A vision board – or a collage of images that represent your goals – is an incredible tool to manifest your dreams and help you focus.
Putting together a collage of inspirations may sound dubiously mystical.
But there’s plenty of research to back up the power of visualization.
The technique has long been used by athletes like Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali to run through their best moves in their mind to enhance their real-life performance. Stars like Beyonce keep an image of an Academy Award on their wall.
A vision board also helps you keep your goals in focus. It tracks your progress and keeps you motivated.
Vision boards are meaningful yearly rituals that clarify your intentions. They’re all the rage on social media in January – and for good reason. People have sworn they work.
And they’re also fun to make. They can be a great family activity or weekend afternoon with friends.
But how do you make a vision board that actually works?
Here are my tips:
1. Reflect on what you’d like to focus on or change
Sit down with a journal and consider your current life – what’s going well, and what you’d like to improve. Think about the direction you’d like to go in the next few months.
Make a list of your goals – whether that’s to buy a new home, eat healthier or improve your relationships.
Your goals can also be broader intentions like healing from trauma, being more mindful, or finding more joy in everyday life.
Your board can also include emotions you’d like to feel more in your life.
To make brainstorming easier, divide your goals into categories like:
family and relationships
fulfilment and happiness
love, inner peace
hobbies and interests
social life and friendship
2. Gather your materials
Prepare all the materials you’ll need to create your vision board, including a stack of magazines, or a laptop where you can browse online for inspiring visuals.
Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:
a poster board
a glue stick
pen and paper
If you don’t have a stack of magazines on hand, you can pick some up at your local thrift store or used book shop.
And your board doesn’t have to be all images. Use quotes, illustrations, affirmations or anything else that relates to your goals.
3. Lay out your vision board
Divide your poster board into blocks – one block for healthy eating, another for relationships, etc. Lay out any images that inspire you towards that goal.
For example, select flatlays of colorful Asian salads for your “healthy eating” block, or quaint Parisian cafes for your “travel” block.
Or just lay out your images however they fit best onto the poster board.
Pick vibrant images that really speak to you – and be specific. If you’d like to travel more, then get detailed on your destination, the season and the area you’d like to visit. Don’t pick a generic image of a beach.
4. Create your vision board online
Some experts say there’s more power in a physical vision board that you put together with your hands. But if that’s not doable, then opt for a digital vision board made out of images you’ve found online.
Use websites like Pinterest and Unsplash to search for imagery, then use PhotoShop or Canva to put together your vision board. Use your board as your desktop image or the homescreen on your phone.
5. Stay positive and trust your instincts
Go in with a positive attitude and you’re more likely to make a vision board that aligns with your dreams.
Make your vision board when you’re feeling good and stay open-minded to the process.
Assemble your board from images that really speak to you and convey the goals you’ve set out in your journal. Get creative and focus on what you really want – not what it feels like you should accomplish.
6. Enjoy the process
Set aside an unhurried afternoon and take your time to flip through magazines and cut out images. Put on your favorite music, pour a glass of wine and light a candle.
Turn your vision board making into a ritual that you’ll look forward to. Create an environment that lets you relax, lose track of time and immerse yourself in the process.
The more you enjoy the creativity, the more likely you’ll have a vision board you’re happy with. And the more likely you’ll turn visualization into a habit.
7. Keep it in sight
Once you’ve created a vision board that encapsulates your goals, don’t let it get lost in a pile of papers.
Hang up your board in a place where you’ll see it every day – whether that’s on your desk or in your car.
A vision board is a tool to help you visualize your goals and to keep you on track. It’s not a one-time project that you put together and forget about.
Here’s how to keep your board top of mind:
use a photo of your physical vision board as a homescreen on your phone
display your vision board on your desk near your computer
keep it on your nightstand
hang it up in your kitchen or where you work out
8. Keep it current
Vision boards flood social media every year around January. And they’re an ever-popular way to give life to new year’s resolutions.
But you don’t have to do a big, epic vision board every year.
Some experts recommend doing a vision board seasonally or every quarter.
Creating an updated board every few months lets you evaluate your goals and change your direction as needed. You can discard what no longer works and incorporate new ideas into your images.
Review your old vision boards and practice gratitude for everything that’s already happened before you create a new board.
9. Use your vision board regularly
Consult your vision board when you’re making to-do lists or setting out your priorities. Journal about the intentions you’ve set out in your board. Do visualization exercises based on the images on your board.
Don’t let your board lay dormant at the bottom of a drawer. Use it regularly for best results.