Vision boards. You’ve probably heard of them. You probably know they consist of cut up photos from magazines or printed off the internet. But what exactly are they, and more importantly, how do they work?
Why is that important? It’s one thing to stick some pictures on tagboard and throw it up on your wall. But it’s a whole other thing to actually make one, stick it up on your wall, and use it to your advantage (read: actually make it work for you).
Read on to find out all the details.
So, what is a vision board?
In a nutshell:
A vision board is a compilation of positive images that appeal to you. The images represent your goals and things you want to work towards in your life.
Why do they work?
What we focus on expands into our life.
Read that again.
What we focus on expands into our life.
Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecies? You become what you think? The idea is the same. The mind is a powerful tool, and visualization is a great way to use it. If you’re a fan of the book, ‘The Secret’, it says this:
“The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”
If that is a little too ‘woo woo’ for you, think about this.
Visualization is a very powerful tool and the benefits are widely known. There are countless examples of Olympic athletes and other athletes using visualization (you can find an article from the New York Times here) and how beneficial it is.
How to Create a Vision Board
Getting started is easy.
Vision Board Platform
Decide how you want to display your vision board. Do you want to use tagboard or construction paper? Or maybe you want it electronic (Pinterest would be a good visual online option)? Whichever option you decide, make sure you can see it every day, multiple times a day.
When looking for your images, think about how you want to feel, not just things you want. Bonus if the items have actions you can take to go with them. Putting your goals on the vision board is a plus!
Here are two examples from my vision board last year and the impact they had on my life:
Plants, plants everywhere
For example, for my vision board last year, I put a picture of plants. I love plants and they make me feel calm and my surroundings cozy.
The want/goal: more plants
Feelings attached: calm, cozy (hygge)
Actionable steps: bring more plants into my life!
The result? Last year, I hosted two succulent planting parties, repotted all my indoor house plants, and ended up with five new plants (that are still living - a couple didn’t survive).
This next example still surprises me when I think about it...
I had a goal at the beginning of 2017 to further expand my photography. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in, but I just knew I wanted something to happen with it. So, I found a couple of photography-related images that appealed to me and put them up on my vision board.
The want/goal: put focus towards expanding my photography
Feelings attached: The feelings attached to this one was related to finding my way back to my identity pre-Little E. Photography was a huge part of my life, and once I was pregnant with him (I was on heavy restrictions) and for the year after he was born, I lost my focus for it.
Actionable steps: Look for ways to expand my photography
Results: As of March or April in 2017, I had already booked my photography for three (!!!) gallery exhibits/showing. I had never in my life pitched my photography to a gallery and I had no idea what I was doing. But all of a sudden I found myself with 3!
One of those gallery showings was at a large health center. Around that time, I had started to become interested in the connection between nature and mental health. For the gallery exhibit, I wanted to showcase that connection, somehow. This is where the 2-minute guided mindfulness meditation with nature photography idea was born. I created prompts to go along with the photos. I was SO happy with how it turned out. So happy in fact, that I knew I didn’t want this idea to end when the gallery show was over.
Enter: The Mindful Mom Blographer
Yep. The blog was born from that particular photography gallery.
Amazing how these things work, isn’t it?
Once you decide whether you want a physical or electronic vision board, it’s time to start compiling the images. I like having my images on tagboard that I can hang up in a place where I know I will see it multiple times a day.
For mine, I found a bunch of old magazines, grabbed some scissors and tape, a warm cup of tea, and started flipping through the magazines. Whenever an image would catch my eye for whatever reason, I cut it out and put it aside in a pile.
Once I had gone through all my magazines, I took the pile and started going through the images again. The ones that no longer spoke to me, or I couldn’t determine an actionable goal for, I recycled.
The rest, I taped on my piece tag board.
If you don’t want to use magazines, or you want to create an electronic board, you can look online for images (Pinterest would be a good resource).
If you want instructions on how to create an online vision board, check out this website here.
Or, check out these vision board apps here.
Choose a location that you will see the board multiple times a day. For me, that made the most sense to have it hanging in my bedroom right by my bed. That way, I could look at it while laying in bed, getting ready for the day, and more. What location makes the most sense to you? Pick a location and display it.
Whenever you find yourself looking at the board, pick one or two of the images and focus on them. Imagine what your life would look like with that particular image in it, including how you would feel. Image yourself making steps and goals to achieve whatever it is in that image. Image your perfect day with that particular item in your life.
Note: The idea isn’t to focus or obsess about something so much that it starts to become stressful. If you start to feel any sort of negativity from the vision board or something on it, make adjustments so that it doesn’t have that effect.
If you want to learn even more about vision boards and why they are effective, you can visit my Vision Board board on Pinterest here.
Have you ever created a vision board? Have you had any success with it?