Spark your creative mind with a visual representation of your goals. Here’s how to create a vision board to do just that.
I remember the first time I heard about vision boards (also known as dream boards). A childhood friend of mine mentioned creating a new one because she’d totally rocked her last one. At first, I was skeptical. But soon, I found myself creating one myself. A few months later, I realized that I had accomplished much from that first one. So I created a new one. That time, the ideas on my vision board became real in a fast and furious manner. I was blown away.
Especially when I was offered an amazing trip that had been mentioned on the board. Although I declined for personal reasons, I realized that vision boards are really a powerful technique in going after ones dreams.
It’s been awhile since I created a new one though. So this week, I pulled out my supplies and created a fresh new one, taking into account what I have learned about vision boards in the past — and what I want going forward.
First, you need to gather your supplies. Old magazines, a piece of poster board or thick card stock, scissors and glue. I also printed out some words I wanted to include. And I used a Sharpie to make the thoughts really specific.
Then I got to work. I started making a quick list of goals. Then I went through the magazines, cutting out pictures and phrases that appealed to me and spoke to those goals. I cut more than I would need so that I could pick and choose when arranging them.
In arranging my pictures, I created a collage for the background, using images that represented the major themes of my goals — a seaside home, a successful freelancing business, etc. Then I used the words to really hone in on the ideas and goals. Finally, I supplemented with clarifying words that I wrote on with the Sharpie.
I think this is my very favorite vision board ever. It really embodies everything I want right now.
Want to create your own vision board? These tips will help you create a really effective one:
Be Literal on Your Vision Board
No, really. It’s funny how well they work — but sometimes not as you’d expect. My last board was all about the beach, enjoying life and cooking … and it worked. We spent a lovely summer at the beach, playing in the sand and having fun. I negotiated some great new deals too. But when I created it, I really meant to have it be a reminder of my major goal of buying a seaside home. Whoops.
Turner experienced something similar. “I put a photo of a vase full of flowers on one board I created to signify my interest in having a flower garden. What I got a few weeks later was a vase of flowers that matched almost exactly that photo. I couldn’t help but laugh when I realized what I had attracted into my life,” says Marcia Layton Turner, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vision Boards.
The solution? Be really specific. “I guess the first thing is to realize that vision boards are a tool for sharpening your focus on what it is you really want. So whatever you put on your board, your brain will interpret as what you literally want,” says Turner. “Also, be careful what you wish for. If you’re not sure about a particular goal, don’t put it on your board. Your vision board helps focus your attention, so don’t waste it on something you’re not sure you even want.”
Make it Work for You
There is simply no right or wrong in creating a vision board. What there is, however, is what speaks to you. So design yours however speaks to you — using whatever materials you like. This is truly all about you — right down to the scope of the board. “In designing your board, you can either create a board that encompasses all the aspects of your life you’re working on changing, from relationships to career to finances to health and more, or you can create separate boards for each part of your life. Whatever speaks to you is what you should use,” says Turner.
Keep it Visible
Part of having a vision board is being able to see it so that it acts as a guiding force. And a lot of the power of this is subconscious. So you want to keep your vision board in a highly visible place. Mine, for instance, is propped up on top of my desk so whenever I raise my eyes, it’s the first thing I see.”Place your completed board where you will see it regularly. On your desk or the wall you face, or in your bedroom or bathroom are common places people put their boards,” says Turner.
Refresh and Renew When You Need To
As you succeed at items on your vision board, make new boards so that you can keep your goals and plans fresh. “Make sure your vision board represents what you are currently trying to achieve for yourself. If your goals have changed, or you’ve already achieved some items, create a new board for maximum effectiveness,” says Turner.
Note: This post originally appeared on Sarah by the Sea, a blog that has since been merged with Sarah’s Cucina Bella.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.