Ever since my Mom suggested we make vision boards together over Christmas break in 2014, creating a fresh vision board has been my favorite way to kick off each new year.
At first, I just loved the arts & crafts aspect of it; all that cutting, pasting, imagining made me feel like a kid again and let me harness my creativity in a low-stakes way. But after a year passed, I realized that my vision board was more than just an aspirational art project — it actually worked.
The year I centered my vision board around the words “I Am Ready For Love,” I met my partner.
The year I enviously cut out photos of big, beautiful, bushy eyebrows to paste on my board, microblading became a thing and transformed my bald brows into Lily Collins-worthy arches.
The year the word “Girlboss” featured prominently on my poster board, I was recruited to interview with Sophia Amoruso herself for a position at her new company, Girlboss. I wasn’t even aiming for that; I just liked the word “girlboss!” (I didn’t get the job, but whatever, it still counts.)
There have been all sorts of other synchronicities, too, almost too many to document and count, both silly and serious. Needless to say, I am a full-on believer in the power of the vision board.
So how does it work? There are two ways to look at it, one more mystical and one more practical.
The mystical reasoning involves the Law of Attraction: When you tell the universe what you want and what you’re ready for, it delivers.
The practical reasoning is hard to argue with: Organizing and visualizing your goals in this way serves as a constant reminder of what you need to do to achieve those goals, making you more likely to follow through and stay on track. So basically, whether you’re a believer in the woo-woo power of the universe or not, you need a vision board.
It’s relatively easy to create one, too — all it requires is a few old magazines, a piece of poster board, scissors, a glue stick, and an hour or two of your time. And when the output is the potential manifestation of your literal dream life, I’d say that’s a pretty great tradeoff.
To make a vision board:
Gather the aforementioned materials.
Spend some time thinking about what you really want to accomplish this year. How do you want to feel? What do you want to do? Do you want to quit your job? Travel? Banish your bacne once and for all? Acquire a closet full of Gucci? Nothing is out of the question!
Flip through magazines and cut out any words and images that speak to you. This could be anything from pictures of places you want to travel to headlines that make you feel things to symbolic imagery. I always like to include a cutout of the year to place at the top of the board, too.
While you’re doing this, consider how you absorb information best. Since I’m a writer, words always feature more prominently on my vision board than pictures. If you’re a more visual person, you might want to skip the magazine headlines.
Not finding what you want in magazines? Turn to Pinterest. Spend some time searching for how you want your life to look, and don’t be afraid to get specific. Find your dream home, dream apartment, dream romantic partner, dream workplace. Screenshot the logos of businesses and brands you want to work with. Print, cut, and paste. (IRL — there’s no Command-C/Command-V for this kind of cut and paste.)
Lay out your final images on the board. Feel free to edit out anything that doesn’t feel essential before you finalize and paste.
Place your vision board in an area where you will see it, notice it, absorb it every single day. It’s not going to work hiding out in your closet or in a dusty corner of your room. I’ve put mine on my fridge for the past few years, and this year I created an “altar” space in my bedroom where my vision board is the center of attention (more on that later this week).
A few final thoughts:
Nothing is too big or too small to go on your vision board, if it’s what you really want.
The pictures don’t have to be literal, either — they just need to mean something to you. (Example: My vision board has a picture of a sparkly, abstract vagina to symbolize my desire to get in touch with the divine feminine within.)
Don’t feel like every aspect of your board has to have some deep, spiritual meaning. My boards always have a few headlines and pictures about clear, glowing skin and full eyebrows, and I feel no shame.
Alright, time to manifest your dream life.