In recent years, there has been a clear social media surge in the promotion of self-development habits, such as bullet journaling, planners, and daily affirmations. Research shows that a physical representation of your goals can help you achieve them, and that visualization practices are one of the best ways to increase determination and confidence (Neuropsychologia 2004). This, of course, is prevalent on TikTok, where trends like the "That Girl" movement encourage goal-setting and increased morale.
A less-discussed but just as effective craft is vision boards, which, in a nutshell, are collages of images and quotes that reflect dreams the creator is trying to bring to reality. Common themes include health goals, such as drinking more water, and working towards a particular university or job. If you're looking for a creative way to track your dreams this year, here's your guide to building the ultimate vision board!
1. Choosing a goal
The first step to any vision board is to choose a goal. This could be anything from spending more time with your family and friends to saving money, completing your travel bucket list, or progressing on your self-love journey. Goals can be as long-term as writing a book, or as short-term as saving up for a back-to-school outfit. Set an objective that is personal to you, and break it down into small, achievable steps. Your vision board represents a process, not a jump, so ensure you’re working towards your plans at a reasonable pace and not skipping necessary steps along the way.
2. Getting inspired
Inspiration can come from all kinds of sources; Pinterest, for one, is a creative heaven for artists everywhere. Compiling a collection of your favorite vision boards and images can help you get ideas for your own. Watching YouTube tutorials can also help you discover what sort of styles and layouts you want to incorporate into your own personal board. My personal recommendations are:
Digital vision board tutorial (Olivia Osborne, the creator of this and the first video, has a whole playlist for creating your own vision board!)
3. Finding pictures
Search through your old magazines and books for some visuals to cut out. Old annuals can be a great source for pictures. Alternatively, you can print out online images and quotes from Instagram and Google, or from websites like We Heart It, that align with your ambitions and fit in with the theme of your board.
However, scissors and glue aren’t the only ways to go. If you feel like a digital vision board would be better suited to you, there are many apps that provide design programmes. Canva is a mostly free graphic design tool that you can use to create a virtual collage. PicMonkey and Udreamr are similar software that specialize in vision boards.
4. Designing the board
This is your time to get crafty. Once you have collected enough pictures, create a collage of them and stick them to your board. If you are an avid stationery collector like me, you can make use of any other supplies, such as washi tape, stickers, glitter, and colored paper. Grab souvenirs like leaflets, badges, tickets, or postcards that relate to your goal— these are sure to give your board a scrapbook-y feel. Now is the time to add drawings or sketches to personalize your masterpiece. It’s an expression of you and your plans, so make it as messy or tidy as you want.
If you’ve settled on a digital vision board, experiment with different fonts and backgrounds to add more personality to it. Deciding on a color scheme can surely help make it distinctive to you and your tastes.
5. Achieving your goals
Now, it’s time to start achieving those dreams. Place your board somewhere visible, so you’re reminded of your goals often and can contemplate your progress. A good idea for those who made virtual ones may be to set it as a phone or laptop wallpaper. And if you’ve already made your own vision board, why not try putting together a shared one with your friends? Making one for a school prom or a road trip can be a fun way to plan the event together. You can also make one with your family for holidays like Thanksgiving, or even a vacation!
Take a few moments each day to reflect on your goals. Your priorities will change with time, so your vision board will, too. Don’t be afraid to add or change things as time goes on. So, if you need a bit of direction this summer, start mapping out your ideas on a vision board, and you'll be one step closer to reaching your goals.