We all have hopes, dreams, ambitions, and goals that we want to fulfil in life. But all too often these are put on the back burner, while we focus on more pressing commitments.

While we can’t ignore our day-to-day responsibilities, it’s important to remember that goals and dreams are what drive us. We often feel happier and more purposeful when we’re pursuing our goals, even if the road to get there may be a long one.

An effective way to explore, realise, and remind yourself of your goals is to create a vision board.

Here, we explain what a vision board is, why they’re important and how creating one can help you to stay motivated and keep your dreams alive.

What is a vision board?

What is a vision board?

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

A vision board is any sort of visual display that includes images, words, and/or quotes that act as a positive and powerful daily reminder of whatever you want to be, have, or do in your life.

Vision boards are often linked to the Law of Attraction – which centres around the idea that the way we think directly impacts the positive or negative experiences that we have in life. So, the more positive our thinking is, the more likely we are to have positive experiences in reality. This ideology has been around for more than a century and was first mentioned in a book by author Helena Blavatsky back in 1877.

But it was after the release of the 2006 book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne that the Law of Attraction gained popularity in modern culture. The idea is that when we put all of our wants and dreams on paper to create a tangible reminder to look at daily, we’ll feel motivated and inspired to take positive steps towards achieving these dreams.

One of the best things about creating a vision board is that there are no rules. Most people create them by hand using a corkboard, photos, cutouts from magazines, and inspirational quotes. But you can use anything at all that inspires you, and the board, piece of card, or piece of paper, can be as big or as small as you like.

You might want to dedicate an hour, an afternoon, or a whole weekend to creating your vision board – it’s completely up to you. You can also add to it over time as you progress on your journey. Adding key milestones or achievements to the board can be a great way of reminding yourself of progress along the way.

Why is a vision board important?

Why is a vision board important?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist”

People of all ages have hopes and dreams. Children might hope for their favourite toy for Christmas, or dream about what they want to be when they grow up. People in their 20s might dream about having a family or getting promoted at work.

If you’re in your 50s, maybe you dream about travelling the world, or starting down a new career path. These goals or dreams – whether we realise it or not – are what help us get out of bed every day and keep going, even when it feels like a struggle. They’re also the reason why when we fail or when things don’t go to plan, we’re able to dust ourselves off and try again.

Our lowest days often happen when we lose sight of our goals. But these days don’t last forever, and eventually, we restore hope in the idea that everything will be okay.

One of the big reasons why vision boards are so powerful is because they can help us move from hoping we’ll achieve our goals and dreams, to actively pursuing them. When we’re not working towards our goals, we can feel stuck.

Perhaps you’ve lost touch with your creative side, and you can’t remember the last time you got really excited about something. Or maybe you’re simply bored, overworked, and/or exhausted. This tends to happen to everyone at some stage in life, but it’s important to be able to recognise it, so you can make the changes needed to help you fall in love with life again.

This is where a vision board can be helpful. It might feel like all you’re really doing is making a pretty collage – but what you’re actually doing is confirming and realising your goals, so that you can believe they’re possible and move towards them.

Sometimes we have a vague goal in mind but aren’t sure exactly what we want to achieve. Or we’re afraid to delve too deeply into our dreams if they feel impossible because this can be disheartening. But, because creating a vision board requires you to put something tangible down on paper, it forces you to clarify your goals and work out what you really want to achieve.

Your vision board might provoke different emotions and reactions each time you look at it – which can help you to realise, adjust, and explore your dreams further. For example, there might be some ideas on your board that you never grow tired of, no matter how many times you consider them. If anything, the excitement grows.

But there may be other ideas on your board that you grow bored of seeing every day, which might help you to realise that perhaps these aren’t goals that matter to you as much as you thought. There might also be new goals and dreams that you want to add to your board as time goes on. Your board isn’t rigid and can grow and evolve alongside you.

Once we achieve a goal, we often come up with new ones to challenge ourselves further, so your board will never be finished – which is one of the beauties of it.

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How to make your own vision board in 5 easy steps

How to make your own vision board in 5 easy steps

1. Define your goals and/or dreams

Define your goals and/or dreams

Before you start making anything, it can be helpful to sit down with a pen and paper and think about what areas of your life you’d like to grow or improve in – for example, family, relationships, finances, fitness, work, mental health, and so on.

Then, see how many goals you can think of that fit into each of these areas. It doesn’t matter how big or small these are – for example, it might be changing careers, or simply achieving a new personal best for your 5K run.

It can help to think about goals that you’d like to achieve in the near future – say, in the next 12 months – because this can often make the steps needed to get there feel as though they’re more achievable.

There’s no need to spend too long on this; 15-20 minutes or so will do. It’s just a great way to get your ideas flowing and start thinking about what matters most to you in life. It’s okay if you’re struggling to clearly identify your goals or feel unsure how to achieve them. Just write down what you can, and remember that you can always change it later.

2. Gather your materials

Gather your materials

You can make your vision board on any sort of material you like, but many people choose to use a corkboard, which you can buy cheaply on Amazon. These are great because you can attach your words and images with pins – making it easy for you to alter your vision board in the future.

Corkboards come in a range of different shapes and sizes, but it’s best to go for one that’s not excessively large or too tiny – so that you’re not in danger of running out of room or being left with too much empty space. An A3 size board can be a great choice to get started. You’ll also need some drawing pins to attach your words and cuttings to the board.

Next, you’ll need to gather as many photos, pictures, and magazines as possible. If you don’t have any old ones at home, you can always ask friends or family if they have any that they wouldn’t mind giving away.

Once you’ve got your stack of pictures, grab a cup of tea and get comfortable. Then spend some time going through your collection and identifying any images, words, colours, or patterns that you feel represent your goals and aspirations, or connect with you on an emotional level.

The cuttings don’t necessarily have to be physical interpretations of how you would like your life to look. Try to focus more on how the images and words make you feel.

For example, if one of your goals is working through your anxiety and coming up with coping strategies to help you feel calmer and more relaxed, then you could use an image of a beach, with an idyllic sunset and crystal clear waters. This may make you feel calm, which represents how you’d like to feel more often.

Or, if you’re interested in finding a romantic partner, you could choose an image that represents love to you – perhaps something like a couple holding hands. Every word or image you choose should make you feel positive or inspired.

3. Make a collage of your words and images

Make a collage of your words and images

Once you’ve collected enough words and images to put on your board, you can take as long as you like to arrange them in a way that’s visually appealing, and makes the most sense to you. This part is very personal, so be as creative as you wish. Remember that there are no rules.

If at this point your vision board consists only of pictures, it can be helpful to add some words to your board. These can be handwritten or printed, and will reflect how you want to feel and/or how you’d like your life to look. For example, ‘strong’, ‘financially secure’, ‘loved’ and so on.

4. Use your vision board daily

Use your vision board daily

When you’ve finished, take a step back and admire what you’ve created. Now is a good time to think about whether there’s anything missing. You might also find it useful to write the date on the back of your vision board so that it’s easier to track your progression – it may surprise you how far you’ve come when you look back in a few weeks.

It’s important to choose a good home for your vision board – somewhere where you’ll be able to look at it for a few minutes every day. Try to choose somewhere that you spend lots of time, so that it’s harder to forget about it. For example, above your dinner table, on your dressing table, or on the wall beside your bed.

This way, while you’re having breakfast, getting ready in the morning, or lying in bed, you can spend some time visualising and affirming your goals. If they’re constantly in your mind, you’ll be much more likely to adopt the behaviours needed to get you to where you want to go.

Doing this before you go to sleep can be very powerful. The thoughts and images that are in our minds in the 45 minutes before we drift off to sleep, are the thoughts that we replay in our subconscious throughout the night – making them more likely to manifest in our dreams.

This can help our first waking thoughts to be linked to our goals, which can influence how we start our day, and the choices we make going forward. It can be surprising how much our own attitudes and beliefs about what we’re capable of can attract positive experiences in our lives.

5. Continue working on your vision board

Continue working on your vision board

It’s important not to remove any images or words from your board when you reach a goal because they can act as powerful visual reminders of what you’ve achieved so far – and what you can continue to achieve in the future. You might be surprised at how many positive changes you’ve when you look back at your board.

If your goals and dreams ever take a rapid change of direction, then it can be helpful to make a new vision board, for clarity and focus. But some people suggest that you shouldn’t throw away your old boards, as they can tell a story of your life – a bit like a journal – and might be useful in future if you’re ever at a crossroads or doing some self-reflection.

Final thoughts…

Your vision board is entirely your creation, so it should be something that inspires and speaks to you. It’s not something that should be compared with someone else’s.

While it’s sometimes uncomfortable to step outside of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves to do things we’ve never done before, by doing so we allow ourselves to grow and create new opportunities that we may not have known existed.

As C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

Have you made a vision board before? How has your vision board helped you? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.