Rock 2009 with a New Year collage

happy new year

Here’s an arts and crafts project that’s fun, powerful, and dare I say a reasonable alternative (or addition) to football for New Year’s day. It’s especially fun to make collages with a group of friends; everyone can bring old magazines and help each other find pictures for your goals. Even better: meet with the same group again next year to find out how everyone’s goals turned out.

Collection phase

1. Collect your goals

This step sounds like something you just sit down and do (and sometimes it is), but it’s often a more organic process than that. It certainly varies from year to year how formally I engage in goal setting, but I do find it helpful to do some kind of thinking that evaluates results from the previous year and projects my intentions for the next one.

I encourage you to write down the themes and goals you identify if you’re so inclined. There’s a fair amount of documentation that the mere act of writing a goal makes it more likely to happen. Plus we’ll be referring to this list throughout the year for other projects.

In terms of the collage project, we’re looking for a list of the topics that you want to focus on for the year — your top three or four goals — plus perhaps a handful of other things that you’d also like to see happen.

2. Collect some pictures

Next you’ll gather pictures that illustrate each of the themes you identified in the goal phase. You’ll get most of your pictures from three sources:

  • Cut out pictures from magazines, newspapers, brochures, etc. It can be fun to assemble text phrases from headlines, but make sure you also get plenty of images.
  • Download and print pictures from the Internet – Google images is a great source, and next week we’ll feature a guest post that also shows you how to find pictures in the public archives on Flickr.
  • Photos of yourself – this is really, really important! Scan or photocopy pictures you already have, or perhaps you and a friend can take pictures of each other for this project. You get bonus points for wearing outfits that are appropriate for your goals.

Notice how the mere act of looking for pictures is already causing you to pay more attention to those goals, causing them to grow stronger in your mind. Great, it’s already working!

3. Collect supplies

  • Poster board (foam core board is especially elegant but inexpensive plain poster board is fine)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Extra magazines and newspapers
  • Optional: crayons, stickers, glitter, beads, etc.

Assembly phase

Now for the fun part – assemble all of the images you’ve collected into a visual map that illustrates your intentions for 2009. There are no rules, except to try to make it visually appealing to yourself. Here’s how I go about it:

1. Start in the center.

Include one or all of the following: “2009”, a picture of yourself, a picture of yourself with your family, your summary slogan for the year, a short written statement about your most important goal, a picture of your most important goal.

2. Map out zones on the page

Choose areas of the page that correspond to your major themes, sort of like a mind map. You may label them with cut-out words, or not. Trim the images you’ve collected for each theme and lay them on the page in their respective zones. Often this will stimulate you to go find a few more pictures to fill in some gaps. Experiment with your layout until you like it.

3. Add decoration

Here’s where you get as artistic as you want to. Or not. Just make yourself happy. It makes me happy to overlap pieces of my collage in visually interesting ways. Your results may vary.

4. Glue all of your material to the page.

When your composition feels done, start gluing. For minimal disturbance to your layout gently lift up a corner of each piece to tack it down with the glue stick. Take your time. How often do you get to play with glue these days?

Delivery phase

There’s only one step in this phase, but it’s the most important of all:

1. Display your finished collage in a prominent location.

By prominent, I mean very noticeable for you. It’s fine if it’s invisible to everyone else, as long as YOU see it every day this year.

One person who attended a collage party came back a year later and reported that nothing on it had happened. That was puzzling since she had made made a great collage and others from the same party had gotten good — even stunning — results. When we asked where she had displayed it, she admitted she had leaned it against the wall in a seldom-used back bedroom, and had not looked at it again. Now we understood why her results were less than optimal! You must display your collage where you’ll see it often.

You’ll be exposed to over a million commercial messages in 2009. All of them are important to someone; just not you. As is true with so many of the techniques we use at Take Back Your Brain!, the New Year collage makes sure you are also regularly reminded about the things you want to think about, to create the life you want. Happy New Year! Have fun.

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  1. Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Instead of making a collage, I make separate cards for each goal. I then use the deck every day (like some people use angel cards). I pull one at random in the morning and spend 15 seconds imagining it’s happening right now. This is a body meditation that shifts my energy. I lead workshops on making and using Vision Cards and it amazes me how powerful this technique is!

  2. Posted January 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I finally got around to making my own 2009 collage – only about month too late 😉

    I actually opted to make the collage digitally, cutting and pasting choice images into a poster-sized Gimp document. This way I can have it printed out in one go. (I’m still deciding if I want to pay Staples the $42 dollars!)

    Aside from the goal-related images, I used a photo of myself as the background for the poster as a way of “putting myself in the picture.” There’s also a pic of my husband and me in the woods near our house, just because it brings me joy 🙂

    You can see it here:

    I’ve tagged it with “tbyb,” so hopefully soon it’ll appear in that feed.

  3. Posted February 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    When you make a “goals collage” and keep it in a visible spot, it constantly serves to remind you of your goals. The more you think about your goals, the more likely it is that you will achieve them.

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