If you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids during summer break that will also have tremendous side benefits, have I got something for you.
I created my first one nine years ago, and I looked at it every day. And let me tell you, this visualization stuff works. It’s so powerful to declare what we really want, and a dream board allows us to do just that. It’s no secret that what we focus on expands, and our dream board is a fun and powerful way to keep the visual reminder of what we’re working toward in our daily line of sight.
For nearly a decade, one of the walls of my home office or the mirror on my medicine cabinet has sported my current dream board. Every. Single. Thing. on my first one came true. And the next one, and the next and the next. I’m ridiculously excited for the dreams on the latest one I created near the end of 2018—I’m going really big here—and already two of the things have come true.
So clearly, I’m a big fan of this exercise for us grown-ups. But I’m equally smitten with kids doing their own dream boards too. I started Nate and Bebe when they were old enough to have a conversation about what they wanted and to cut out pictures in magazines. I tied it into a larger, ongoing discussion about my work, which I called “the family business”. I wanted them to feel a part of it because I knew that many of the tools I was using in my entrepreneurial journey would be powerful for them too. The sense of ownership and inclusion also made it easier for them to understand when their work-from-home mom needed to be left alone in her office or couldn’t watch their fave show with them because I had phone calls to make.
The kids’ early dream boards were crude attempts, often including things like legos and candy (why didn’t I take pictures, dammit?). Admittedly, when they attained the treasures on their boards, it wasn’t because of their work. But I made sure that they understood that they were coming true because of the family business, in part because of their role in it—letting Mom do her work and emptying the trash can or shredding paper, or any other task that made them important and didn’t hurt anything. As they got older, the legos and candy turned into trips and more sophisticated things, and their tasks in support of the “family business” got more sophisticated too. Their dream boards became a staple of their bedroom décor, and they started asking to do updates even before I announced it was time.
When the kids were old enough to start dreaming about things they could work toward (around 9), their dream boards started to include personal goals. And I made sure that theirs weren’t just about stuff they wanted to acquire, goals they wanted to achieve and places they wanted to go. I taught them an essential part of dream boards for all of us: to include how we want to feel. Because how we feel we when achieve our dreams is just as important as the achievement, maybe even more so. I’ve found that when I make sure to focus on my feelings and mindset, too, I’m not only more likely to achieve my goal, but I’m going to enjoy the journey a heck of a lot more too.
So I encourage you to introduce this activity with your kids this summer. Make it a whole family affair!
Last year Nate made his dream board at his summer camp, but Bebe was all in with me at year’s end to create her latest. It was amazing to see her big leaps in maturity and sophistication represented on her board. Per usual, we presented our boards to each other after we pasted the last pic. Bebe took me through her desires and goals (Theater star! Zac Effron! 5 kids! Always be with Nate!), and then looked at me with her most serious expression.
“Do you think it’s stupid, Mom?” she asked.
“Our dreams are never stupid, baby girl,” I told her. “What’s stupid is not going after them."
Comment below with one thing you’re going to put on your Dream Board, and if you’re going to grab your kids and make this powerful and fun activity part of your summer with them!