Vision boards are simple. The effect they can have on your habits and routines are not.
Whether you call them vision boards or goal boards, they can help keep you focused on the work you need to do toward making your desires and life goals a reality.
Sure, a board serves as motivation but it can be so much more. This post is your no-nonsense guide to creating a vision board. If you want to skip this post and get straight to creating your vision board, get the checklist from my store.
What Is a Vision Board?
Vision boards are typically collages of pictures, images, textiles, and sentimental accessories that inspire you to work toward a specific set of results.
However, vision boards also represent a mindset shift. The shift in your willingness to embrace the possibilities of going after your dreams and not giving up because you hit a roadblock (or two).
Dream boards, as they’re often called, can be your ultimate reminder of what can become real and tangible from all the dreaming, planning, executing, sacrificing, and reflecting you do.
Vision Board and Your Subconscious Mind
Vision boards also act as a bridge between your inner self (the subconscious mind) and your conscious self (the objective mind).
In fact, a research study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explores a technique involving both positive thinking and visualization, and its influence on goal commitment.
The results show a connection between having high expectations of success and committing to a goal that is on the same high level as that expectation. In other words, you rise to the level of your expectations and match it with the focus and energy required to make it a reality.
Think of a goals board as bridging the gap through daily, visual reminders of the life and reality you're striving to create. Now let’s dive into making a vision board.
Step 1: Setting Your Intentions
Setting intentions usually gets ignored when people making a vision board. It’s an important step because you need to know your why so you know which way to go in creating your board. Intentions are the foundation from which dreams and goals will unfold. To tap into your genuine desires and craft a dream board that mirrors the awesome future you're planning, answer these self-discovery questions.
10 Self-Discovery Questions To Reveal Inner Desires
- What brings me true joy and fulfillment?
- Where do I see myself in one year, both personally and professionally?
- What aspects of my life do I want to enhance or improve?
- What new experiences do I want to invite into my life?
- How can I serve or help uplift the lives of others?
- What habits or patterns do I want to release or embrace?
- In what ways do I want to grow intellectually?
- What skills or talents do I want to develop or strengthen?
- How can I cultivate more balance and harmony in my life?
- What small, actionable steps can I take towards my larger goals?
Step 2: Gathering Supplies
In order to make a traditional vision board, here are the supplies you'll need:
- Poster board, cardboard, or cork board
- Photos, pictures, magazines
- Scissors, glue or glue stick
- Markers, stickers, decorative tapes (like washi tapes), and patterned papers
- Pens, pencils, and highlighters
Digital Vision BoardsA side note, you can make an entirely digital vision board. I make mine using Canva and then save them to Pinterest. If you’re interested in learning how to make your own board, here’s a link to Canva’s own tutorial, "Canva Vision Board Tutorial"
Power of Personal Photos and Mementos
Discovering amazing items for your vision board is easier than you think – just look around your own space. Your phone, computer, or even that old scrapbook hiding on the shelf are gold mines of inspiration.
Dive into your personal collection of photographs and mementos, and bring those special moments, achievements, and experiences to life on your vision board.
Don't forget to explore textiles, fabrics, and accessories – they can add that extra touch of inspiration to make your board truly unique.
Here’s some specific ways to find images for your board:
5 Places To Find The Best Images For Your Vision Board
- Flip through magazines and cut out images and words that resonate with your answers from the self-discovery questions above. This process not only solidifies your intentions but also adds a personalized touch to your vision board.
- Search on Pinterest, and print out images that speak directly and honestly to your lifestyle goals.
- Use search engines to discover high-quality images like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- Explore stock photo websites that offer a wide range of visuals. A few to try are Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay, which provide free, high-resolution images that you can download and print.
- Visit a local bookstore or library and explore magazines and books related to your interests. The library is a hidden gem because you can explore books on art, history, music, design, architecture, and more, all in expertly designed categories and topics. Flip through books and make photocopies all in one place - it doesn’t get any better than that.
Selecting the Perfect Images for Your Vision Board: Practical Tips
When picking pictures or images for your vision board, be sure to pick ones that resonate with the vision you have for your lifestyle.
Do the photos evoke positive emotions or feelings of alignment with your aspirations?
Do these photos or materials represent the future “you”?
Don't be afraid to mix and match sources to create a vision board that is uniquely yours and tells the story of who you are becoming.
Now that you've got supplies, identified your true intentions, and chosen images it's time to bring them to life visually.
Step 3: Arranging Inspirational Materials
Creating your vision board should be an enjoyable and soothing experience. Play your favorite music, or light an aromatherapy candle to set the mood.
I find sipping herbal tea while I work on mine helps me to focus on what inspires me the most. Let your intuition guide you as you place each element on the board. There’s no need for perfection; the goal is to create a story that resonates with your aspirations.
Step 4: Where Should You Place Your Vision Board?
Your vision board is a practical tool, but its impact is maximized when it's incorporated into your daily routine. Find a prominent place for it in your home. As I mentioned above, take a picture of it and save it as a screensaver on your phone or laptop. Every time you look at or unlock your device, you’ll reinforce your life goal aspirations on a subconscious level.
Step 5: Why Regular Reflection on Your Vision Board is Essential
Here the kicker: reflecting on your board is often an overlooked aspect of using it.
A vision board isn't a useful tool if all you do is build it and forget about it.
These boards can be successful because you create it...and reflect and feel the energy of the inspiring words and images.
When you open your mind to achieving the goals laid out on your board, you're turning on your reticular activating system to be on the look out for those solutions, resources and relationships that can help you make those goals a reality.
4 Easy Ways to Reflect On Your Vision Board
Reflect on the images, words, as well as the intentions represented on the board. Remember how they make you feel and why you chose them in the first place. Consider whether your goals and aspirations have evolved or if any adjustments are needed.
If your vision or goals change, don't hesitate to adjust your vision board accordingly. Adding new elements or removing outdated ones keeps it relevant and in the present.
Acknowledge your accomplishments by celebrating any goals you've achieved. Not only does this boost your morale but also reinforces the idea that your vision board is a dynamic tool that engages your senses, making your dreams and goals a tangible experience.
Take a moment during reflection to visualize yourself achieving your dream board goals. This helps reinforce the connection between your aspirations and your actions. For a step-by-step guide to visualization read my blog post, “19 Best Visualization Tips To Help You Achieve Your Goals”
Remember that your vision board is exactly that, a visual reflection of your innermost desires.
Trust this creation process but be committed to your intentions by taking action for making your dreams and goals a reality.
Let’s review the best tips for making a vision board:
6 Best Tips For Creating A Vision Board
- Do make the vision board for your own intentions and goals, reflecting what matters to you (and not anyone else).
- Do place the board in a highly visible place where you’ll see it daily.
- Do understand achieving results will be non-linear, with setbacks and progress as a normal part of the goals process.
- Don't ignore your vision board.
- Don’t play small, by only adding things that are practical or possible, dream big on your board…and believe in the possibilities.
- Don’t be afraid to make updates to your board by adding or removing items.
"Mental Contrasting and Goal Commitment: The Mediating Role of Energization”, Gabriele Oettingen, Doris Mayer, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2002)
Maisel, Eric, Ph.D., "Using Creativity to Create Your Future", Psychology Today, March 22, 2021, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/202103/using-creativity-create-your-future