Maybe you’ve seen them trending on TikTok, or if you’re a millennial like me, you’ve seen them on Instagram Reels a few weeks later, but it’s that time of the year when vision boards are up trending. The beginning of a new year helps a lot of people adopt the mentality of “to start”. I mean, NEW year could easily translate to FRESH START. Regardless of the time of the year, anytime is the best time to think about what you want out of life, no matter how big or how small. So, with that said, where do vision boards fall into this?

Aside from a fun crafting activity, creating a vision board is about establishing your intention setting for the year, the next six months, the next three years, and so on! You are taking the time to mentally and emotionally outline what YOU care about. What things matter to you?

What changes do you want to see in your life? What do you want your life to feel like? What do you want to focus on?

I recently hosted my first vision board party and was surprised by how many people didn’t know what they were. Sure, it may not be hard to quickly come up with something you want to do – “Hey, I want to read more this year!” “I want to work on my mental health!” “I want to create and stick to a budget!” – but when you take the time to think about what you want, those things tend to stick. Plus, you might be surprised by what comes to mind when you allow yourself to be honest about what truly matters to you.

In this article, I’m going to explain why vision boards help you meet your goals (& a little psychology behind them), as well as the steps to create your own. So whether you get a group of friends together to host your own vision board party, or you put on your favorite movie with all of your art supplies and start cutting out a magazine, let’s create a vision board and watch the pieces fall into place for your life.

So… why make a vision board?

In simple terms, taking the time to think about what you want, and what goals you want to set for the year, and then laying out a visual representation of these things, helps keep you focused on what matters most to you. See, by setting the intention with yourself, so tying these dreams/goals/wants/needs to you on a sentimental level, you’ve created an emotional tether for why they’re important to you. The visual reinforcement of seeing your board acts as a constant reminder. You are setting the stakes. This is your story after all.

If that hasn’t sold you, there’s a collection of neurons in your brain called the Reticular
Activating System (RAS) that essentially filters out information that doesn’t pertain to you. I’m not going to give you the super long-winded full neuroscience explanation of your RAS, but if you’re curious, check out this resource from the National Library of Medicine. Put in simplest terms, you are basically signaling to your brain to only focus on these things because you’re constantly feeding your mind what’s on your vision board, assuming you’re putting it
somewhere the eye can see. 😉

Ok ok ok, you’ve sold me. How do I make one?

Well, the fun part about making a vision board is that there’s no one-size-fits-all. You can create one online, whether through Canva or simply finding your favorite things on the internet (hello Pinterest!) and adding them to a Word Doc. Maybe you’ll make it your laptop background, maybe you’ll print it – again no wrong way!

If the digital route isn’t your style, then there’s the classic cut & glue! Grab those old magazines sitting on your shelf that you’ve questioned for years why you haven’t recycled, ask your local library if you can take last month’s expired magazines, heck, print out those specific things you want to include off the inter-webs and bring it allllllllllll to the board.

Maybe you have a few pics, maybe you’re cutting out phrases, maybe you’re getting creative and cutting out literal letters to spell out your goals – create and lay your vision board out the best way you see fit.

But before you jump into all the crafting fun, it’s best to take some time to journal out what ARE the dreams/goals/wants/needs you want to focus on. There are plenty of resources online, but if you want a little help to get you started, I created a resource that gives you different prompts to consider for things like personal growth, professional development, spiritual health, mental health, physical health, relationships…. The list goes on! You can download that here.

Journaling is something that I’m trying to work on as part of my routine myself. If you take the time to muse on these ideas through journaling or other means that work for you, I promise you will find some level of motivation toward what’s on your vision board.

SOOOOOO are vision boards magical? Nah. Vision boards aren’t made of magic! The magic comes from you. When you start acting on these dreams & goals and start focusing on them, things begin to happen. You meet people who open doors. You research things online that connect the dots for yourself. Heck, even the algorithm starts to feed you what you’re looking for! Opportunities resent themselves. I can’t explain it. You just have to trust it. Trust that when you start following your path, the path you outlined from your dreams and goals, things start to happen.

Let the vision board be the reminder that keeps you focused, and believe in yourself to make it all happen. Trust that magic. 😉

You can listen to my The In-Between episode about vision boards here.