How often do you think about your goals and dreams? If you’re constantly busy and overwhelmed by life, which most of us are, chances are you don’t think about them too much (even if the work you’re so busy doing is meant to eventually turn them into reality).
But besides daydreaming, a vision board is the closest thing you’ll get to a place where all your dreams stand before you. It’s not only a way to stay inspired, but also focused, and a useful tool when it comes to setting new goals, ot deciding if the old ones still make sense.
If you’re wondering what a vision board is or how you can create one, you can learn everything about them (and read about my personal experience) here.
What is a vision board?
A vision board is a platform where you collect images that represent the dreams, goals and visions you want to bring to (your) life. Let’s say you want a new car, a new job, and a happy relationship: your vision board might contain pictures of that car, that job, and of a happy couple.
A vision board can be physical (you can create a collage with pictures from magazines, a notebook full of drawings, or just put all your pictures inside a pretty box), or digital (it can be a Pinterest board, a collage you did on Photoshop, a file on your computer, etc).
The goals of a vision board
It all depends on what you want: maybe you want to create a vision board for your entire life and, say, include pictures of a family even though you only want to have kinds in ten years. Or maybe you want a vision board for next year, or next month, or a specific period of your life (your twenties, your thirties, highschool, university).
The main goal of a vision board, whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, is to bring you closer to your dreams. Maybe you want to get fit but can’t find the motivation to go to the gym; a picture of your dream body or lifestyle might be the motivation you need to finally head over to the gym. Obviously, other dreams are harder to come true – maybe you have a dream job, or want a private jet, or to become a billionaire; looking at the picture won’t automatically get you there, but it helps you stay focused on what you want, and you end up finding new ways to achieve those goals.
If you believe in the law of attraction, a vision board is also a poweful tool of manifestation. I won’t get into details, but the idea is simple: if you focus on the experiences you want in your life, they’ll eventually come to you. You can read more about that here.
How does it work?
Besides, you know, creating the vision board, it’s important to keep it in a place where you can see it often. You can create the board and keep it somewhere hidden, sure, but in order to use it as a reminder of the things you want, it’s better if it’s somewhere visible. You can hang it on your wall, or use it as a screensaver on your phone or computer.
What should I put on my vision board?
Anything that makes you feel good and represents something you want in your life. Sometimes I have a specific goal and search for the perfect picture to represent it, other times I’m just scrolling through Pinterest and find a picture of, say, a girl with great hair and, since I wouldn’t mind having great hair too, I add it to my board. You can also include quotes, lyrics, portraits of someone who inspires you, and so on.
What if I don’t like creating boards or collages?
If building a vision board doesn’t sound enjoyable, then don’t do it. It’s important to have fun while you do it, or else it’ll be a chore. Maybe you’d rather write your goals down, draw them, collect objects, or do something else. The key to a successful vision board is, first of all, the enjoyment it brings you while you create it, and then taking it seriously.
My personal experience
How I create my vision board
My favorite tool for creating vision boards is Pinterest. I created a private board there, and whenever I find an image that reflects my goals or inspires me, I pin it. Mine is a lifelong vision board, where I have pictures of goals for the rest of my life (I divide it in sections, and the image below is from my Experiences section, where I pin pictures of the things I want to experience, from trips to parties and events).
Having a Pinterest board might be YOUR vision board, but personally I like to pick my favorite pictures from the initial selection, put them together on Canva or Photoshop, and create a board specifically for the year I’m in. Let’s say next year I want to go to New York; in my Pinterest board there’s also pictures of Japan and India, but if for some reason I’d like to go on those trips later in life, I only pick pictures of New York for this year’s vision board.
I usually have my goals for the year written down somewhere, and make sure the pictures represent all of them. I always listen to my favorite songs while I create my boards, to make sure I’m in the best mood.
Observing the board is, to me, as important as creating it in the first place, which is why I do my best to create a beautiful board that’s pleasing to look at. If at some point I get tired of it, I simply create a new one with more exciting pictures.
Focused vision boards
I mentioned my New York City trip before, which is one of my goals for next year. When I have a goal I really want to achieve ASAP, sometimes I create a board just for it. That’s what I did for my NYC trip. It’s just a detail, but I chose to name it in the past tense, even though the trip hasn’t happened yet, so I can feel like I’m already there.
How it has changed my life
A vision board without lots of gratitude and positive thinking won’t do much for you, but it’s a start. When I started creating my boards, I was in university and had a completely different mindset. I built my boards because it was fun and I enjoyed the daydreaming aspect of it, but I never took them seriously or thought twice about them once they were finished.
When my mindset changed, I started looking at my boards as tools and sources of inspiration. They pretty much work as visual bucket lists. And nowadays, I use them in three different ways:
1. To re-evaluate my dreams.
My priorities change constantly, and so do my goals. Looking at my board on a daily basis makes me either think “yes, I can’t wait to have/do/be this!”, or “hmmm, somehow this doesn’t resonate with me anymore”. And that’s when the board has to change. But when you don’t have one, you might keep the same goals in the back of your mind, work towards them without a second thought, and then later realize you’ve been wasting time working for something you no longer want.
2. To stay focused and motivated.
This one is a no-brainer. Looking at a beautiful vacation in Puglia, a nice pair of Miu Miu mules or a corner office at an influential magazine will remind me of all the things I have yet to achieve. You should be careful, though – if looking at those pictures makes you feel bad for the things you don’t have, your vision board will only make you sad.
There was a time when I had this goal, and I felt under pressure to achieve it ASAP. I had a picture of it on my vision board, but eventually I took it down because it was only making me feel worse.
3. To find my way.
Sure, we all have goals. And yes, most of them are… “hard” to achieve. But sometimes, all we need is to actually stop and think about the different ways we could try to turn them into reality. That’s what a vision board does for you.
Let’s use the pair of Miu Miu mules as an example: instead of staying in the back of my mind, seeing them reminds me that there’s a pair of shoes out there that I really want. And looking at them constantly (and thinking of all the outfits I could wear, etc) should give me the motivation to stop and think of all the ways I could save enough money to buy them. Or if I have a picture of my dream job, looking at it will probably lead me to new things I could do to get it – maybe there’s someone I know, a skill I could develop, or an email address I could send my résumé to.