Everyone needs motivation, passion, and drive to start a small business. Despite our best wishes, it can be hard to keep that flame lit when you’re struggling to stay afloat. Preserving through these tough times is essential for success, but you may need help in this department.
Enter the vision board, a physical way to manifest your dreams into reality. Empowerment is needed everywhere, and it can be cultivated through positivity and proximity to happiness. When you create a vision board, you’re setting your intention to reach your dreams and goals.
Influential thought leaders like Oprah and Deepak Chopra all stand by the idea of manifestation, but do they actually work? If they do, is there a wrong or right way to create a vision board?
This article will explore these questions and outline the benefits of vision boards. We’ll also teach you how to create a vision board that helps you reach your career or money goals.
What is a Vision Board?
A vision board is a collage of images, words, and phrases that represents an individual’s goals and aspirations. You would typically create a vision board by cutting out pictures and words from magazines. Or, you could create digital images and paste them onto a poster board or canvas.
Some creatives will use editing software like BeFunky to enhance images, making them pop from the page. Others will place the photos on the vision board as is to maximize utility. Alternatively, you can use an image editing tool like Picsart to cartoonize a picture and add a unique twist to your vision board.
The idea is that by visually representing one’s goals and desires, the individual will be more likely to manifest them. Vision boards are used in the context of personal growth and goal setting. They can include aspirations related to career, relationships, health, and much more.
Do Vision Boards Actually Work?
The effectiveness of vision boards as a tool for achieving goals is a subject of debate. Some people believe that creating a vision board and regularly looking at it can help to focus the mind. If they keep looking at the board, they’ll feel inspired to take action toward achieving them.
On the other hand, scientific research on the effectiveness of vision boards is limited. There is little evidence that creating a vision board alone can lead to significant behavioral changes. Vision boards are based on the “law of attraction,” which also has little basis in science.
With that said, we aren’t fully aware of the benefits of coaching, counseling, and psychotherapy. A 2019 meta-analysis that assessed the evidential value of empirically supported psychological treatments found that replicability was low. This means that most of the therapies we use today have conflicting results. We continue to use them because they’re the best treatment we have.
Can You Make Vision Boards Work for You?
While vision boards alone aren’t enough to achieve your goals, they can be useful when used in conjunction with other strategies. These strategies include setting SMART goals, creating an easy-to-follow action plan, finding other motivational tools, and tracking your progress.
It’s also important to note that positive thinking is scientifically proven to lead to success and long life. A meta-analysis study of psychological stress and the human immune system found that happiness improves overall health. An early nun study showed that nuns that scored high on positive thoughts lived beyond average life expectancy. There’s a lot of power in positivity.
If you want to build a high-performance team or reach your own goals, there’s no harm in visualization. You’re not doing anything wrong by using vision boards to motivate yourself.
What are the Benefits of Creating a Vision Board?
There are many benefits of creating a vision board, some of which were addressed in earlier sections. For readability purposes, here’s a list describing the biggest benefits of vision boards:
- Helps to Clarify Your Goals: Making a vision board helps you clarify your goals and dreams. It allows you to visualize what you want and puts your goals in front of you.
- Increases Motivation: Once you have a clear visualization of your goals, you’ll be more motivated to take action and to work towards achieving them.
- Keeps you Focused: Having your goals and dreams in front of you on a daily basis will help you to stay focused and to keep them at the forefront of your mind.
- Helps to Manifest your Goals: The act of creating a vision board, thinking and visualizing your goals, is an act of manifesting your goals.
- It’s Fun and Easy to Do: Creating a vision board is a fun and easy process. It doesn’t require a lot of time or resources, but it can have a big impact on your life.
As stated, vision boards aren’t magic and can’t complete your goals for you, but they can help you get started. You can create a vision board on almost any topic, but the next sections will focus on career and money. But before you dive in, you’ll need to get into the right mindset.
What to do Before Creating a Vision Board
When it comes to creating the best vision board, mindset is key. On the surface, vision boards look like a jumbled pile of images. In reality, they’re carefully curated to the person’s needs.
Start by Exploring Your Values
Your goals should align with your personal values, or it will be difficult to achieve them. You also won’t get a sense of satisfaction if you do. Consider what gives you meaning, who you want to be, and how you want to spend your time. Be sure to ask yourself what really matters to you.
Examine What Motivates You
We all want to reach some goal, but we often make them unattainable. This is usually because we dwell on failure, forget to celebrate small wins, or don’t consider what motivates us. Try to understand why the goals you’ve set are important or revise them until they are important.
Focus on Priorities, Not “Nice to Haves”
Another common goal-setting mistake is doing everything at once. Maybe one day you can lose weight, play the guitar, and become fluent in Dutch, but you can’t do it all at once. If you want to achieve these goals, you have to be realistic. Can you do everything you want in 1 to 5 years?
How to Create a Vision Board from Scratch
Now that you have an idea of what you want to make, you can start creating your vision board from scratch. Here are 5 steps you should take to create the vision board of your dreams.
Step 1: Choose Your Board
First, choose a board to use for your vision board. This can be a poster board, a cork board, or even a large piece of paper. You can even find boards made specifically for vision boards, like felt or cotton bulletin boards. Adhesive cork board rolls are handy if you want more space.
Your board doesn’t even have to be physical, like in newellnd’s example:
Why should you start with the board? Because it allows you to visualize how much space you have. If you start off with cutting your images (or saving them), you’ll run out of room. Take a page from the project manager’s workbook and make a solid plan before doing anything else.
Although an empty board can feel intimidating, try to look at it as a place full of possibilities. Consider how big or small you want each image to be, and take things out you feel won’t fit. At the planning stage, you don’t have to commit to anything, so try to have fun and mess around!
Step 2: Gather Your Favorite Photos
Next, gather your favorite photos. These can be of anything you want to manifest in your life, such as a dream house, new car, vacation, or any other goal you have. Remember that a fruitful career can lead to material items, but it’s okay to display what you can earn from your job.
Personal photos, magazine clippings, saved and printed photos, and sentimental items are all great choices for this exercise. Some people like to have a color theme or mix-and-match colors so one image is brighter than the other. You can use a photo editor to edit and enhance your photos. Be sure to include text and inspirational quotes.
In herempirelifestyle’s vision board, she used colors to separate each goal:
There’s a lot of evidence that color can affect how you think and feel. Green is actually known for sparking creativity. If you want to be more creative, try to find green photos and images.
If you want to take a page from herempirelifestyle’s book, consider sectioning each goal based on similar-looking images. For example, her career goals are represented by women in white suits, whereas her travel goals feature tropical elements. Her follower goals are also in white!
Step 3: Organize Your Photos
Once you have your board and photos, start organizing them on your board. Think about the layout and how you want your photos to be arranged. You can use glue or tape to attach them to the board. If you’re using cork or felt boards, use thumbtacks, buttons, and safety pins.
Your vision board can be cluttered or include a lot of empty space. There isn’t a hard and fast rule here. As long as your board motivates you, feel free to arrange your photos as you like. For instance, you can create a beautiful photobook where you can arrange each picture in a way that’s easy to highlight. Plus, you can add text, which helps with defining your goals.
Here’s an example of a spacious vision board designed by charizzet:
If you want to create a vision board that’s both helpful and aesthetically pleasing, change the size and shape of each photo. Make your biggest goal the brightest and largest image on the board. Make your sub-goals (or smaller goals) surrounding the large image, trinket, or item.
Consider grouping your goals together and using colored washi tape to organize the images. It’s okay to have two dozen images on your board, but your brain may see each photo as a separate goal. Now when you look at your board, you’ll instantly know what you’re looking for.
Step 4: Reflect on Your Goals
Is it really necessary to reflect on your goals before and during the creation process? Yes. It’s very difficult for us to decide what we want. It isn’t because we’re indecisive. Even describing why we like food is hard, as we can’t pinpoint why we like it or when we started to like it.
This vision board from phon.garment shows a wide range of preferences:
Humans are pretty complicated. We change our minds a lot, or we assume we want something because we’re told to. Do you want to become a lawyer because your parents said so?
Reflecting on these questions goes beyond the scope of this article, but they’re essential. Take a look at your vision board and ask yourself, “do I really want to follow this path?” Are these goals something you’ve been striving for all your life, or was it something you just came up with?
One way to decide between two options is by flipping a coin. If you get one option and you’re disappointed, you probably didn’t want it. Repeat until you’re sure you’re on the right track.
Step 5: Display Your Vision Board
Finally, display your vision board in a place where you’ll see it often. This could be in your bedroom, living room, or office. Seeing your vision board every day will help to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and to remind you to take immediate action toward them.
You can display them on the fridge, on an empty wall, mirror, nightstand, or in your office. Ideally, your vision board will be in an area that sparks your motivation. For example, if you want to become a better graphic artist, create a vision board and place it near your office or desk.
Framed cork boards, like this one from handprintmade on Instagram, are the easiest to display:
They can be placed on any wall, making them versatile. You’re also free to remove images that no longer work with your goals. If you want something more subtle, use a journal and place it on your desk. Journal image boards are especially good for busy office environments or homes.
Create a Vision Board That Inspired You
Creating a vision board from your favorite photos is a great way to visualize your goals and dreams. It’s also a fun and easy way to make your goals tangible and to keep them in front of you as a constant reminder. With a vision board, you’ll be more motivated to take action.
With that said, the best vision boards are ones that speak to you personally. While it’s possible to create a shared board for the office, it’s better if you ask each employee to make their own.