Picture this: all your hopes, desires, and goals for the future are together in one place. You see them there every day, mingling and creating an image of your best life. As time goes by, and you continue to have this constant reminder of what personal success looks like to you, it gets easier to manifest those hopes, desires, and goals into real action.
This special place is your vision board! And although it doesn’t work like magic, the results of this focused intention-setting can be magical. When you make the effort to create a visual representation of what you really want out of life, you’ve already taken a step toward that brighter future. That’s because vision boarding is, at its core, a meditative act that helps you clearly articulate your inner feelings—and this level of self-awareness is no small feat!
Also, the limited space of a vision board can actually be a blessing in disguise. Working within this simple medium forces you to consider your priorities. Ultimately, you have to decide which of your many dreams are most important to you right now, and those will be the ones that earn a spot on your board. Then, you start making those dreams a reality! Once you begin progressing on your goals, the vision board becomes this guiding light that helps motivate you whenever the going gets tough.
So if you want to become a more goal-oriented person who can achieve great things, try making a vision board! This three-step guide will show you the best ways to materialize your dreams into a physical or digital vision board, as well as how to turn inspiration into accomplishments.
Step one: do some soul-searching
Before you jump into putting the board together, give yourself the time and space to reflect on the vision you’re trying to capture. Ask yourself some fundamental questions, like:
- What do I want more or less of in my life?
- Where do I see myself in six months, one year, or five years?
- What is my personal definition of success?
From there, you can find some helpful ways to stimulate this kind of abstract, creative thinking. Journaling and meditation are two of the most popular avenues people take when trying to center themselves and channel their energies. If you’re new to that sort of thing, or you just want to benefit from new perspectives, check out this recording of a Meetup Live session on how to mindfully approach intention-setting through journaling and meditation.
You could also simply spend some time walking outdoors! You might be surprised how easy it is to reach a point of mental clarity after getting in touch with the world around you.
Rest assured that your soul-searching leads different people to different places. The thoughts and feelings you ultimately decide to incorporate into your vision board can revolve around personal wellbeing, relationships, career, hobbies, and so much more.
Step two: assemble your vision board
If you plan on making a physical vision board, now’s the time to gather your materials. You can approach this hands-on craft however you want, but some tried-and-true methods typically use the following:
- Poster board or paper with a heavier stock
- Magazines, newspapers, or books that you’re willing to cut up
If you’re going the virtual route, you’ll want to use a tool like Photoshop to create your board. Canva is a great online graphic design alternative that you can use for free. You can upload images, take advantage of a whole suite of editing functions, create intricate borders and backgrounds, and more.
Whether your board is physical or virtual, the building process is much the same. Your goal is to collage images and text that inspire you to be your best self.
Step three: display your vision board
The point of the vision board isn’t just the fun of creating it, but for it to become a joyful part of your daily experience that motivates you to keep improving. For that to work, you should put your vision board somewhere you’ll see it frequently. For a physical board, this might be under a magnet on your fridge or hanging on a bedroom wall. If you’ve got a virtual vision board, you might try saving it as the background image on your phone or computer.
Remember, vision boards are meant to inspire real action. For example, if your vision board includes an image of someone hiking, you could take that as a daily reminder to join a local outing with a Meetup group near you.
And if you really want to be proactive, you can channel the inspiration from your vision board into building your own community dedicated to whatever form of self-improvement speaks to you. It only takes five minutes to create your own Meetup group and start living your best life today.
This article was written by James Quigley, who is a writer, editor, and educator whose work has received Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominations. James was born and raised in New York, where he lives and works as a freelance writer. See more of his writing here.