Vision boards are rooted in the Law of Attraction as a means to visualize the hopes and dreams we are striving for. Today, vision boards have shifted in meaning. In recent years, people have moved from the traditional New Year’s resolution and instead create a vision board to represent the goals they have for their life.
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What is a Vision Board?
Simply, a vision board is a visual representation of a goal or goals you have. Depending on how you structure your board, you might have one board that shows goals for each aspect of your life: personal, relationship, career, financial, etc. Or you might just want to focus on one major goal on your board.
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Why Create a Vision Board?
Everyone has their own reasons for creating a vision board, but for most, it acts as a reminder of what you’re working toward.
Visualize your dreams
This is what most people think about when they hear the term vision board. It’s cut-out pictures of what you’d like to do or where you’d like to go. You use images to represent the way you’d like your life to be.
Putting those thoughts and dreams on a board puts them in front of you on a daily basis. Rather than a vague idea of what you want, your images are specific. They allow you to really imagine that new life.
Prioritize your life
Another benefit of creating a vision board is that it can help you prioritize the tasks in your life. First, by choosing what you include on the board, you are naming the things that are most important to you. You’ve started to prioritize because not everything can fit at once. You have to pick and choose. This is where you want your focus to go.
Once you have your board set, you have a visualization of where to put your effort. If you have a big career goal, when faced with a bunch of tasks to take on, you will choose the ones that will further your career goal before taking on the others.
It’s easy to forget about or ignore dreams and goals when we don’t have reminders. A vision board acts as a motivator. We’re reminded of the reasons we’re doing the things we are. We see our dreams and it motivates us to keep working toward them.
Before you can create your vision board, you need to do some planning. If you don’t plan, you can still make a vision board, but planning can help you make the best version that will work for you.
Type of board
Before you get started on anything else, you need to decide what type of vision board you plan to make. Do you need a board big enough to encompass goals for every area of your life? Will you do multiple boards so each area has its own? Do you want (and have space for) a physical board or is a digital one more practical for you?
Some people make one vision board for the year. Others create a monthly vision board. What makes the most sense for you?
List your goals
Before you worry about pictures and making things pretty, you need to decide on the focus for your board. What areas of your life do you want to improve? What can you do to be a healthier, happier person?
Include both big and small goals
Not all goals have to be life-changing events. And for people who struggle with consistency, planning, and prioritization, having some smaller goals to work toward will make success easier to reach. Make a list of ALL the goals you might have for yourself. It’s okay if it’s a really long list. You can whittle it down later as you decide exactly what you want to include on the board.
Setting Up Your Board
Now that you have a purpose and know what you want to include on your board, it’s time to start creating it.
Choosing a board
Many people start with a simple poster board because it’s cheap and comes in a variety of sizes. You can go really big or keep it modest. Poster board is also easy to hang on a wall because it’s lightweight and it can easily be moved to another location if necessary.
However, using poster board means you’ll need to buy a new one each year. Not that the cost is an issue. For most people, it’s just a quick trip to the dollar store. Because poster board is cheap, it might not easily fit your décor.
Here are some other options that you might like a little more:
Cork Board – Yeah, the brown cork isn’t pretty, but it’s easily covered by whatever color paper you want as a background. Plus, using tacks to put up your pictures means you can swap them out easily if your goals shift or change.
Linen Cork Board – this one is prettier, with its neutral colors while still having the same benefits I mentioned above.
Photo Bulletin Board – these come with a variety of backgrounds and the ribbon is an easy way to hold pictures down without tacks. Depending on the number and size of the pictures you choose, this might limit what you can include. I actually use this type of board and while I can’t use tacks to pin things, I can use tape and it holds fairly well.
Choosing images for your vision board is a completely personal thing. You can buy a kit with words and images and pick and choose through those. You can use actual magazines to find pictures or you can search the internet and print your own.
Your images might be dictated by your resources. If you don’t have a color printer (or any printer at all), printing images might not work for you. If you like the look and feel of magazine pages, but don’t want to buy a bunch of random magazines in the hope of finding images you like, look online for people who are looking to get rid of magazines. You can also check with your local library to see if they are getting rid of any.
When you are looking for images, be creative and keep an open mind. If you have a goal of traveling to Ireland, you might not be able to find a picture of Ireland in a magazine. But you might be able to find a wide expanse of green grass to represent Ireland. Or you could draw and color the Irish flag. Remember, your images don’t have to be literal depictions of your dreams and goals.
Other design elements
You might want to include other things on your board like stickers or ephemera or washi tape. Maybe you have some inspirational quotes or affirmations you want to include. How do you want them to look? Will you handwrite them or print them on colored paper in a pretty font?
Want a free checklist to help you plan your vision board?
Creating Your Board
Once you have your board and you have your images, it’s time to assemble it. There is no right or wrong way to put together your board. I suggest you lay out all of your images and words and move them around on your board until it feels right.
I know that’s a pretty woo-woo thing coming from me. But I do believe in intuition and following your gut. Sometimes, just moving the pieces around can spark new ideas and inspiration.
Once it feels right and you like the way it looks, use tacks, glue, or tape to fasten everything in place. Then, add your finishing touches—ribbons, stickers, washi tape—to make you smile when you look at your board.
A vision board isn’t a magical or mystical thing that will make all your dreams come true (if only!). However, it’s one more tool that you can use to keep yourself on track for meeting the goals you set for yourself. Prioritizing and planning is hard if you have executive dysfunction. A vision board is a constant reminder (hopefully in the best possible sense) of what you want to accomplish. When things go off the rails, as they tend to do, you have a visual of how to get back on track.