Do you have a tradition for welcoming the New Year? Do you map out a plan for the year ahead?

Before we dive into the benefits of family vision boards, it’s worth mentioning the value of celebrating. Coming together in a celebratory fashion has a way of helping us remove our armor. When we are celebrating with loved ones, we are more open to giving and receiving love and appreciation. While we don’t need an excuse to share our love, it always feels good to seize opportunities to experience and spread more joy.

It is great fun to enjoy New Year’s celebrations with large groups of people, or in small intimate gatherings – even if it’s just the members in your household. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate. The point is to have fun and embrace the added opportunity to connect and feel a deep sense of gratitude for your life as it is.

Every New Year looks different for how my family chooses to celebrate. Sometimes we like to hunker down after the busy holiday season and ring in the New Year with just the four of us. Other years, we get to spend it celebrating with our dear friends and family. The one New Year’s tradition that doesn’t waver, is our ritual of creating vision boards as a family every January 1st. I started this tradition years ago with my mom. After getting married and having a family, I was excited to share this fun creative time with my husband and two sons.

For anyone unfamiliar with vision boards, it’s basically a detailed plan of your goals utilizing your creativity. You can make one on a large poster board, or in a journal. I have also seen it created with animation or other forms of technology. The plan that is being mapped out could be for a particular project or venture. It could even be a plan for the bigger picture of your hopes for the future.

At our house, we love to create our annual vision boards on large poster board. We use magazine cut outs and bright colored markers and pens to map out our dreams and goals for the upcoming year. Each of us create our own personalized vision board.

During our creative time, we usually listen to music, enjoy yummy snacks and have a casual conversation about the previous year. Our chat usually involves taking stock of our wins and our learning. I love the discussions because it helps everyone in our household grow a sense of self-awareness and feel grateful for the life we have.

Reflecting on the previous year is a wonderful way to honor each family member for their unique gifts and value they bring to our family. The reflective time also brings us closer together as a family because we get to see firsthand what each of us has mapped out as being important to us right now.

After creating your family vision boards, it’s important to display them somewhere special. My boys hang theirs up in their sports room. This is an ideal home to hang them because most of their board is filled with images and words relating to their love of sports.

Having your vision board displayed where you see it regularly is powerful. It serves as a reminder of what is important to you and your family. The best part of mapping a clear vision is how it creates awareness of your deepest desires. When opportunities come up that are in line with these dreams, it becomes much easier to recognize them  – and seize them.

Creating these masterpieces together as a family, has a way of making each family member’s goals and dreams seem all the more special and likely to happen. It is collective energy that is fun for everyone.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to have some creative fun with your family in this way, I definitely recommend giving this fun-filled ritual a try to see if it’s a good fit for your family.

Happy New Year!

Article written by Emily Madill, originally published on


  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse;; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: