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You’ve probably seen photos of vision boards on your social media. They are typically collages of inspiration quotes and aesthetic images that look something like this:

Vision boards have become extremely popular recently. You may be wondering: What is a vision board? Is there any point in making one? If so, should I make one?

While these dream boards may seem like a trend, they can actually be a powerful tool to create the life that you want by focusing on your dreams, desires, and ideals. Let’s walk through what exactly is a vision board, and why you might want to consider making one for yourself.

What is a vision board?

A vision board is simply a visualization tool to help you imagine your future in a tangible way. We often dream about our ideal life, but rarely put our ideals on paper. That’s where a dream board comes in. They can consist of images that in some way represent of remind us of our goals, ideals, and future plans.

For example, a huge goal of mine is to practice mindfulness, so on my vision board, I’ve included photos of people meditating and quotes about meditation. But the contents of your board are extremely personal- they can be related to anything from fitness goals, travel, career goals, and more.

What are the benefits of creating a vision board?

Have you ever noticed that what you focus your energy on, tends to come true? This phenomenon is called manifestation, and it can work in both positive and negative ways. Negative manifestation typically comes from limiting beliefs. Some examples of limiting beliefs include:

“I’ll never have a boyfriend. There just aren’t any good men left in the world”

“I’m so bad at _, that’s why I can never succeed”

“I don’t deserve _, so I might as well settle for what I have”

And the sad part is, when we think these sorts of thoughts, they tend to influence our lives in that direction. It’s not some sort of hippie magic, it’s just that our thoughts influence our actions in both large and subtle ways.

The good news is, we can also do the opposite and manifest the lives that we want. We just have to stay focused on our positive thoughts and what we truly want for ourselves.

We could turn the negative thoughts above into positive ones by thinking things like:

“There is so much potential out there- eventually, I will find someone who is kind and loving”

“If I put in the effort, I can succeed at __”

“I am a valuable human being, and I deserve good things in my life”

So what does this all have to do with making a vision board?

Well, I’m glad you asked! Manifestation is all about our thoughts influencing our behaviors, actions, and futures. Our thoughts don’t just come out of nowhere, though– they are closely related to our surroundings.

Why do you think you spend so much time on your phone? Because it’s right in front of you! All. the. time.

So what if we put things in front of us that we actually want to manifest in our lives? That’s where a dream board comes into play.

By putting images, goals, quotes, etc. together in a place we can see them every day, we influence our behaviors, actions, and futures in the direction we want. It’s about keeping the things that are actually important to us top of mind, rather than whatever mindless thoughts pop into our head. It is really hard to focus on large, idealistic goals on the day-to-day, so we tend to lose focus, but a vision board keeps us on track.

How does it work?

You may not see any immediate results after making a vision board, but after some time of looking at your board every day, you’ll notice your thoughts and actions are working to create the future that you want.

Sometimes, the complete vision might not even be clear until years down the line. I’ve heard stories of people putting things on their board and not even being sure why. After looking at it for years, those things somehow became an important part of their life.

Your dreams and goals are valuable, and creating a vision board will help you keep them front and center in your life, even when they may not seem so obvious. It’s hard to dream a better life for yourself when you’re constantly being bogged down by a love life, job, etc. that you’re just not happy with. Every time you look at your board, you’re putting in a small amount of effort towards manifesting your goals— and that’s why this technique is so powerful.

Sounds great! How do I get started?

You can either create a dream board the old fashion way with scissors, magazines, and glue; or digitally on Pinterest.

I personally chose to create my vision board on Pinterest for convenience, and for the fact that I don’t own a printer.

However, many experts still advocate for going the old fashioned route. Why? By creating a physical board, or at least printing your board out, it’s easier to put it in a place you’ll see it every day. This is an important part of using a dream board. Additionally, making this a tactical experience can help you separate creating your dream board from screen time and social media. It’s an important distinction to make that this is a tool to help you achieve your dreams, not just a Pinterest board or social media site!

If you do decide to go the digital route like I did, I’d recommend taking a screenshot of your board and setting it as your phone or computer wallpaper. That way, you can still look at it all the time to stay focused.

What kinds of things should I include on my vision board?

As for what you should put on the board, it’s really totally and completely up to you! It can be specific things, or things that inspire you even if you’re not quite sure why. If you’re stumped, I’ve put together a few strategies you can use to get started.

Strategies to get started:

  1. Look and something you’ve already included on your board, reflect on why you’ve included it, and use that to generate more ideas. When I was creating my dream board, I noticed I was gravitating towards pictures of happy couples. I realized this is because I want and abundance of love in my life. I asked myself, “How else might love show up in my ideal life?” Which led me to include photos of friends and families laughing and smiling together as well.
  2. Write a few key words down to get started: If there’s things that pop into your head when you first start creating your dream board, that’s a great sign that the inspiration is flowing! Write a few things down and then look for images or quotes to include based on those things. Or, just include your handwritten note itself! This is a great technique especially if you aren’t a super visual thinker in the first place.
  3. Focus on feelings: Sometimes, we might fall into a trap of including materialistic or vein goals in our dream boards. It’s okay to have some of these, but make sure to focus on how you want to feel in the future, not just how you want it to look. Include images or words that remind you to be kind, brave, peaceful, or whatever it is you strive for.
  4. Keep browsing! Inspiration often comes in bursts, so I’d recommend just dedicating some time to looking through magazines or Pinterest and paying attention to what catches your eye. Like I said, it’s easy to lose sight of our larger goals, so something may pique your interest that was totally off your radar in the first place.

How do I use and maintain my Vision Board?

Your vision board does not have to be perfect. It’s important to give yourself the flexibility to add or remove things as time passes and your priorities change. In fact, it’s recommended to refresh your board at least once a year as a reflection of your efforts and goals over time. If you find yourself wanting to drastically change your board all the time, though, you may want to take a step back and reflect on what you actually want for yourself in the long term, not just in any given moment.

Remember that creating the board is only the first step of your journey. The real work is in looking at your vision board every day and staying focused on manifesting your dream life.

From time to time , it may be helpful to step back and be grateful for all of the blessings you have in life and all that you have accomplished so far. Be proud of yourself no matter how far along in your journey you are. Sometimes, just keeping a positive attitude is hard work.

I hope that I’ve inspired you to create your very own vision board. Remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out to get started. All you need is an open mind. You may be surprised what comes to life if you just give it a try.