One, you might be asking, what is a vision board, and two, why you should do one? A vision board (aka dream board, inspiration board) is a visual representation of your hopes, dreams, desires and goals for the future. This collection of images, and often, affirmations, represent the life you want to have in the future.
Think of it as a visual reminder of what you want more of and less of in your life.
Vision board as mindset practice
Mahatma Ghandi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
Vision boards provide a very real way for you to be in control of your thoughts and beliefs–and maybe even upgrade them or eliminate the negatives ones all together.
I first learned about vision boards in the late 90s in the book Open Your Mind to Prosperity by Catherine Ponder.
“Vague hopes and indefinite goals are not convincing to the mind, whereas a clear cut picture of the good activates people, places and events to cooperate with your pictured desires.”
Since then, I’ve done many boards over the years, conducted workshops, and hosted virtual Pinterest vision board parties. Not only are they fun and whimsical, giving your creative side the lead, they act as a daily reminder about your goals.
Your brain on vision boards
Your brain is a powerful tool, and I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, we only utilize a small percentage of brain’s capacity. According to Entrepreneur.com celebs like Oprah and Katy Perry have used vision boards to achieve success.
Vision boards are not “woo-woo,” they tap into a little something called neuroscience.
Neuroscience has proven your brain changes and learns throughout your life. Neuroplasicity is the brain’s ability to create neural pathways in response to incoming stimuli. Your habits and thought patterns get hard-wired into your brain.
Good and bad.
Worried about finances? Over time that creates a connection, and the connection becomes a response. Suddenly, every night before you fall asleep, you’re worried about money and paying bills.
Exercise, meditation, visualization and other mindfulness practices are tools toward creating new, positive neural pathways.
A vision board is a form of visualization. Instead of the constant stress about money, you look upon your vision board and focus on “happier” thoughts, thus rewiring your brain for more positivity.
Phew! Now that the science is out of the way…
Step 1 : make “goals” for your vision board
General ideas for your future life such as “financial freedom,” and “healthier body” are great, however your mind loves specificity, something tangible to manifest. Therefore, I recommend spending a little time in goal setting before you jump into the fun part of cutting up pictures and magazines.
As you’re taking the time to develop your goals, be sure to think spherically to have the most balance in your life. Some categories you might consider:
- Self care
- Personal growth
- Good deeds
Take a few minutes and write down a few goals. Think about all the different areas of your life. What would you like to have/accomplish physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationships, lifestyle or any other category that is important to you?
step 2 : find corresponding images
Once you’ve identified your goals, locate corresponding images. For me (and I think most people), this part the takes the longest. I love doing it the old-fashioned way, meaning I thumb through hundreds of pages of magazines.
QUICK TIP: If you have a Half-Price Books near year, or some other used book store, these are great resources for tons of magazines. I can get a stack of 10 magazines for $10. You can also ask friends and neighbors for their used and unwanted magazines.
A more modern approach for image collecting is to use your computer, good ‘ole Google or Pinterest. One benefit is being able to search for a specific image rather than hoping you come across it in a magazine. Make sure to print the images in color.
Whether you’re flipping pages or scrolling through them, pay attention to how the images make you feel. When an image, word, affirmation or quote strikes a positive tone for you, snag it and sit with it. It may or may not make your final board.
Find affirmations that correlate to your goals. Make up your own. Keep them positive and in the present tense–as if it’s already happening. Some examples are:
- The Divine plan is unfolding perfectly in my life now.
- I’m in excellent health.
- I am financially free.
STEP 3 : DECIDE ON the materials
In the past, I’ve always used poster board to affix my pictures. You can keep it simple with a basic poster board (any color is fine). One year I tried this portable version. I’ve also seen some really beautiful upgrades such as framing the vision board, or using a fancy bulletin board.
Does a “fancier” bulletin board make a difference? Probably not. Again, it goes back to how it makes you feel, and for some, adding some luxurious touches make them feel…well…luxurious.
If you’re collecting images online, you might opt for a digital version of your dream board.
STEP 4 : arrange your images
Again there’s no right or wrong way to arranging and organizing the images on your board. Try it out several ways, and go with the one that feels the best.
Some people like a completely random collage, gluing the images wherever it suits their taste. Others like to make “sections” on the vision board and group the pictures accordingly.
In Catherine Ponder’s book, she offers the following tips when creating a vision board (she calls them wheels of fortune):
- Don’t try to convince others of this method
- Use big colorful boards for big colorful results
- Use colored pictures (remember this if you’re printing your own images)
- Put money on your board so you won’t go into debt
- Place a spiritual symbol on your board for protection and your highest purpose
STEP 5 : Display your vision board
Once you have your vision board the way you like it, place it somewhere visible; someplace you can see it everyday. I usually hang mine on my closet door because I go in there multiple times a day, and this gives my mind multiple times to absorb the images.
Maybe if you work from home, you can put it above your workstation, or on your dresser so you can focus on it before you go to bed.
You’ll know when you’re ready to take it down. But don’t worry, your subconscious is still busy bringing life to your goals and dreams.
Make way for the new developments. If your current state is crowded and cluttered, there’s no room for new and better to enter. So clean out closets, desk drawers, your car, your office, kitchen…whatever. Trust me. Your minds takes this outer cleansing very seriously.
Finally, express gratitude everyday for all that you already have. The more you learn to appreciate what you have, the more good that finds its way into your life.