You have probably already breached the topic of vision boards in your day-to day conversations or personal podcast consumption. For me personally, I have been really interested in learning about and implementing mindfulness and manifestation practices over the past year of my life. This newfound interest may have had something to do with living in Asia (crazy mindful and peaceful cultures compared to home in Canada!) for the past year of my life. Now that I’m home in Canada for a brief spell, I’m trying to be super intentional about keeping up the good habits and practices that I began implementing into my life during my time abroad.
So Chelsea- get to it! What’s a vision board and why do I need to make one?
A vision board is a collection of images that represent a wide variety of aspects in your life that you would like to attain, improve, or expand on. Vision boards tend to encompass a wide variety of themes, feelings and goals, and the imagery used on them can be as abstract as you would like. After all, the purpose of the vision board is to keep yourself on track with your overall life vision, dreams, and goals.
I create mine as the perfect dimensions to sit as my laptop background. Ideally, would like to create a new vision board with each new month, as my life changes so quickly! However, it tends to be every couple of months, which is also totally fine. You can create them as frequently or infrequently as your ideals and goals change!
I create my vision board digitally (I’m a graphic designer so this is kind of my thang), however I know many people who absolutely love to create theirs IRL from magazine clippings! Feel free to read on and adjust my general guidance to fit the paper model.
Many people that follow this practice find exact pieces of their vision board literally coming true, and often quite quickly. This might sound crazy if you aren’t familiar with or “into” manifestation and the universe, but I can tell you first hand that this is something I have experienced for myself. I have literally watched elements on my vision board come true (quite literally in relation to the photos I chose) in a matter of weeks or months later. These instances aren’t even things I would have logically predicted to unfold, but having it in my subconscious by consistently looking at my board ABSOLUTELY played a roll in them coming true.
It helps exponentially to be able to SEE where we are heading in order to make it a reality. The more we show and tell the universe what we want, the more likely it is to turn into a reality!
Some common themes that may be represented on your vision board:
Material things (eg. A new car or laptop)
Dietary/ health goals
Mantras or images that inspire confidence
Make a list of Buzzwords. These are general words and feelings that will inspire the concepts and goals to follow that will be represented in your vision board. These words may also be used as typographic elements throughout your vision board.
Make a list of concepts. More specific than, but inspired by the buzzwords, these are concepts and themes in your life that you would like to improve upon and elevate.
Make a list of goals. Naturally following the first two lists you have created, these are dreams and goals specific to your own life and situation. Be as specific as you like. This is just for you and no-one else needs to see these lists.
My favourite for this is Pinterest, for it’s gorgeous bank of relevant images and simple search function. I also love Unsplash- which is great for finding super high-quality and royalty free images from beautiful landscapes to styled stock photography.
You can use the lists that you have created in the first phase to inspire your search queries. Start general, and get more specific.
As you find images you like and that you feel resonate with your vision, save them. When I’m using Pinterest, I first save them to a secret board (eg. titled May Vision Board) and then later I will select images from there to save to a folder in my laptop. When I’m using unsplash, I’ll save them to the folder in my computer directly (call this folder “Vision Board May images” or something like that!)
Don’t worry if the image is not a literal representation of a concept or goal. This can be as abstract as you like, as long as it represents something for you personally.
As a general rule, I say to save between 15 – 25 images. You will not use them all on your vision board (I mean… you can if you want to…) but this will give you a decent “bank” to hand-select the best images from.
This is when I narrow down my images. I do a second round of image selection from my image bank either on Pinterest or in my laptop folder, picking the best photos as I keep my buzzwords, concepts, and goals in mind.
After this, I create an Illustrator document with the following dimensions:
You’ll want to make sure that this is set in portrait mode and is in RGB colour mode. Because I use this a screensaver for my laptop, I export it as a JPEG at 300 dpi. If I were using this for social media or a site, I would export it at a lower quality (72 dpi).
I then drop this refined selection of images into the Adobe Illustrator document.
No worries, friend! This is where I specialize and thrive, so I choose to use adobe. However, you can also use Canva in a very similar manner- just use the same size (2800 px / 1800 px) to create your document!
I like to create a background colour (sometimes it’s just white, it’s typically a lighter cream, though I have done a super deep grey in the past.) This is where the images lay and should be inspired by your overarching feeling or mood for the vision board. It should be a colour that feels “you” and resonates with your mood for the board and compliments the imagery you have chosen.
There really is no specific rhyme or reason in the way I place my images, and it tends to be different every time. Sometimes I like to have general sections of my board (eg. top right for career, bottom left for friendships etc.) However, I often jumble all of my concepts and goals to be one cohesive and pretty work of art.
Place your images in a way that resonates with and inspires YOU. This is for yourself, and no-one else (feel free to share it with others, of course, but this should resonate with and inspire you personally). Get creative- put images upside down, layer them and turn down their opacity, make images that represent big concepts BIG and contrast it with smaller images representative of general emotions and feelings that you want the board to emanate. Make this your masterpiece of inspiration!
I love to put random wavy lines or illustrations throughout my vision board designs. I really crave imperfection and a little bit of mess, which for me ties everything together. You can also include little graphic elements that you find online (or on Canva) or little sketches you have drawn yourself.
I also love including some of my buzzwords or concepts as phrases with typography in my vision board. Some I have included in the past are “serve” “manifestation” “effortless” etc. Words just help you to visualize even further what you are working towards and will often have strong feelings and/ or emotions attached to them that are triggered when you see the board- which is super conducive to making the concepts and goals they represent a reality!
If you’d rather not use it for your background, you can also choose to print it off and stick it somewhere in your house that you will see it often. Repeated exposure to the board is key here! If you are choosing to print it off instead of using it as a background, you may choose to format the file as an 8.5 x 11 PDF in CMYK colour mode (better for printing!) instead of the dimensions I outlined that I use above.
Need help clarifying your buzzwords, concepts and goals, and implementing them into a cohesive work of art that motivates and inspires you? Don’t have illustrator or the creative skill to get these concepts into a visually pretty document? Email me here, and I’d love to chat about doing a custom project to create this for you. This document is hugely valuable in order to help you work towards and attain every thing you are hoping to achieve both in the near and far future. I guarantee that working together would aid in kickstarting and motivating the way that your next year unfolds.
Thanks so much for reading this post! I hope you found it useful, and I hope it inspires you to take action in creating your own vision board… Getting motivated and inspired to implement your goals- both consciously and unconsciously!