New Year means scary resolutions, but vision boards may help

How to Make the Perfect Vision Board

New Year means overwhelming resolutions for people, but it doesn’t have to. What are vision boards, how do they work, and how do you make one?
January 17, 2023
8 mins read

If you struggle with following through on New Year’s resolutions because they’re too strict or intimidating, vision boards may be the way to go. Simply put, a vision board is a visual depiction of your life goals. These goals can be as broad or specific as you like; some people like focusing on just one specific topic, while others like adding a variety of images to cover all aspects of their ‘ideal’ life. However, it’s helpful to choose one unique goal and aspect of life to start with, especially for people making a vision board for the first time. Because vision boards represent an overall idea of a goal, they’re less rigid than resolutions and may be easier to pursue.

A helpful way to find a starting point for a vision board is through journaling. Find a prompt that intrigues you about the new year, such as “what do I want to accomplish” or “what do I want to achieve,” and write out all your ideas. Then, identify a common thread throughout these ideas or choose just one to make your vision board. For example, if you find that a lot of your goals center around getting physically healthier (eating healthier, exercising regularly, sleeping 8 hours a night, etc.) then you can use these goals to make a wellness vision board. Even for less concrete goals like being more present, vision boards are still effective, as you can combine a variety of grounding tools to try out for the new year. Another choice to make for your vision board is whether you want to depict more short-term or long-term goals. In regard to the wellness example, a short-term goal may be ‘learn how to do a handstand’, while a long-term goal could be ‘getting into shape.’

Vision boards stem from the practice of manifestation: “using… thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to bring something to our physical reality.” The concept takes on countless forms, and is interpreted in different ways by different people, but appears to be rooted in the centuries-old concept of the law of attraction. The law of attraction is a philosophical concept in which thoughts directly impact outcome; bad thoughts lead to bad outcomes and vice versa. Manifestation is used is to realize this concept by putting ‘positive energy’ into the world in order to attract more. For example, one expression of manifestation is through scripting, in which someone repeatedly writes down a goal or desire such as “I will find a boyfriend” or “I will pay off my credit card debt.” According to the principles of manifestation, repeating the desire will make it true.

Modern access to social media has spurred interest in manifestation practices by making them more accessible and wide-spread. On TikTok, for instance, many videos simply offer enticing phrases, such as “you will find the love of your life in 12 days” if users ‘claim’ the phrase by liking, commenting or sharing the post. This implementation of manifestation can be harmful (no one can cure an illness by writing down “I’m not sick”), but the idea that what you think has an impact on your overall life and wellbeing can resemble the scientific process of cognitive therapy.

While a vision board cannot solve all your problems and certainly cannot replace therapy, it can be incredibly useful in deciding what steps to take to create a happier, more fulfilling life. In order to make a vision board, you must first decide what topic you want to focus on; some examples are love, family and health, but it can be as broad or specific as you like. Next, decide what medium you want to use for your vision board. Traditionally, vision boards are made using photos, drawings, articles, or other items that are pasted onto a piece of paper or a board. They can be as creative or straightforward as you desire, but the idea is to use images that contribute to your ideal life or goal. For example, for a love board, you could add dating app logos and pictures of couples to portray your goal of going on more dates.

Vision boards don’t have to be physical though, and there are a number of other ways to create them. The social media platform Pinterest is one big vision board; users save images and articles to their boards like ‘recipes’ or ‘writing prompts.’ Because of this, Pinterest is an easy tool to use to create a virtual vision board, as you can search up any topic or idea and find an abundance of images to represent it. By saving the image to a board like ‘2023 vision board’ or ‘2023 fashion’, you can easily access all of your images on one platform. Another platform to use for making digital boards is Canva, where you can find templates to fill in with pictures, words or icons to create your own board. In fact, Canva even has its own web page dedicated to vision board templates so they’re easy to find. While Pinterest and Canva are excellent ways to make virtual vision boards, it’s important to use any method that is easy and fun for you.

Finally, you need to pick a place to put your vision board. The rule of thumb is to put it where you can see it most frequently so you’re constantly inspired and motivated to pursue your goals. Another idea is to put more specific vision boards in relevant places, like putting a fashion board in your closet, for the same reason. For digital boards, you can print them out and hang them up in the same way, or you can make them your lock screen or easily accessible files on your device. After that, you’re ready to take on the New Year by storm with your new vision board!

Teagan Angell, Fordham University

Writer Profile

Teagan Angell

Fordham University
Political Science and Psychology

My name is Teagan Angell and I’m from the Poconos in Pennsylvania. At Fordham, I’m in Every Vote Counts and the Fordham Political Review. I love music, movies, coffee and art.

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