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August 09, 2021

Manifest Your Picture of the Future with a Vision Board

When it comes to your future, you might just need to see it to believe it. At least that’s the thinking behind creating your own personalized vision board.

Vision boards, sometimes also referred to as dream boards, are a visualization tool that can help you construct and clarify a view of your future—your hopes, goals, and aspirations—and help spur you to action. Whether for your professional or personal life, a vision board can be a productive mental exercise that not only helps you think creatively about your life’s possibilities but also provide you with direction and ideas to help manifest those possibilities you most desire.

A young female designer working in her office looking at different colored sticky notes on a board.

How to Make a Vision Board

Creating your own personal vision board is ultimately a very simple practice—most of the difficulty might just be in carving out the time to focus your thoughts on the future. However, when you come to the table to make one, you’ll have two basic options: creating a physical or digital vision board.

A physical vision board is basically a collage assembled from materials you might already have readily available. To get started, you’ll need a board of some kind, whether that’s a poster board or corkboard. You’ll also need some basic crafting materials like scissors, glue, and tape. If you’re using a corkboard, you will just need some pins or tacks. Last, and certainly not least, you will need a source for the images and words that you will add to your vision board. For this, a stack of your favorite magazines, some newspaper, or other media will do the trick.

For those that might want to skip the arts and crafts hour, a digital vision board can be just as effective—and even simpler. All you will need is an internet connection and the right place to compile your visions. A blank Word document works well for this and offers unlimited length for you to add and arrange material. Otherwise, you might turn to a subscription to a site like Pinterest or an app like Canva in which you can save and assemble your digital dream board.

From here, all you need is some time free from distractions so that you can focus on assembling your vision board with some concerted effort and a clear head.

Vision Board Ideas to Bring Your Future to Life

Once you’re ready to start vision boarding, there are virtually limitless directions you can go. Use these tips and vision board ideas to get started and you’ll be on your way in no time.

  • Get Goal-Oriented: Before you begin pulling in images, put some serious time into thinking about your goals. Consider what about your life you would like to maintain or change; where you would like to see yourself in, say, a year from now; as well as where you might journey to in the meantime. Is there a career change you’d finally like to make happen? A bucket-list trip you’re at last going to take? Even if you don’t have a wide range of concrete goals, you might have more mental aspirations. That is, your goals might to be achieve a new kind of peace of mind. Wherever it is that you want your future to take you physically, mentally, and spiritually, bring your biggest hopes and dreams to the fore as you look to shape your vision board.
  • Picture the Perfect Places, Things, or States of Mind: Search your materials, whether that’s magazines or the wide web, to find images that represent your goals. Maybe there’s a scenic sandy beach that you wish to visit soon—or maybe that beach just represents the headspace you’d like to find yourself in this year. Looking to get some reading done? Imagine what your perfect reading nook and put it on your vision board so that you can draw on that inspiration as you move forward.
  • Bring in Some Buzzwords: Support your vision of the future with some words of affirmation. Adding words to your vision board is perhaps best done with the help of physical magazines: Flipping through the pages of a publication to spot the various words and phrases that leap out at you can add a dash of serendipity to the process, sparking new thought processes and visions that you might not have considered without being prompted. No matter how you choose to find them though, you can create a word cloud that envelopes and supports the images on your vision board, which will provide an added source of motivation and accountability as you work to manifest your future.
  • Find Some Potent Quotes: Beyond these shorter words and phrases, it can also be helpful to find inspiring or thought-provoking quotes. Sometimes, even when it comes to your own personal future, others have said it best—or, at least, said it first. Adding quotes to your vision board can bring motivation or just give you ample material to ponder in the months ahead.

The best part of making a vision board is that the final form it takes is entirely up to you. Regardless of whether you go the physical or digital route, use your vision boarding exercise to focus on and capture what matters most to you, in whatever way that takes shape and however you see fit.

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