What is a vision board?
It’s actually as simple as it sounds. A vision board is a board that displays images, and words that represent your goals for the future. The board should be focused on how you want to feel. The goals can be long-term, or short-term. You can include visuals of the job you’re going after, the house of your dreams, or words and quotes that make you feel empowered to move forward and keep going.
The board can be as specific as you want it to be. You may be facing difficulties in one specific aspect of your life, which the board can address, or you may want to make a board that will represent the entire collection of aspirations you have for your future.
How a vision board can help with your mental health
While a vision board may sound like a waste of time or just a fun creative project, vision boards can actually be a big help to your mental health. Visualization, a technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message, is a very useful tool to enhance your life. Using a simulation, like visualization, can not only enhance your motivation to achieve whatever goals you have but also increase your belief in your ability to achieve them. More and more people, every day are beginning to recognize benefits of using creative outlets to help those struggling with mental health problems. Art engagement, in general, has been found to alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress.
Moreover, creating a vision board will not only be beneficial in terms of goal-setting but will also serve as an opportunity to unwind and take a step away from whatever stressors you’re currently facing.
How to Make a Vision Board
Although vision boards are meant to be entirely customized to your life and your goals, here are a few basic steps that can help you get started.
1. Take some time to think about your goals
Before you get started, it’ll be helpful to establish a clear understanding of what your goals are. You may want to create a list of things you’d like to achieve or work on. This list may be short, or overwhelmingly extensive; neither is an issue. The main thing here is being honest with yourself about the things that matter. You don’t want to feel any sense of guilt or disappointment from your board. If putting a major goal that seems like something that will never happen is going to make you work hard- include it! But if you’re someone who feels accomplishment from meeting smaller goals, then specify your board to represent that. The board should be a source of inspiration, not anxiety.
2. Collect the materials you want to include
Your vision board can include any type of visuals that you want. These could include personal photographs, images from magazines, newspaper clippings, excerpts from books, quotes, receipts, old cards…truly, whatever you want.
3. Pick out images, words, or quotes that speak to you
This step is important. You want your vision board to accurately represent you, and your goals. You should make sure that whatever you’re planning on adding to the board makes sense to you. Don’t rush through picking out your visuals, worry about what looks good, or question what things you should or should not be adding. The more specific and comprehensive to you, the better.
4. Lay it out how you want your board to look
When laying out your board, you should think about what’s important for you to see. You may collect tons of visuals that you think all need to be included. Again, it’s your board- so go for it! Just make sure that you can see your goals in these images, and the board is arranged in a way that makes sense to you.
5. Get going!
- Once you have set your goals, gotten your materials, picked out your visuals, and arranged the board how you want it- make the most of the experience. You can play music, have others come and join you, and create a fun setting. You can also make this a peaceful project, and set aside the time to do this with the intention of having personal time to focus on manifesting what you want and thinking about how you’re going to get there. Whatever setting you choose, try to be conscious and aware while you’re putting together your board.
What To Do With Your Board
Once you perfect your board to your liking, you may be wondering: now what?
Making a vision board is an extremely useful exercise for goal-setting, but it won’t achieve your goals for you. Having a daily reminder of what it is that you’re working so hard for is going to be a major step towards actually achieving what’s on the vision board.
You can put your board by your bed and spend a few minutes with it every night or morning, or mount it up somewhere where you’ll see it often. After taking the time to create your vision board, you want to make sure to utilize it for what it’s worth.
If You Want To Know More…
Check out these video overviews of others creating and explaining their vision boards!
- 2020 Vision Board
- How To Make THE PERFECT VISION BOARD That will ACTUALLY Be Effective
- DIY Vision Board
Mary Abzug is an MSW intern from Painted Brain
Kevin Naruse is the communications director at Painted Brain and the chief editor of Painted Brain News