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In college, I was asked to create a dream board. I went to a very musical, creative college so I assumed this was just another piece of the kooky puzzle and humored the assignment. Fast forward 8 years, and I’m so thankful I learned how to make a vision board early in my life.
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At the time, I created my dream board using scraps of magazines and pasted them onto a piece of construction paper. Since I thought the assignment was kind of stupid as a finance major, I just went for it.
I put everything my progressive college didn’t want to see – health, fitness, married, a dog and friends.
Since then, I’ve learned that dream boards are really popular, and I can see why after my experience. I like to create a new one every year. There are even reasons why it works.
Why a Dream Board Works
A dream board offers clarity, focus, and motivation to go after what is most important to you. It places what you want to happen in your life at the top of mind.
As you create your board, it will help you to start visualizing what you want to happen in your life.
You might be thinking – hold on! Visualization?!
I know visualizing may sound a little scary, but I bet you already do it.
If you ever have worried about something (not getting enough sleep, showing up late, hitting traffic, etc) – you’ve visualized.
You just visualized something you didn’t want to happen.
And we have to stop that behavior.
If you’re going to think about something happening, why not make it something positive?
A vision board helps your focus on how you want to feel. As you look at it, the more those feelings will start happening in your life.
As you see these things happening, you’re going to also become more motivated to reach your goals as well. So this practice just builds on itself to attract you to the life you want.
Some people call this the Law of Attraction, and if you believe that, great!
If you’re a skeptic though, think about how when you are looking for a specific new car, purse or tv show – suddenly you start seeing it everywhere else. Why?
Because it’s on the top of your mind. So let’s place those good feelings and life goals at the top of mind with a board.
If you’d like to learn more about the Law of Attraction, check out the book The Secret.
What Goes on a Dream Board?
Before we dig into how to make a vision board, let’s talk about what will go on it.
The idea is to create a visual that focuses on who you want to become. Think about what you’d like to have, where you’d like to live, and how you’d like to spend your day.
So your board should contain things that inspire and motivate you.
This could be pictures of you with friends, quotes, possession, experiences, notecards or letters from friends.
I recommend keeping it simple.
Aim for an organized board because clutter can bring on chaos.
It can also include a date that you created the board.
You’ll be surprised at how much can happen in just a few months.
We also came up with a full list of 52 unique and effective vision board ideas you might like!
How to Make a Vision Board
Your vision board can include things you’d like to happen in the next year or 10 years down the line. I suggest focusing on what you want versus when you want.
1. Set the Mood
It’s important that you’re in a good, happy and relaxed state of mind when you’re doing this project. Make sure you have a clean space to work in and plenty of time to focus inward. Light a candle or turn on some music. This should be a fun time to focus on you.
2. Ask Yourself: What Do You Want?
Depending on where you are in life, you may know exactly what you want or you may struggle to just decide on what to eat for dinner.
Either way – don’t sweat it. Go in with an open mind and be kind to yourself.
When I created my vision board, I went against what people wanted to see. They wanted me to put money, great financial job, independent woman, etc, but that wasn’t in my heart. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the freedom to be unapologetically you.
Good questions to ask yourself:
- If money and fear were not factors, what would I do daily? Who would I be?
- What kind of relationships do I want in my life?
- How are my career and finances?
- Where would I like to go?
- What do I like to have?
- How would I spend time on my health and spirituality if I had more time?
- What would I like to learn?
- How would you spend your best day?
- My perfect job looks like….
- After work, I….
- On your deathbed, what do you want people to say about you?
It’s helpful to scribble out your answers for 10-15 minutes and then we’re ready to move to the next step.
You may also like How to Organize Your Life: 17 Keys to Living Better and Happier
3. Find Visual Representations
Now that you know who you want to be and what you want to accomplish, you’re ready to start putting images and words to those thoughts and feelings.
You can create your vision board online or with magazine images and a poster board or pegboard. I personally prefer having something tactical, so that I see it in my hands. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you can look at daily.
Start looking through images (whether it’s online or in a magazine) to find visuals that align with your answers in #2.
Tip: If you don’t have a ton of magazines laying around, ask your friends or a local Facebook group if they do. You can also check out thrift stores for magazines.
As you look through images, let your gut do the work. You want to rip out anything that makes you feel happy and say, “I want this in my life!” whether it’s a new home or a potential partner.
Tip: As you begin to find pictures, it’s helpful to spread them all out before gluing or pinning them so that you can make sure it aligns with your goals and fits well on your dream board.
If you’re not one to like cutting magazines, check out this vision board kit.
4. Create Your Vision Board
Now that you know your focus and have the images ready, it’s time to place them on your vision board!
Feel free to add in motivational words to show how you feel and experience like: love, kind, courage, confident, financially independent.
Your board can be as big as you want. I started with a piece of construction paper, but now I have a peg board that is much bigger. I’ve also done a vision board on Pinterest (but that was my least favorite).
5. Look at It Daily
It can be fun putting together a vision board and thinking about what you want your life to look like. But you aren’t finished when the glue dries.
It’s important that you look at your vision board at least once a day.
Many people suggest looking at it before bed because your subconscious can process it while you sleep.
My personal opinion is to focus on it for at least a few minutes at the same time each day – whether it’s apart of your morning routine or before bed.
When you are looking at your board, really focus in on how you want to feel. Act as if you are feeling and experiencing each thing on your board. How will it feel to be debt free? What is Bora Bora like in the Spring? Close your eyes and sink into what your life can look like.
How often should I re-do my vision board?
This is totally up to you. I like to take time in December each year to listen to Jim Rohn’s Art of Exceptional Living which has an amazing section on goals.
Then my vision board has things for the year, 5 years and 10 years down the road. Others choose to just focus on short-term goals. It’s totally up to you and where your heart is pulling.
Also, I always keep pictures or my old dream boards to see my progress. I also love a good planner that has a monthly reflection in it to see how I’m feeling and doing later on.
How do I use my dream board?
Now that you have it made, use it. It’s important to take time looking over it, believing these things can happen and keeping your eyes open to seeing these feelings and events happening in your life.
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Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion – Jim Rohn
Now that we’ve made it this far, I definitely do not want to burst your bubble; however, a vision board doesn’t hold power by itself.
The true power of a dream board comes from the focus you place on it.
Now you know where you want to go. Essentially, you have the dream map ready to go – but you have to follow it. Also, keep in mind we can only control how we react to certain circumstances.
It helps me to brainstorm how I can help myself get to that vision right now in real life. What habits, risks, or people could help me move towards my dreams?
Make a list and take action.
I am also a Christian and this verse reminds me that while I can pray to follow His will and place it on a board to keep it at the top of my mind, sometimes (a lot of the times!) I will fall short.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26 NIV
But He always can do what I cannot. Trust Him and talk to Him, and I know He will lead you to where you are supposed to be.
Do you use a dream board?
Did this help you on how to make a vision board?
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