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How To Make A Vision Board To Shape Your Goals And Environment

10-minute read

November 23, 2020

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There’s no sugar coating it: it’s been a tough year for many reasons. All of the stress from this year has caused many people to lose sight of their goals and made it harder to practice proper self-care. Being better invested in your future can help encourage you to take care of yourself now. Vision boards can help you refocus and remember your short- and long-term goals, whether that’s traveling to every continent or buying a home of your own. They also instill hope, which is one of the most important things you can focus on in difficult times. Hope helps you persevere and reach your goals.

We’ll cover what vision boards are, why they’re effective and how to make a vision board. We also cover prompts and tips to integrate elements of your board into your home.

A Pretty Fix: vision board example.

What Is A Vision Board And Why Do They Work?

A vision board is an inspirational tool that you create and maintain to encourage your pursuit of what makes you feel happy and fulfilled and to chase your dreams – this is why they’re sometimes called “dream boards” or “goal boards.” Vision boards can come in different forms, shapes and sizes but the end goal and process are the same. You want your board to be filled with visual reminders, words and images that inspire you.

Vision boards work because they engage your mind and make you take a moment to remember your intentions. Various literature on the Law of Attraction has shown that stating your goals and objectives can help keep you motivated to follow through. A study conducted at UCLA found that you need to take it one step further and also envision the steps you need to take to achieve your goals versus just imagining the end result.

By using a vision board, you’re putting these goals and dreams in a digestible and editable format that you can take in every day. Some people love to write mantras on their mirror so they’re reminded to recite them every day – the idea of a vision board is fairly similar.

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Prompts To Align Your Dreams And Goals

Vision Board Topics And Prompts

In order to create an effective vision board, you need to have clear goals and intentions set in your head and stated out loud. Many people love to create a dream board before big life events or starting a new year. This can help open your mind to new possibilities and help you refocus on the process of achieving your existing goals.

It’s important to evaluate all of the different parts of your life and how they connect. See some prompts, separated into common topics, to use for self-evaluation below.

Well-Being And Health

  • How can I improve my overall well-being?
  • What does my happiest, healthiest self look like?
  • What can I do to take better control of my health?
  • Have I been prioritizing physical health over mental health or vice versa?
  • Are my dietary habits meeting the standards of where I’d like to be?
  • Am I properly fueling my self-care, spiritual or religious needs?

Family And Friends

  • How can I better connect with family and loved ones?
  • In an ideal world, what would my relationships look like?
  • What are some ways that my partner and I can grow together and on our own?
  • How can I make my ______ (parents, kids, partner, friend, sibling) feel more loved and supported?
  • What are some small steps that I can take to move toward better relationships?

Financial Stability

  • How financially stable do I feel?
  • How does my financial situation make me feel?
  • Which financial factors are out of my control and, more importantly, which factors are in my control?
  • What are some large financial goals that I can aim for?
  • How can I make adjustments in my daily life to make the larger goals a reality?

Home Environment

  • Are there aesthetic or safety improvements to be made?
  • Does my space allow me to unwind?
  • Are there spaces in my home that cause anxiety or stress?
  • Do I have a space that I can call my own?
  • What could I add to my home to improve my or my family’s quality of life?

Work And Career

  • Am I being fulfilled in my current job?
  • What could be feasibly improved and what would be unlikely to change in my current position?
  • What does my ideal job or company look like?
  • Is there anything I’ll regret not trying further in my career path?
  • If a career change is out of reach right now, what improvements can I make?

Hobbies And Passion Projects

  • What are some things that I love/would love to do but never make time for?
  • How could a new project or re-commitment to a hobby make me feel?
  • How can I make a difference in my community?
  • How can I better connect with people in my community?
  • What are some additional ways I can feel more fulfilled?
  • How can I make it a habit to challenge myself and stimulate my mind?

Download the vision board prompts.

Vision Board Checklist

Before you get started, there are a couple of things you’ll need. Your board should reflect you so feel free to omit and add items as needed. Some materials that you’ll need to get started include:

  • Your base (corkboard, poster board, whiteboard, etc.)
  • Items to add (wide variety of magazines, photos, print media, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Pushpins, glue or tape
  • Any additional supplies (fabrics, stickers, decals, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Things to set the mood (music, candles, etc.)

How To Make A DIY Vision Board

You might want to create a vision board on your own as it will allow you to focus inward – others may like to create them with close friends and family. It could be a great Zoom or socially distanced party idea, just add some snacks and your favorite drinks and voila: vision board party. Then all you need to do is follow the steps below to create your dream boards.   

1. Set Your Dreams Or Intentions

Make sure you have a clear idea of where you’d like to be. Try using the prompts found above to help you set goals across different aspects of your life. Write these down in your journal, state them out loud or whatever method resonates best. These dreams and intentions are going to guide you through the process.

Tip: Don’t only think of the end result but also how certain dreams will make you feel and the process you need to achieve them. 

2. Gather Your Materials

Using the list above and any additional items, gather your materials and lay them out in an organized fashion so you can find everything easily. We recommend bringing a wide variety of magazines to peruse. Consider grabbing some specialty magazines if you’re planning for specific life events, like getting married, purchasing a home or starting a family.

3. Create The Mood

Creating a vision board should be an insightful and intentional project. In order to set the right tone, consider lighting some candles and turning on some music that feels right to you. Certain aromatherapy scents, like lavender, mint and eucalyptus, can help you relax, while music can be great to help you focus.

4. Scan Your Media And Cut Out Things That Catch Your Eye

With your goals in mind, start going through your magazines and other media to find imagery and words that stand out to you. These things might not always make immediate sense as to why they belong but if you feel a pull toward it, cut it out. Also, the things that stand out to you could be abstract, patterns, landscapes – it doesn’t have to be a literal depiction of your goals. Try to get a good mix of literal and abstract ideas for a mix.

5. Arrange And Secure Cut-Outs 

Once you’ve combed through your magazines and media, it’s time to take the cut-outs and start arranging them on your board or surface. Try out different layouts and spacing until you’re happy with how it looks and makes you feel. Some people like a lot of white space or breathing room in their boards while others like things to be tight and overlap. After you’re sure about your layout, secure the elements to your board.

6. Display And Read Your Dream Board  

Find a place in your home to display your board where you’ll see it daily. The goal is that you’ll look at your board often and be reminded of your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Read the words on your board and take in the imagery. If you find yourself overlooking your board, try moving it to a new location to bring it to your attention.  

7. Update And Repeat The Process As Needed

For the dream board to be effective, you should periodically adapt it to fit your ever-changing short- and long-term goals. One of the easiest vision boards to maintain is a corkboard – they’re easier to update and add to, compared to poster boards or other forms. It really comes down to what works best for you.

Vision Board Ideas And Examples

Vision Board Inspiration

Your vision board should be unique and reflect your personal goals. Even though you probably shouldn’t “model” your board after someone else's, we still wanted to provide some ideas and inspiration that you could incorporate and make your own.

Separate By Goal Type

Some people like to have every type of cut out mixed together while others prefer to section their board off into different goal types. If you’re a very organized person, you might respond better to a more compartmentalized board.

Utilize Color Blocking

If you’re someone who enjoys outfits and decor that match, try color-blocking your board. This also provides you with the opportunity to really make certain words or images pop if you place them on top of their complementary color.

Go Minimalist

For those whose motto is “less is more,” a minimalist board might be the best way to reflect your minimalist lifestyle. Go through the same process when you comb through the print media – when you go to arrange, be sure to leave white space, pick a strong focal point and keep your formatting simple.   

Try A Tight Collage

If minimalism isn’t your style, try a layout that’s tighter and has more going on. Many people prefer that their board’s elements overlap to create a collage effect. Make sure that your collage layout still has focal points so it doesn’t all blend together.

Emma Lee Bates: Sample Vision Board

How To Integrate Your Dream Board Into Your Space

Tips To Align Your Space With Your Mindset

Why just confine goal reminders to your board when you can also integrate them into your space? These home modifications can serve as pretty reminders of what  you’re trying to achieve. Since some dreams do change, most of the tips below can work as short- or long-term modifications.

We gathered six tips and ideas to incorporate elements of your vision board into your environment.

Create A Space That’s Your Own

If you have room in your home, create a space where you can reflect, journal, meditate or read. It’s especially important to have a designated space to unwind now that more people are working from home or spending more time around their family or housemates. 

Look For Color Themes

If you’re seeing a color a lot on your board or you find yourself drawn to a particular hue, consider adding more of that color in your home. Also, according to many studies, different colors elicit various emotional reactions. Some examples include:

  • Pink: Sweetness, hope and compassion
  • Purple: Luxury, creativity and nobility
  • Red: Excitement, passion and strength
  • Orange: Vibrancy, warmth and youthfulness
  • Yellow: Happiness, sunshine and warmth
  • Green: Natural, abundance and freshness
  • Blue: Trust, relaxation and coolness
  • Black: Elegance, mystery and power

Do you need more calmness or maybe more confidence? Incorporate the corresponding color as a subtle reminder. You could go bold and create a feature wall in one of your rooms or just use small accessories to bring the color into your space.

Incorporate Motifs In Accessories

If there’s a certain pattern or motif that appears on your board, see if you can find ways to incorporate it into your space. These can be easily incorporated through pillows, linens, shelf decor pieces, etc.

For example, let’s say you dream about moving to Peru. Try getting some throw pillows from Peru with traditional Peruvian patterns on them to remind you of that goal.

Look For Art Pieces That Echo Your Board

In the same way that you can incorporate motifs into your decor, you can also find wall art that reminds you of your goals. This could be something more direct like a quote, one of your favorite words from your board or a piece of art that represents a place, action or feeling.

Add Literal Goal Reminders 

If you want to get a little more literal, you can make modifications to your home that directly promote your goals. For example, if one of your health goals is to cook more meals at home, add a convenient bookshelf for cookbooks, an accessible spice rack and a kitchen organization system that makes cooking enjoyable.

Make Your Home Reno Dreams A Reality

Renovations aren’t just aesthetic, they can dramatically affect your way of life and how much you enjoy your home. They can also provide solutions that might not have been as obvious – like if you want to spend more time with your family, try renovating a space that encourages everyone to spend time together.

There are certain renovations that add value to your home and provide a great return on your investment, like bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor spaces. If there are areas in your home that need improvement, you should strongly consider creating a plan of action to make that happen. Not only could it help you achieve a better headspace, but it could also increase your return if you decide to sell one day. If finances are getting in the way, there are options. There are special grants and loans for renovations and it’s also common for people to use refinancing to fund home modifications and renovations.  

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