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“Have a vision. It is the ability to see the invisible. If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible.” – Shiv Khera
Now, I don’t know about you, but I am not really an “arts and crafts” person. I seemingly have no sense of proportion, making my attempts at drawing look like those of a three-year-old.
Be that as it may, I do have goals, and I know you do too.
I’m sure you’ve heard of people creating vision boards to help motivate and inspire action toward meeting a desired outcome in their life. Some even hold vision board parties to make it a more social event. When vision boards first became popular, I didn’t think it was something that was really up my alley, however, once I saw a close friend’s vision board, I figured I would give it a try.
While the result of my first vision board did serve as an effective constant reminder of my goals at the time, the process of creating it forced me to really think about what I want out of life and then take the extra step of recording it by including it on my vision board. Remember– you’re 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goal if you commit to it in writing, so taking this minimal extra step is worth the trouble.
In this article, I’m going to help you create your own vision board to get you on that same path to success. I’ll walk you through a step-by-step process of making a vision board from scratch so you, too, can benefit from this truly helpful tool.
But first, let’s talk a bit more about what a vision board is and why it’s so important to have one whenever you’re working toward a goal. (So…pretty much always.)
What You Will Learn
What is a Vision Board (and Why Is It Important)?
A vision board is a self-made tool that you use to formulate, define, and maintain focus on a goal that you have for yourself. Your vision board will end up being unique to you, and can be any type of board that you use to display text and images that are representative of the things that you want to be, accomplish, or have in your life.
You may be wondering, “So why is it important to turn my goals into…an art project?”
Valid question. Simply put, the majority of us are extremely busy. We all have distractions–some welcomed and some not–and sometimes our goals get put on the backburner. But by creating and using a vision board, you’re:
If you think back to creating SMART goals, you know why you need a sense of clarity when it comes to defining what you want in life. Your goals are supposed to be Specific so you know where to focus your efforts and you know when the goal has been accomplished.
Not Specific: I want to be a leader.
Specific: I will complete a class on public speaking by July 15th, 2020 to improve my confidence when talking in front of a crowd. Following the class, I will use deliberate practice every day to continue to gain a necessary sense of confidence so I will be viewed as a leader and considered for a management position.
When creating a vision board for a goal such as this, you would want to add pictures that will allow you to visualize your success.
This picture would be relevant for this type of vision board, as it shows a confident person speaking to a captivated audience:
When you look at this picture on your vision board, you can visualize yourself being up front talking to that group of people with the same confidence the person in the picture seemingly has.
Keep in mind, the good thing about making your vision board is that you’re in control and you can pick any pictures that speak to you and your goals.
Once you’ve created your vision board, you will end up with a visual representation that you can keep in front of you every day to remind you of your ‘why’ and the things that you’re working toward. This visual tool can be especially helpful on those challenging days that make you want to throw in the towel.
Because we are such visual beings, having this constant and concrete reminder of where you’re trying to go in life will help you maintain motivation and inspire you to take daily action to move closer to reaching your biggest and most important goals in life.
Let’s go through the process of creating a vision board.
How to Create Your Own Vision Board
There are a few things to keep in mind before you get started. First, remember that the purpose of your vision board is to give life to everything that’s on it. You want to feel an emotional connection with whatever you include on there so that when you look at it, you will feel what you want for the future rather than merely seeing a 2D picture.
Secondly, it’s up to you if you want to create one big vision board for your whole life or break it down into several mini boards to cover different areas such as your relationships, profession, family, personal development, spirituality, social life, and health. Another idea (because every area of your life is interlinked with the others) is to create one main vision board and then have some smaller “theme” boards for things like an upcoming vacation or a board that focuses on a major project at work.
Ok, let’s get started by gathering some supplies that you will need:
To make it easier, here's a vision board supplies check list you can download for free.
Or, if you’re the digital type, all you will need is to find the online medium that you’re most comfortable with to create your vision board.
The most important thing here is to just get started and get it done. Making your vision board doesn’t have to be difficult or tedious, and it also doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You may already have several of the necessary supplies on hand.
Step One: Identify Your Goal(s)
What do you want to focus on with this board? If you’ve chosen to just focus on one specific area of your life, write down some adjectives that describe how you want to feel when you look at the board.
If you’re unsure about what direction you want to go with your vision board, think about your values, skills, and interests and ask yourself a few questions:
Start by setting goals that are based on the values that are most important to you, and then dig a bit deeper. For example, if you want to lose weight, how do you envision your life changing once the weight is lost? Or, if you want to make a lot of money, what will you do with that money to improve your life?
This video will help you figure out what you want in life and create some related goals.
Being confident about what you want in life will make it easier to craft your vision.
Step Two: Believe in Them
You have to go one step beyond identifying your goals before you whip out your scissors and glue stick. You need to really believe in yourself and claim your goals as being things that you will achieve because your thoughts create your reality.
Get into the mindset of expecting success so you will be inspired as you’re creating your vision board and you will feel a sense of motivation to act on those feelings of inspiration moving forward.
Here is a great video on how to get rid of self-doubt and move forward with a sense of conviction.
Step Three: Get Prepared and Organized
You will want to make sure you’re able to set aside a reasonable amount of time (maybe two hours) to work on your vision board. But don’t rush it–doing so can defeat the purpose of creating a vision board altogether. After all, it’s when we rush through life that we lose touch with what we really want. Do your best to ensure that this time is uninterrupted so you can really focus on yourself and your goals.
You will also want to prepare a folder (digital or physical) that holds a collection of pictures, quotes, affirmations, thoughts, photos, etc. that represent your major goals or some element of your vision. Gather anything that represents the feelings or experiences that you want to attract into your life.
Tip: You should end up with way more material than you will actually use, which is good because then you can pick and choose a few concise options rather than having a crowded board that ends up becoming its own distraction. You can always save extra material for later use.
Of course you can go through magazines to look for pictures or even use some vision board printables, but it may be more effective to do some image searches on Google because you want your vision board to be very specific–you don’t want to settle for a picture from a magazine that’s close enough. Be very selective about what you choose to put on your vision board.
Because your vision board should offer a representation of how you want your future self to feel, you don’t want to focus exclusively on stuff (e.g. pictures). Rather, you will want to add descriptive words, sayings, and quotes to your vision board that describe feelings. Some examples could be:
You can add words such as these to your board by simply writing them or finding them in a magazine/on the internet and attaching them to the board. You can also add some positive affirmations (check out 1,132 examples here) to help you get rid of that little voice inside your head that often feeds your limiting beliefs and makes you feel like you’re incapable of doing something. (And, just like most other things with your vision board, doing these things is completely optional).
Tip: While you want your vision board to be mainly representative of the end result that you want to achieve in some area of your life, you can also include pictures that represent some of the steps you will need to take in order to get there (for example, if your goal is weight loss, you may want to add a picture of a person working out in addition to a picture of a scale measuring your goal weight.)
Try to get a general idea of what you want the board to look like as you’re picking out pictures. You may want to stick with a certain color scheme or other design trend (or you may not) and you will want to be conscious of the size of the board that you’ve chosen.
Step Four: Create Your Layout
Once you’re all set with your time and materials, your next step is to lay everything out in a way that’s visually pleasing to you. As you’re creating structure, it might be a good idea to separate spaces on the board (just draw a line or circle) if you’re planning to do a “whole life” vision board that will feature a variety of aspects of your life.
Tip: Make sure to write the specific goal in its assigned area if you do this, as this will help you stay organized as you’re making your layout. If you’re making a digital vision board, you can digitally separate the sections.
Tip: Designate the amount of space for each of your goals if you’re putting multiple goals on one board and be strategic about their placements. So, you may want to give your more important goals more space and put them front and center and move your relatively less important goals out to the side.
During this step, you will find yourself eliminating some pictures that you had previously chosen, and you will likely look for additional pictures as your vision board starts coming together and your thoughts begin to expand. Trim down your pictures and start layering your quotes and sayings over relevant images. Keep moving things around and trimming your images until it feels about right.
Tip: Leave a bit of extra space if you can to give yourself some additional room to work. Your vision board will expand. This will happen not only as you’re working on it, but also once you think it’s complete. Make sure to take this into account before you cram too many things into one small area.
Here is an example of the process of creating a layout for your vision board.
Step Five: Finish Up
Once you’re happy with how your vision board looks, attach all of your materials to your board. All you need to do now is determine where you want to hang your board so you’ll be able to see it multiple times a day.
As you can see from these examples, there is no limit to what your vision board should or could look like. You’ll notice some are small and the images are laid out very close together like in this example:
Some are more abstract and casual, like this one:
And some are huge!
What your vision board ends up looking like in the end shouldn’t matter to anyone aside from yourself. This is your vision and your board. Lay out how you want your vision board to look before you start gluing things down.
Final Thoughts on Making a Vision Board
Once you have envisioned something, it’s time to start believing it and making it happen. Vision boards help you do this because they take your dreams and turn them into a tangible item. As you look at your vision board every day, you will start to notice that certain things remain prominent to you, while others start to fall by the wayside. You may start to realize that you don’t care about one thing as much as you once thought, but there is something that excites you every time you reflect on it.
In order for your vision board to be effective, you have to engage with it and allow it to guide your actions toward achieving your goals. Your vision board will act as a constant reminder of where you want to be, so as you’re in the process of creating it, be intentional about what you choose to put on there.
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.