My Genealogy Vision Board

Have you ever heard of a “vision board”? It’s purpose is to serve as a visual and tangible snapshot of your goals or your “ideal life”. They are often constructed from poster board and magazine cutouts, but can also be created with on canvas or cork board. Vision boards have exploded in popularity among the Pinterest, blogging and Youtube communities over the last few years.

I admit, that at first I was skeptical about the claims that distilling your idea of the perfect Instagram-worthy life onto a piece of cardboard and hanging it up would contribute anything toward achieving your goals. It seemed to me that it was more of a cheap way to project to anyone walking through your house (or scrolling your Instagram page) that you had ambition and potential.

However, ever since I moved two months ago I’ve been spending more and more of my free time working on my blog, working on research and pursuing genealogy education. At times I get tired and I think to myself ‘I spend 40 hours a week doing this for my job, why am I doing this at home too?’ And I have to remind myself that the answer is: I have goals. Genealogy is more than just a hobby for me. I want to improve my skills, I want to pursue certification, I want to contribute to the broader community, I want to speak at conferences, I want to write. To accomplish all those things, I need to put in work.

Of course, it gets old going through this mental conversation every day. That’s when I decided I needed a genealogy vision board.

It didn’t take many supplies to start my project. I had a glue stick and I picked up a sheet of poster board at Walmart. I had two Food Network magazines lying around and a color printer on my desk.

I started by making a list of things I want to accomplish in my genealogy career. To that I added people and things that inspire me. Flipping through the magazines, I was able to find a few words in advertisements that verbalized my goals or offered encouragement. I printed out images of the people and things on my list. Finally, I threw in some of my favorite family pictures to remind me whose story I am telling through my work.

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With all the components assembled, I spent some time experimenting with different layouts. Then I attached all the pieces and used colored felt-tip pens to add embellishments. Start to finish, it probably took me under 2 hours to complete the entire project. The finished board hangs directly across from the kitchen table where I do most of my work. Now anytime I look up from my laptop, I’m reminded why I am spending my precious free time continuing to work so hard on genealogy!

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How do you stay motivated to do your genealogy research? Add your suggestions in the comments!

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