Home blog How to Create a Vision Board to Put Your Goals Front and Center!

How to Create a Vision Board to Put Your Goals Front and Center!

by Ünal Güler



Want to make a dreams board to focus on your goals and your vision for the future? Learn how to create a vision board and get ideas for where to find quotes and images here!

Have you ever taken an honest look at your life and wondered how you got from being the child whose ultimate goal was to build a space colony on Mars to the adult whose greatest desire in life is to eat a meal without being interrupted eleventy-billion times?

It’s funny how our goals and dreams change as we get older, but what’s less funny is that we often lose sight of our hopes and aspirations because, well, life can get crazy. And once you throw a spouse and kids into the mix, it’s an all-out struggle to make it to bedtime.

While there are phases of parenthood – and life in general – where setting aside our personal and professional goals seems unavoidable, I also think it’s vital for us to recapture those dreams when children start sleeping through the night. We’re finally able to take a breather, and there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

I remember all too well how downright exhausting being a mom was to our little girls, but there was a turning point (probably when they started school full-time) when I began to feel like “me” again. I’ve always worked at home, but I began to have more time to do what I was passionate about.

At that point, I began to reassess what my goals were for the future. One of the ways I did this was by creating a vision board. Creating my vision board helped me prioritize my goals and dreams, and it was honestly super fun!

I decided to share this relaxing and inspirational activity with you so that you could learn how to create a vision board of your own!

girl holding a vision board with goals and pictures

What is a Vision Board?

Before we learn how to create a vision board, let’s dig into what it actually is. A vision board – also called a dream board, goal board, or manifestation board – is a collage of images and words that you arrange in a specific way to help you manifest your short and long-term goals.

Vision boards can be broad, encompassing a collection of personal and professional goals, or they can be specific to one particular vision statement. What I love about vision boards is their adaptability. As we’ll get into later, they can be physical or digital, depending on your preference.

I also want to hammer home that vision boards aren’t just a fun art project for mom groups and high school seniors that you shove in the back of your closet, never to be seen again.

According to Psychology Today, vision boards “help us gain self-awareness and self-reflect on what is important to us.” They can be powerful tools to help us identify goals and outline a plan for success.

Why You Should Make a Vision Board

So, why should you invest time into creating your own vision board? Here are a few reasons:

note on a bulletin board that says dreaming to achieving

Vision boards help us identify and visualize goals

A major benefit of creating your own vision board is that it helps you nail down what’s really important to you. As you’re brainstorming personal and professional goals for yourself, you’ll naturally begin to prioritize them, moving some to the top of the list and maybe eliminating others altogether.

You’ll begin to realize what goals are realistic at this point in your life and which ones need to be put on the back burner. This process in and of itself is hugely beneficial!

Vision boards are motivational

Vision boards can also motivate us to consistently work on our goals by serving as visual reminders of what success could look like. Mental practices like visualization can have a powerful impact on our motivation.

In fact, a study of athletes showed that consistently visualizing a goal was almost as effective as physical practice. And while I don’t think we should all trade going to the gym for simply “seeing” ourselves there, it’s a compelling thought!

woman creating a vision board with letters

Vision boards encourage self-reflection

Have you ever gone through the process of setting specific goals, only to forget them soon afterward and veer off track?

Vision boards can help you stay the course by encouraging you to pause and take notice of the images and words you’ve assembled.

Their eye-catching design is meant to make you regularly self-reflect on whether or not you’re actually working towards those goals.

Vision boards inspire creativity

Vision boards aren’t just about helping you achieve your goals. They also allow you to tap into your creativity and have fun! They’re an excellent method of self-care that you can experience on a night in with your girlfriends or just on your own. The best part is that you don’t have to be a professional artist to make a vision board. Just grab some magazines and scissors and enjoy the process!

vision board on a bulletin board with photos and quotes

How to Create Your Own Vision Board

Visualizing your dream life and achieving your goals is just a magazine clipping away. Here’s how to make a vision board as fun and unique as you are!

1. Pick a topic for your vision board

Choosing a topic for your vision board is often the most challenging part, especially if you have a million thoughts racing around in your brain.

I recommend you set aside time to reflect on the past year. What’s working in your life? What could use improvement or attention? Think about the goals that you’ve already achieved and what you’re still hoping to do.

Then, do a brain dump that includes all of your personal and professional goals.  Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and write everything down in a notebook or on a sheet of paper. You can also use my FREE brain dump template to help you get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.

printable brain dump worksheet

As you’re doing your brain dump, make sure that you write down all of your goals – big and small. Maybe you want to travel to Ireland, but you also want to create a realistic cleaning schedule for your house. Both of these goals matter! Don’t forget to include wish lists of future purchases (new car, standing mixer, etc.) and intentions (more time for self-care, being more mindful).

Once you’ve written everything down, look to see if any of your goals have common themes and group them under an overarching topic like “Getting Healthy” or “Year of Change.” You could also circle or highlight items that have top priority over others.

Finally, decide if you want your vision board topic to represent short-term or long-term goals. Do you want to train for a marathon in six months? Remodel your kitchen? Make a 5-year plan? Your topics can be as broad or specific as you’d like for them to be.

Here is a list of possible vision board topics to help you get started:

  • Dream wedding vision board
  • Freshman year vision board
  • 5-year plan vision board
  • Ideal career vision board (great for high school students!)
  • Travel/vacation bucket list vision board
  • Home decorating projects vision board
  • Financial independence vision board
  • Year of 6-month goals vision board
  • Professional goals vision board
  • Higher education vision board

As you go through this process, creating a new list once you’ve identified the top goals you’d like to achieve over the coming months or years is helpful.

Think about the things that you want to happen in your life above all others. Those should definitely be included on your vision board.

2. Brainstorm your dreams and goals related to that topic

Once you’ve chosen a topic for your vision board, brainstorm dreams and goals that fall under that category. For example, if your topic is Getting Healthy in 2024, goals related to that might be “lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, drink more water, meditate,” etc.

You’ll also want to create goals that are specific and, most importantly, achievable! It’s helpful to think about the SMART method as you go through this process. If you’re unfamiliar with SMART goal-setting, it’s a way to ensure your goals are clear and reachable.

chalkboard with characteristics of smart goals

Each of your goals related to your chosen topic should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic, resourced, results-based).
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

If you’d like a more detailed guide to creating SMART goals, this article from MindTools is an excellent resource.

You might be wondering, “How many goals should I use for my vision board?” There’s no clear-cut answer, but I suggest setting no more than three big goals as well as several smaller ones.

You know yourself best, so listen to your own intuition about what you can reasonably accomplish in the time frame you’ve given yourself.

3. Choose a format for your vision board

Once you’ve chosen a topic and developed your goals, it’s time for the next step in how to make a vision board – choosing your format! Here are several popular choices:

Bulletin Board

If you like the idea of re-doing your vision board as you achieve your goals, why not try a bulletin board or cork board as your base? A bulletin board or a wire wall grid is a great option, and you can use it over and over again.

vision board on a wire wall grid board

Poster Board

A popular vision board go-to is an inexpensive poster board from your local dollar store. I recommend choosing white, but you can select any color that you feel represents your topic the best! You can even get a trifold poster board if you’d like to display your completed masterpiece on a table in your office or bedroom!

Digital Vision Board (Canva or similar)

If you live your life in the digital world, you can always create a digital vision board instead of a physical one. Design websites like Canva are free, and you can use thousands of images and fonts to create the perfect digital representation of your goals.

Pinterest Vision Board

Pinterest is a treasure trove of DIY projects, perfect kids’ birthday cakes that ordinary people can’t make themselves, and excuses to order more things online. However, you can also use Pinterest to create your own vision board!

Simply go to your account and create a new board. Make sure that you select the option to make your board secret and create a name that represents those specific goals and topics. So, instead of calling it a “vision board,” call it “2023 Goals” or “Our Wedding 2024.”

After you’ve created the Pinterest board, add the images, photos, and pins that represent your vision board’s theme! This is absolutely the best part!

Portable Vision Board

I like this unique portable vision board idea from Artful Parent! You only need a few file folders and a glue stick to create an accordion-style dream board you can take anywhere! The end result is sturdy and expandable, allowing you to include several different goals on each “page.”

Planner Vision Board

If you’d like to be able to refer to your vision board wherever you go, why not create a mini version in your planner? Doodle your goals in the margins and add decorative stickers, or design your vision board on an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of paper that you fold and glue into the back of the planner so that you can flip to it and open it up whenever you need a reminder of your goals.

4. Gather your vision board supplies

Here is a master list of supplies you can choose from to make your vision board:

supplies to make a vision board
  • Poster board or bulletin board
  • Magazines – Or you can find Vision Board books with loads of pictures and quotes to cut out on Amazon!
  • Artworks, old books, images printed from the Internet
  • Scrapbooking letter stickers
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Brochures from places
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks, glue dots, or push pins – Depending on what board you are using
  • Paper and pen
  • Art supplies (optional)
  • Printer (optional)
  • Washi tape or regular scotch tape

5. Find images and words for your dream board

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to find images and words for your vision board! If you’re creating a physical vision board, look in magazines, brochures, used art books, or online (if you have a printer).

Tip: You can often find many old magazines at Goodwill or the public library.

Cutting out more images than you need is a good idea. You’ll find that you may change your mind or alter your design once you actually begin assembling your vision board. Sort your images according to the goals and topics you selected.

6. Create a design plan for your vision board

Before you begin pasting and taping your images and words onto your dream board, it’s a good idea to create a basic structure. You don’t have to do this, but I always like to have a plan before I dive in and start gluing things everywhere!

One way you can organize your poster board, bulletin board, etc., is by sections according to how many goals you have. You could also use different-sized shapes for goals of differing priorities or start from a center point and give each goal a “slice” of the area. It’s all up to you!

7. Assemble your vision board

Finally, it’s time to put your masterpiece together. Go through your images and words, deciding which belongs on your vision board and which to either toss or save for a future project. Trim pictures to fit each space or paste other images on top to cut out unnecessary space. DON’T GLUE ANYTHING ON YET!

Once you’re finished arranging your images and words, take a step back and admire the beautiful vision board only you could have created! Make any additional adjustments, and begin gluing everything into place. Smooth out any wrinkles in the paper with your fingers.

vision board with pictures of goals

After you’ve completed the gluing process, you’re essentially finished! At this point, you can add extra creative touches like sequins, ribbon, glitter, or your own sketches and doodles. Or you can simply sit back and admire your artwork!

8. Reference your vision board often to stay motivated!

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to make a vision board! Now you need to place it somewhere you’ll regularly see it. This could be any place in your home that you spend a lot of time, such as your office, living room, or bedroom.

As fun as it was to make your vision board, it’s also essential to see it every day as a reminder of the goals you want to achieve. And don’t forget to take a photo of your masterpiece to send to friends or family, and post it on social media as inspiration for others (if that’s your thing).

Here are a few ways you can use your dream board to stay motivated:

  • Envision yourself achieving the goals you’ve written on your vision board each day.
  • Write down a detailed action plan to help you achieve your goals.
  • Ask for support from family members.
  • Journal each day/week about how you’re working towards your goals.
  • Review your vision board progress monthly and assess what is and isn’t working.

Changing your life takes effort, but a vision board can help you identify and outline your dream life and succeed in achieving your goals.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this process, and I can’t wait to see what your vision boards look like. Comment below and tell me about your experiences, or tag me on social media at @thesavvysparrow! And don’t forget to PIN this post for later:

girl holding a vision board with goals and pictures on it

Happy nesting!

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