A vision board might look like just a pretty collage, but it’s actually a powerful tool to help you define and pursue important personal goals. Making a vision board is a fun activity, especially if you enjoy arts and crafts with a side of self-improvement. It’s a simple concept: assemble an array of inspiring images and words that fit with your personal aspirations, make it nice to look at, and place the board in a spot where you’ll see it often. An effective vision board will arouse positive thoughts that encourage you to work toward your goals.
Making a vision board is more than just a fun arts and crafts activity, and, in fact, you don’t need to be at all artistic to benefit from the project. Creating a vision board helps you organize your thoughts and feelings around one or more goals you have in life. These might relate to your home, health, career, love life, hobbies, or something else. Further, an effective vision board connects your aspiration to positive emotions including self-confidence. In this way, it inspires the real-life actions that lead to the fruition of your goals.
A classic version of a vision board comprises pictures pasted onto a poster board, plus written or cut-out words, and any decorative elements you choose. However, the concept can translate to an endless variety of materials. The backing could be a painter’s canvas, a cork board, or white board, or you could use a scrapbook or artists’ sketchbook and create boards with different themes over several pages. You can even create a fully digital vision board if you prefer, though most proponents would recommend printing the finished product.
Before you get to work on your vision board, take some time to really think about its theme. It could have a wide focus, incorporating many things you desire in the future, such as a house, pets, family plans, travel destinations, and career goals. Or, you could focus on just one area, for example fitness goals, saving for your first home, learning a new skill, or taking a dream vacation. Ask yourself exactly what it would look like and how it would feel to achieve those goals. You don’t necessarily need to consider how you will achieve them; this is more of an exercise in visualizing the end goal itself.
In addition to the backing piece for a vision board, you’ll need glue, tape, pushpins, or magnets to hold your elements in place. Washi tape is an attractive option. Some people prefer non-permanent methods so they can make frequent changes to their vision board. You might like to incorporate paint, markers, or colored pencils to draw or write directly on the board.
Magazines are the most common source for images to paste on a vision board. Spend weeks or even months tearing inspirational images from magazines and collecting them for the project, or gather a whole stack of diverse titles to go through in a single session. Another great option is searching online or on social media for images that fit your ideas. Print these to stick on your board. Your own photo collection is another good source.
Don’t expect to immediately arrange the perfect collection of images and words on your vision board and call it a day. Start by gathering a wide array of options, and one by one go through them and decide if they truly represent your vision or goal. “Keepers” should make you feel happy, confident and inspired to achieve the goal. Set aside or discard any that make you feel unsure about yourself or bring up negative emotions. Arrange the keepers on your board without sticking any down, and take some time to rearrange them until you’re happy with the rough draft.
When you’re ready, start putting the elements of your vision board in their final places. If you’re using non-permanent methods, such as pinning items to a cork board, you might rearrange them later. But for now, put the items in a chosen spot and leave them there. Be sure to leave plenty of blank spaces at first; this gives you the option to add more elements as you work. It can also be nice to have some blank spaces to stop your vision board from looking cluttered, or to expand in the future.
Writing notes on and around the images you’ve chosen is a powerful addition. You might add stars, stickers and mixed media items. It could be a scrap of fabric to inspire you to learn to sew, a dried flower to represent your future garden, or a tiny Eiffel tower trinket to remind you to keep saving up for a trip to Paris. Maybe you stick a cut-out photo of your own face over a picture of a performer on stage, or somebody receiving an award. You could write "congratulations!" to your future self for meeting your goal.
Your vision board should be on display in a spot where you can see it easily and often. It might be on a wall, propped up on a desk, or next to your bathroom mirror. Consider taking a photo of your board and making it your computer background or screensaver. You might choose a spot that fits with the goal the board represents. For example, a vision board that inspires you to train for a marathon could sit close to your running gear, or a board dedicated to healthy eating could go next to the pantry. Make a habit of using your vision board for inspiration, perhaps first thing every morning, or whenever you feel you need a boost of confidence and motivation.
It might be assembled with glue and a permanent marker, but a vision board should be an adaptable tool. Ideally, you will meet your initial goals, but they also might change or become less important to you. Remember, you don’t have to stick with a vision that doesn’t fit your desires anymore. Revisit regularly, and don’t hesitate to make changes or even start over from scratch. Cover old pictures with new ones, scratch words out with a big fat marker, or add a smiley face sticker or checkmark to celebrate meeting a goal. Once you feel a vision board no longer meets your needs, replace it with a new one. Do consider storing the old board somewhere as a powerful reminder of your personal journey.