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  1. Blog
  2. Career Development

How to Make a Vision Board

It's surprisingly therapeutic

vision board
Photo courtesy of Justyn Warner

Let’s get the important part out of the way—what exactly is a vision board? Basically, it’s a collage of images and words that represent your goals. A vision board is designed to serve as daily motivation and inspiration. It’s your space to get creative—tape up affirmational mantras, quotes, relaxing images, meaningful objects, and anything else that helps put you in a positive headspace.

Unknowingly, I created dozens of these growing up, spending hours of my day cutting out magazine pictures of women I admired and words that resonated with me. Little did I know that my fun and cathartic hobby as a kid would come in handy as an adult. Not only do I feel incredibly creative throughout the process, but it feels so rewarding to see a physical product at the end that will inspire me every day to reach my goals.

So where do you begin?

1. Make a list of your short- and long-term goals

Start by writing down all of your goals on a sheet of paper. Personal goals like hiking the entire Appalachian trail, milestones at work like landing that promotion, relationship stability, etc—anything you’re striving for, put it to paper. Think about essential reflection questions like what makes you happy, where you see yourself in five years, what you want to improve, etc. This’ll serve as your guide as your creating your board.

2. Pick your base

There are tons of bases to choose from—poster board, a notebook, cork board, pushpin board, etc. Pick whatever is most appealing and easiest for you. You want to use a base that you can easily attach things to and display somewhere. Although you can make a vision board electronically like on Pinterest, it’s best to have a physical product so you don’t have to spend more time on your phone and get distracted by social media that could unintentionally put you in a bad headspace.

3. Gather up your materials

Collect any and all materials you want to use for your vision board—magazines, books, newspapers, letters, postcards, stickers, pictures, etc. The point of your board is to help to visualize your goals and help you have a clearer view of what you want, so use materials that are meaningful and visually appealing to you.

4. Cut and paste away

This is the fun part. Drawing from your short- and long-term goals, cut out images and words from your materials that align with your vision of your future self. If you want to get promoted at work, you could cut out images of successful women, organized desks, boss suits—you get the picture. You can organize your board into sections like personal life and work life, or mesh them all together—you’re the creative director of your board, so make it intentional.

5. Display your board and plan

You’ll want to display your board somewhere highly visible where you’ll see it daily. Maybe over your desk or beside your bed. Set a separate notebook or journal near your board where you can track your progress and create a plan to help you actually get sh*t done. Remember your board isn’t the end-all-be-all; it’s just one tool to help you move forward.

6. Reflect and revise

Goals aren’t definitive; they’re ever-changing. Each day as you look at your vision board, you can add or take away materials as necessary. Your board should always be an accurate representation of what you’re working toward—if you’ve achieved one goal, either check it off with a cool marker or take it down and put up a new one. You could even make a little book of achievements where you paste in the materials from your board that are related to the goals you’ve reached.

7. Have fun with it!

This is the most important part. The process of creating vision boards is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Crank up your favorite tunes, bake some cookies, and happy board making!

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