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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Vision Board That Actually Works

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Thinking of creating your first vision board? Great!

Vision boards are an amazing visualization tool to motivate you to work towards a certain goal, but only if you understand how to use them right. This means that planning ahead is a necessary part of creating a good vision board that actually leads to results.

Once you understand this, it’s easy to see how a vision board can help you achieve your goals, both big and small!

This is a big post that’s going to show you:

  1. How to plan your vision board
  2. Ideas for what to put on your vision board
  3. How to make your vision board

Skip to the part you need most or keep scrolling to read it all.

Planning a Vision Board That Works

While you can definitely just find pictures that represent your goals and aspirations and put them on a board of your choosing, it does help to do a little planning beforehand.

Planning ahead will keep your vision board focused on its intent. This way, whenever you look at your vision board, you’ll remember the purpose and motivation you created it with.

Here are some tips for planning your first vision board and choosing what you want to include on it.

Decide What Type of Vision Board You Want

Before you do anything else, you need to know what type of vision board you’re going to make.

If you want more of a traditional vision board, it can represent all the different areas of your life. This includes stuff like family and relationships, work or school, finances, personal or home life, and anything else that is of importance to you.

However, you might also want to create a topic-specific vision board. For example, you might have one big goal that you’re working towards or you want something to help you focus more on your professional life after college.

These goal-focused vision boards work better for motivation since they only cover one goal.

Below are some quick tips to help you figure out what type of vision board you want to create. Use these tips whenever you’re thinking of creating a new vision board, whether it’s your first or your 15th.

Look for vision board inspiration online

Start off with a few simple searches for vision boards to get a good idea of what others are doing. This isn’t because you have to make your vision board look like these examples. This is just to show you what’s possible and to get your creative juices flowing.

Pinterest, Instagram, and of course Google are some good places to look for vision board inspiration.

Some vision boards will look like more generalized and open-ended vision boards. Others are specific to just one thing—such as a dream life, planning for college, saving for a vacation, and so much more.

I have a few vision board ideas listed later on in this post, but you can also find more in our post dedicated to showing off vision board ideas.

Make a list of your biggest priorities in life

Get out a journal, notebook, or note-taking app and make a list of what comes to mind first when you think about who you want to be or where you want your life to go.

Do you notice any type of trend in this list? This means it might be a good place to start.

See what you pin the most on Pinterest

As I’ve mentioned before, Pinterest is a great way to see your vision board in digital space. If you’re already using Pinterest, this is a good place to start.

Look at what you’ve been pinning lately or the most often. This can also present a pattern that’s an indication of what your life priorities and ambitions are.

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Define the Purpose of Your Vision Board

Planning your vision board also includes figuring out what to add to it, not just choosing the type of board. You want it to have a purpose, whether that’s to help you focus on your goals, plan better, organize your time, or just act with more intention.

This is what you’ll work on next!

Think of WHY you want a vision board and make a list of your top reasons. This is good to do during these early planning stages as a way to figure out which direction to go with your vision board.

Think about how you want to improve

If you’re still a little stuck about what to include on your vision board, don’t just think about what you want to accomplish, but where you want to improve.

  • Is there an area of your life where you feel you’re falling behind?
  • Is there something you aren’t doing, or a goal you can’t seem to wrap your head around?
  • Do you feel like you have no motivation for advancing your career or feel a little stuck in your personal life?

These are things to keep in mind when figuring out what to put on your vision board and which direction to go with it. It can help you get unstuck and figure out areas of your life that need the most improvement.

Include small goals as well as big goals

Goals don’t always need to be a major life change that takes years to complete. Some will be small and only take a few weeks to achieve.

There are many different types of goals you may have, both big and small. Maybe you have smaller goals that will only take a few weeks or months to complete and a couple of big goals that will take more time and dedication.

These are all important to you, which makes them a priority and something to focus on. When you achieve them with the help of your vision board and other tools you plan to use, you feel more accomplished and like your life has more meaning.

You can make a vision board that includes all of them, or several different vision boards for specific goals.

Decide How You Want to Make Your Vision Board

We will go more into creating your vision board later, but while in the planning stages, consider how you want to set it up.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself while planning your vision board:

  • Do you want a physical or digital vision board?
  • Collage style or mood board style?
  • What size board will you create?
  • What materials do you want to use?
  • Do you want to create something with Canva?
  • Or will you use an online service like Pinterest, Tumblr, or DreamItAlive?
  • What do you want to put on your vision board?
  • Where will you search for pictures?
  • Where can you find words, quotes, and affirmations to include in your vision board?
Woman with large map on table looking at photos from vacations. Create a vision board that works when you're dreaming of travel

Ideas for What to Include on Your Vision Board

In a bit, I have some tips for setting up your vision board, but first, let’s look at some ideas for what to include on your vision board. This will give you even more ideas for what you might want on the board or where to get your inspiration from.

Business and Work Goals

The first idea for what to include on your vision board has to do with your business or professional career. This can be about your dream career, finishing college or planning for college, changing jobs, getting a promotion, building a brand, or related more to your financial future.

There’s so much that can be added in this category, but here are some quick ideas:

  • Dream career
  • Working through choosing the career you might want
  • Getting a promotion at your current job
  • Visualizing your life after getting your dream career
  • Reaching a goal income level
  • Building your own business
  • Understanding your dream clientele
  • Branding your business
  • Creating products or services

Personal Life Goals

Personal life goals are another popular choice you can include on your vision board. This covers just about every area of your personal life and is sometimes combined with other categories, such as health or business.

Again, here are a few example goals to get you started:

  • Where you want to live
  • Places you want to travel
  • Your dream vacation
  • What your lifestyle will be like
  • Family goals and aspirations
  • Starting a family or lifestyle blog
  • Becoming a social media influencer

Remember, there’s no wrong way to create a vision board! Your personal life board is all about you, what you want, and the personal goals you have in your life. You can create it however you like in any layout that makes sense to you.

Health Goals

Another popular topic is health. You might want to plan out health goals on a vision board, either on a board just for health goals or as a part of your personal vision board.

Remember to think of both your physical and emotional health, as both are equally important.

Physical Health

This is a very common category to include on a vision board. Your physical health can start with your physical appearance, such as losing weight, toning your body, self-care practices or even makeup looks you’d like to try.

You could include images that show the type of body you want or younger pictures of you when you had the figure you are trying to get back.

Your vision board could also be about general health issues you have or visualizing what it could look like when you heal certain aspects of your physical health. Maybe you just want to focus on eating better or exercising, so those are good images to include on your vision board.

Emotional/Mental Health

There are also ways to include your emotional or mental health on your vision board. Maybe you’ve been suffering from anxiety and want to visualize what life would be like after you treat it. Or you may want to express your emotions about your depression or stress.

Improving your mental health is just as important as working on your physical health, so it’s worth exploring if you’d like to create a health-based vision board.

Using a Vision Board for More Than Just Goals

Finally, let’s go over some other ways to use your vision board. It doesn’t always have to be about the goals you have in life! You can use vision boards for whatever purpose you want to use them for.

Keeping track of priorities

Instead of goals, you may want to simply use it to show your biggest priorities in your life. This could be things that matter most to you, reasons you wake up in the morning, or the main sources of your motivation and inspiration. This kind of vision board is useful if you struggle with staying motivated.

Gratitude and abundance

Remember that visualization is a powerful thing. It can be used not just to accomplish something, but also to have more gratitude for the abundance that’s already in your life.

You can use your vision boards as a gratitude visualization tool by including images of what you appreciate, love, and cherish, such as:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Home
  • Health
  • Job, career, or business
A phone on a table with magazines and magazine cutouts of photos of women and text - Use various materials to make a vision board that works

Preparing to Create Your Vision Board

Now that you understand what a vision board is, how vision boards work, and have some ideas for your vision board, it’s time to actually create one!

By now, you should be fully prepared to pick the main theme of your vision board and what you want to include on it.

You can use a notepad or our vision board planner to make a list of what you want on your vision board. This will help a lot when you’re ready to go about finding the right images for your board.

I like creating digital vision boards, but for the sake of this post right now, I’m going to go over traditional, magazine based vision boards.

Choosing Your Poster Board

The first thing your vision board needs is the actual board that you’ll glue or pin images to. Really, you can decide on any type of flat surface you want. I’ve seen people use a book or bullet journal, a wall in their room, or a simple corkboard.

Posterboard is most recommended because it comes in large sizes that you can keep as-is or cut down. It also provides a solid surface that won’t bend or roll up when you are working with it.

Again, you can choose any other type of hard paper or board that you want to use—it’s totally up to you!

Selecting Images

Once you’ve decided on your board, you’ll want to work on finding your images as well as any quotes or affirmations that you want to include. You have many different options here, from using digital resources to good ole fashioned magazines.

Be sure to grab more images than you need. You don’t have to use every single image. You may find that some images work better along with the rest of your vision board and some may not. You’ll also have backups if you mess something up while you’re gluing together your board.

If you have a color printer, then you can definitely find all the images you need online, many for free. Look anywhere and everywhere you tend to go for inspiration, such as Pinterest, social media (use caution when saving images from here), your own social media pictures, Google image search, online magazine sites, fitness sites, and so many more.

You can print any picture you find online, or even create a collage with programs like Photoshop, Paint, or Canva, then print that to add to your vision board. This is also how you can create a digital vision board that you then print to use offline.

Another option is to get some magazines that reflect your theme and start flipping through for images to use on your vision board. This actually makes it a lot of fun! Be prepared to purchase magazines along with your craft supplies.

Speaking of which…

Other Material and Design Elements

The last thing you will need is a way to attach your images to the vision board.

Many people use glue sticks since putting paper on posterboard doesn’t need much else aside from glue. However, if you want to get more creative with it, you can use Washi tape or another patterned sticky tape to attach your images.

If you’re using a corkboard, you’ll need push pins. You’ll want to look for wall-safe adhesives if you’re creating a wall vision board. Some removal wallpaper as a base may be a good idea, too!

Besides adhesives, you may also need some other materials such as:

  • Pens
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Stickers
  • Decorative elements

Building Your Vision Board

Once you’ve acquired everything you need, you can set aside some time to build your vision board!

Get all your materials together along with your vision board planning list. While you’re setting up your board, you’ll want to be mindful of each item you add to it and what purpose it serves in your visualization.

Here are some quick tips for getting your vision board all set up:

Arrange your images before attaching them

It helps to have a good idea of where you want each image, word, or quote card on your vision board. Don’t glue anything down until you work out how you want the layout to be on your poster board.

You can arrange items in whatever way makes the most sense to you. You may want a more organized list of images or maybe your brain thrives on a more chaotic aesthetic. It’s your vision board made for your visualization. It can be whatever you want!

Use thin layers of glue

Once you have your layout, you can start anchoring things down one at a time.

If you’re using glue, make sure you use thin layers. A glue stick works MUCH better than a bottle of glue since it goes on thin and even. If your glue is too thick or clumpy, the thin pages will show the glue through and your vision board may become a bumpy mess.

Make a Vision Board That Works for You

I hope that with all this info on creating your vision board, you’re ready to get started! It is a lot, so remember to bookmark this guide or save it to Pinterest so you come back to it later.

Also, make sure you download our Vision Board Checklist to help you create and use your vision board effectively. You’ll also be subscribed to our newsletter where you’ll get weekly tips for creating and using vision boards successfully as well as updates from Stay Goal’d!

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Free Download

Vision Board Checklist

Receive a free printable checklist and a weekly newsletter with tips for creating and using a vision board to manifest your dreams.

Thank you for sharing!

My Favorite Resources

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