the pictures on his wall.
Growing up, I clearly remember me and my friends with our bedroom walls covered in posters and pictures of everything we loved and obsessed over… our favorite bands, famous athletes, movie stars. As a teenager, my husband had posters of his favorite car (a mustang whatever) that he obsessed over, which ended up being his very first car. These were our own vision boards.
But these weren’t driven by our parents’ expectations of us.
Does your teen already know what they want?
How do you guide your teen to find their passion? And I mean just “guide”… this is their time, their passion… they may need just a little help navigating through the process.
At the most basic level, a Vision Board for teens can be a poster board with images printed out or cut out from magazines. It can also be a slide show on their phone or tablet. But to make it meaningful, it should reflect big goals and priorities. It should also include different areas of life, like:
- Career or life path
- Skills and knowledge
Looking at your vision board every day should make you happy.
So, what’s a good way for your teen to figure out his or her passion?
Some of our teens have lost the art of reflection, or maybe they never got a chance to develop it because it seems like we spend all of our time running around between schools and activities. As a parent, you can help guide your teen, and at the same time have a fun conversation about what is meaningful to them. Some key questions that can help are:
- What do you love to do outside of school? Is it technology? Crafts? Performing? Sports? Music? Writing?
- What activities or interactions make you feel energized, happy, and make the time go by quickly?
- What do you care about the most when it comes to your community, the environment, or other issues that focus on the good of others?
- How would you like to inspire others? Is there someone else that inspires you that you would like to follow on similar footsteps?
- What is the Big Hairy Audacious Goal that you want to achieve in life? This is a “stretch goal”… Go for greatness!
What if your teen is not ready to talk to you about this?
Well, how about a vision board party with his or her closest friends? It might be fun to invite 2 or 3 friends who are also looking to set some direction, and have them talk through the questions together, find pictures, and let their creativity soar!
One important thing to keep in mind… A vision board for teens should be kept simple… the purpose is to stay focused on the next year, maybe for the next couple of years. This is not an exercise in mapping out their future, but a starting point to find out what really matters to them now. Thinking of what they will want when they’re grownups could feel a little removed.
A vision board that shows them their dreams NOW, like going to a specific university, playing varsity sports, getting the lead in a school play, or publishing a website or podcast, can be a very powerful tool for self-motivation.
This new vision board will get them started in working with purpose towards the goals that will help them achieve their dreams!Connect with Teen SMART Goals on social media!