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How to Create a Powerful Vision Board to Fuel Your Growth

Have you always been a goal setter? How often do you keep with those goals for the whole year?

Maybe you need another method for motivating yourself to continuously move toward the vision you have for your future self!

A vision board can be of great help to you here.

Vision boards can be used for all kinds of great growth exercises. You may hear people who create them in order to manifest things or opportunities for their lives and I believe that this can be an effective tool for that kind of work. But let me suggest a different focus....a focus more on what you will create for yourself over the next year.

If you are growth minded and are exploring new areas and growing a lot - you may not know the what of the next year - so instead, create a visual of how you want to feel as you grow and create this new life for yourself.

I am not an expert in vision boards or manifestation. I have created two vision boards to begin each of the new years since dreaming about and then starting my own business.  


For me, the goal of starting my business grew from some intentional dreaming.

This week marks some major developments in working to grow my little business and that never would have been a goal, if I hadn't done some dreaming to make those vision boards.

I'll address some how to steps here along with some tips that I have learned along the way.

How can a vision board support you?

A vision board is a creative visualization of your goals, values, and intentions, designed to help you stay inspired and motivated. It's an active visual of what is most important to you.

When you identify what's most important to you, you select images that embody or represent that goal or value to you. Then as you continue to revisit your vision board, the images and the plans associated with them gain higher value in your subconscious.

Regardless of whether your goals are to get healthy, be more generous, strengthen your relationship, turn your passion into a career, become a better leader, or any number of things - a vision board can be a great way to help you frame your mind for success and remind you of your why.

Here is how that happens:

  • Helps you gain daily affirmation for the decisions you want to make for yourself that align with who you are and what you want out of your life. 

  • Helps you visualize your dreams and values. Visualizing the outcome and imagining yourself taking action toward your goal can help you manifest your vision into reality.

  • Helps you clarify your focus. By creating your vision board, you evaluate your values, intentions, goals, and the simple act of doing this helps you find clarity and gives you a sense of focus.

  • Helps you be proactive instead of reactive. By going through the practice of proactively setting your vision and goals for yourself, you give yourself intention. This practice helps you avoid going through life bouncing from one whim to another. 

  • Helps you set boundaries. When you have your vision in front of you every day, you physically see what you want. So when something tempts you to distract you, it’s easier to remember the goal you set before yourself and say no when you need to. (Hello any fellow entrepreneurs??)

  • Helps you make decisions that align with your values.

  • Helps you stay motivated. Wisely set goals can boost motivation, especially if they are timely and meaningful. Setting clear, actionable goals and find images that remind you of those goals can keep you moving toward them. 

Get Started

In order for your vision board to represent what you want most, some work is required. I would allow yourself some time for this exercise. It's critical to allow the free flow of thoughts and to give yourself permission to dream.

The initial steps are the inputs to the later steps. Take your time here.

Step One: Reflect

Creating a vision board starts with some internal reflection on who you are, where you’ve been, and what you’ve learned thus far. 

Grab your journal and find some quiet time to reflect on the past year.

Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • What brought me joy?

  • What drained me?

  • What do I wish I did more of?

  • What do I wish I did less of?

  • What did I learn?

  • Did my activities align with my values?

  • Did I love where I spent my time?

Now, look through your answers and note any themes that might have come up.

For example, were your activities focused on a certain area of your life? Did your journal entries indicate a desire for deeper friendships? Did you get better at self care? Was there a desire for more of something?

Keep these themes in mind as you move on to step two. 

Step Two: Dream a bit

After you reflect on the last year, it’s time to dream a bit and think about what’s possible in your future. In this step, you’ll consider your goals, dreams, intentions, needs, and desires for the year ahead.

Think about what you’d like to accomplish or what challenge may lie ahead over the next year in the major areas of your life. In order to strive for harmony, consider all your priorities.

For each of my vision boards, there has been a focus for the year and while I identified my vision for many priorities, each year was heavier in some area than others. It may be obvious to you what your focus should be for the upcoming year or maybe these exercises show you what needs some attention.

Imagine forward with some helpful journal prompts:

  • What personal value do I want to continue to honor?

  • What do I want to change?

  • What is something I’ve always dreamed of doing?

  • How do I want to be remembered?

  • What do I need/want more of this year?

  • What do I need/want less of this year?

  • Where do I want to grow?

  • What are my strengths?

  • What do I need help with?

Look through your answers and notice any themes.

Do you have more goals in one area than the others? Does anything surprise you? Does anything sound familiar?

Circle answers that stand out and resonate with your values the most. 

What goals and ideas emerge?

Here's where it gets interesting. Once you identify those goals or ideas, take some time to think about actions that are needed in order to realize that dream. If you aren't sure of the action that is needed, don't exclude it - instead, allow it to remain as something you are open to pursuing.

Be open to let opportunity find you. In my growth journey, many times, I have experienced this well known thought:

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

You may not know the action today that is needed but focusing your energy on the outcome (your dream) allows you to begin seeing opportunities along the way.

Here are a few examples of things you may have identified:

  • Family:

    • I want to be more engaged with my kids. 

    • I will end my work days at 4:00 pm to be home at dinner with them every night.

  • Connection:

    • I want to feel more connected to my spouse. 

    • I will prioritize one on one time each month.

  • Hobbies:

    • I’m really good at and enjoy writing poetry. 

    • I will begin posting my work online.

  • Spiritual life:

    • I'm passionate about serving with my kids.

    • I will reach out to our church's children's ministry for opportunities to serve together.

  • Social life:

    • I wish I had friends who lived nearby. 

    • I will plan a friend group weekend getaway to reconnect.

  • Career or education:

    • I want to take the next step at work. 

    • I will start researching programs and sign up to get a certification.

  • Health:

    • I want more energy throughout my day.

    • I will prioritize my mental health and start seeing a counselor. 

  • Finances:

    • I want to pay off ______.

    • I will schedule an appointment with a financial advisor to get started.

Tip: The example above only includes one goal or idea and an action step for each area. You may have more than one.  

It’s also important to note that you may choose not to put some areas of your life on your vision board at all. Maybe you want to focus on your top three, for example.

Step Three: Choose your platform and gather images

Now it's time to create! There’s no right or wrong answer for which platform is best for your vision board. It comes down to your personal preferences. 

Do you prefer working with your hands and getting a little messy? Do you like apps that streamline the process? Do you want a bit of both and create a digital board but also have it printed out to display somewhere?

Let’s look at the options you have to choose from!

Physical vision board options

Building a board can provide a tactile accomplishment, if that sounds appealing to you. You can choose any “board” of choice:

  • Posterboard

  • Scrapbook

  • Corkboard/Bulletin board

  • Art journal/Sketchbook

  • Inspiration wall in your home or office

Virtual vision board options

Maybe you do your best work digitally and you prefer to gather images, quotes, and words from your digital library of images you’ve saved to your devices over time.

There are many apps that offer you templates for building your vision board. Here are a few to consider:

  • Canva provides plenty of free vision board templates in an easy-to-use platform

  • Jamboard is a great go-to virtual cork board you can add all kinds of elements to

  • Adobe Express, like Canva, provides board templates in their easy-to-use platform that may be more familiar to graphic designers

Building a digital board was my preferred option for both vision boards that I have made.

I compiled my images over a few days by searching for what I wanted and saving the images into a folder together or pulling them from my phone. When I felt like I had selected the images that I wanted, I built my vision board digitally.

Tip: Canva and Adobe Express are not only free options, but they also include many pre-loaded images and graphics you can pull from to use as inspiration. 

Step Four: Curate images and words

The images, words, quotes, mementos, and scraps you choose for your vision board are meant to capture a feeling around your intentions, goals, and dreams. These images are meant to motivate and inspire you as you revisit your vision board daily. 

As you look over the notes and the goals that emerged to the top, consider what images come to mind.

Compile scraps of magazine clippings, quotes, words and images (in whatever format you choose).

You are looking for images, quotes and words that trigger a feeling that motivates you to work toward that goal.

For example, let’s say that one of your goals is to have a deeper connection with your partner. Maybe the image you have in mind is of you holding each other. 

Another one of your goals might be to get more involved in ending homelessness in your community. Maybe the image that comes to mind is someone sharing food with someone in need.

Or if the word that came to mind was “compassion,” maybe you find a quote that relates to compassion.

Here’s where to find images, quotes, and words:

  • Magazines: Ask your local library or bookstore if they are getting rid of any old magazines. They often throw these away anyway, so you can likely pick up some for free. 

  • Pinterest: This is a great place to curate images and quotes. You can search by keywords from your goal statements or by your value. Pin images to your boards on your Pinterest account.

  • Online public domain images: Many images are available on Unsplash and Pixabay. Type in a keyword for what you’re looking for, and download or bookmark the ones that pique your interest.

  • Apps/Online Programs: Most apps and online programs listed above include pre-loaded images you can choose from. Add them to your digital boards with a simple keyword search.

  • Blogs: Some interesting blog posts might include lists of great quotes that are meaningful to you.

After curating your various pieces of inspiration, narrow them down to the ones that resonate most with you.

Step Five: Plan your layout

This is where the creative fun begins!

There are various ways you can lay out your vision board. What you choose is your personal preference.

Take the various elements you’ve curated and start laying them out in different ways that are aesthetically pleasing.

Honestly, my first board was digital but compiled using Microsoft Paint. I'm not going to say that it was ugly but let's just say that the aesthetics mattered less to me on that one. Here's a peek at it.

For the second board, which was much more visually pleasing (to me), I used a vision board template within Canva and added my images until I was pleased with the design. I even created the quote image myself in Canva, which was fun.

Tip: There’s no right or wrong way to layout or format your vision board. There's also no right or wrong images to include. Whatever you do, do what works for you and helps YOU stay motivated and inspired toward reaching your goals. 

Step Six: Build

Now that you have your plan, create it!

Tip: If you’re creating your vision board online, the layout and assembly steps overlap greatly. The nice thing about the online vision board is that it’s easier to edit as you go.

I took the process one step further and had the digital file of my vision board printed on a 16" x 20"foam board that I have on display close to me in my office. I did this using Vistaprint but most any printing service has options that could work for you.

I have printed out the vision board both years and HIGHLY recommend it.

Step Seven: Display your vision board

When it is done, make sure to display it in a place where you will see it daily.

The most important elements to have on your vision board are things that help you visualize your goals and intentions.

Once you create the board based on what's most important to you and then see it every day as you go about your day, those images and the plans associated with them gain higher value in your subconscious.

Tony Robbins says it best: "Where your focus goes, energy flows."

Your vision board is a step toward building intentional momentum in the areas that you value.

Embrace the vision board as a tool that can help keep you motivated throughout the year to make progress on your most important goals in the life you create!

Enjoy creating, friends!

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