Vision boards capture your personal dreams or long-term goals and aim to visualize your upcoming year, decade or entire existence.
As James Allen put it, “Dreams are the seedlings of reality.” Some people therefore also refer to vision boards as dream boards, while others call it treasure mapping or compiling their love lists.
You might just know them as inspirational image collages that serve as a vivid and tangible representation of your personal future in the most idealistic outlook. People often insert drawings, icons, quotes, phrases and words that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings and possessions they want.
Since it is less about the medium, but more about the content and the effect it has on you, you can create them based on your preference — either physically or digitally.
- Most people use cork boards, magnetic or dry-erase boards, or really anything that you can tape onto your fridge door or hang on a wall.
- Professionals like to make a 2-3 panel folding display card, turn it into a small book, printed on demand, or sometimes they produce a desk pad.
- The easiest or cheapest way is to put it on paper, in a notebook or scrapbook, or even turn a few larger sheets of paper into a poster. When finished, you could still frame it or use a photo album with plastic sleeves to enclose it.
- Digital natives use software boards such as a PowerPoint slide, Photoshop document, or Trello board.
- The most recent alternative, since PC wallpapers are becoming less relevant, is to put your smartphone lock screen to use instead. This way, you always have your vision board with you.
The Technique of Mental Visualization
A lot has been written about the power of visualization, a technique that helps you get down to your desires and wishes so you can start turning them into reality. It teaches you to continuously remember and reflect on them to provide guidance, boost your morale and put yourself, including your subconscious, to work, in the right direction. Images can intensely stimulate our emotions because our mind usually responds to them quickly and forcefully. You might remember the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Apparently, many Olympic athletes have been using visualization on a regular basis. They were more successful, however, when they imagined themselves training rather than winning which underlines the importance of process or taking action, rather than simply dreaming of a future state or accomplishment.
“Anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve.” This statement by author Napoleon Hill reflects the belief of some that you can achieve everything you want through visualization. Hill described his “secret” to success, sometimes also known as “Law of Attraction,” in his world-famous book Think and Grow Rich. Even if that is more of a pseudo-science theory, he was confident that we achieve success in the physical world in due proportion to our mindset, with a firm belief in ourselves and constant reminding of our deepest desires. A centerpiece of his thesis, formulated after plenty of interviews with successful people over a long period of his life, was creative-imagination meeting desire-for-action as a cause for their well-being. Furthermore, his theory was that when appropriately stimulated, our brain develops a plan on both a conscious and subconscious level. In his opinion, by the process of visualization, we become receptive to inspiration, ideas and even “luck” as a result of recognizing and acting on favorable opportunities.
Benefits of Visualization Through Vision Boards
If you push your life into a purposeful direction while also provoking action, even on a subconscious level, you might find yourself starting to work on the most important tasks, procrastinating less, asking more directly for what you want and eventually moving forward.
A vision board lets you explore, discover and make your desires clear and tangible. With an ongoing visual reminder of your intentions, you will soon internalize them and then can best focus your efforts. It enables you to implement your plans to eventually turn dreams into reality and lead a happy and fulfilled life. Already, before even achieving your goals, you infuse your mind with confident, positive thinking and future-orientation. And the stronger the images resonate with you, the more they provoke action which is the only way to achievement.
Building Your Own Individual Vision Board
You can split your vision board into as many sections as you want, each with a different theme. A typical split is work and personal life.
If you are currently working on improving one particular area of your life, such as your relationship (best built together with your partner) or your family life (maybe created in a team effort at home), this could be a good reason for a separate board. However, we recommend employing only one vision board to fully focus and make things easy for building, maintaining, and also studying.
Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” However, people faced with near death experiences usually say afterwards that now, having a second chance, their ultimate goal is to enjoy their life to the fullest by putting relationships first. In light of this, it is important to think of our inner circle and those relationships with our family and best friends. Rather than solely focusing on what you want to achieve with your education, in work, or financially, incorporate thoughts on personality, happiness, and the well-being of yourself and your inner circle.
We thus recommend you build your personal vision on three pillars:
- Self — Fitness & Food: This first pillar consists of your mental and physical health achieved through personal development, sports or physical activity, diet and nutrition, sufficient and quality sleep, vacation or relaxing breaks.
- Social — Family & Friends: The social pillar focuses on relationships and networking with your partners in life and business, your family, friends, and community.
- Security — Freedom & Financials: The third pillar is about income and wealth achieved through having the right job or business and financial investments to build up long-term financial stability and independence.
Free Vision Board Template
Looking forward to dive into planning a vision that will pull you in the right direction?
Our Vision Board template PDF features a three pillar layout for covering all dimensions in life. Start taking notes as well as physically collecting and arranging images that will inspire you and drive action immediately!
Have us send you the download link plus a few productivity tips right now:
100% free for personal use and ready to print.