An illustration of a person with the Pinterest logo above their head.
Illustration by Skylar Owenby, Western Carolina University
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An illustration of a person with the Pinterest logo above their head.
Illustration by Skylar Owenby, Western Carolina University

Living the life you want is at the reach of your fingertips — all you have to do is visualize it.

Every year, I make a “yearly” board on Pinterest. As one year ends and another begins, I like to look back on what life has been like that year and look forward to what the future could look like. On my yearly boards, I save pins related to my New Year’s resolutions and images that reflect the kind of year I want to have. As the year progresses, my goals or manifestations might change and grow, and I’ll fill the board accordingly. Often, many of the images or concepts I pin to these boards manifest later in my real life — making my yearly boards a time capsule of memories that I now treasure.

The cover image for my 2019 board is a leaf, stitched with the words “You are growing.” This became a mantra for me that year, as I tackled my first year of university and learned the ropes of a new job. This board is full of fun memories and first experiences. I pinned pictures of pink hair, and in my second semester, I dyed my hair pink (the first time I’d dyed it in years!). I pinned pictures of iced coffees and students studying in cafes, telling myself that this might be the year I would finally get used to the taste of coffee (I was empathically correct.) My first year of uni was a considerable change in lifestyle and pace, but my Pinterest board kept me motivated, filled with quotes and images that matched my intentions. It was a huge year of growth for me, just as I’d declared to myself it would be.

On my 2020 board, alongside pretty sunrises and pancake breakfasts, you’ll find images of provisional license plates and a passport. I purposely created this board to be a very literal vision board, with images of the actual, physical things I wanted to accomplish that year. That year, I got my license and renewed my passport (albeit for a trip that was never taken because of the pandemic). These all involved pretty boring, administrative tasks — putting in paperwork, saving money and booking driving lessons — but pinning images that related to my goals reminded me of them constantly. Placing the “adult” tasks alongside the fun things I wanted to do that year made me see them as equally important, and encouraged me to work even harder to tick off my 2020 goals.

In 2021, I really noticed that this practice was working. I pinned a photo of an at-home coffee station, telling myself I’d make more coffee at home. A few months later, I’d bought that exact same coffee machine without realizing it. It was only when I was adding to the board later that I realized the same machine had ended up in my hands. When my boyfriend and I were preparing to move out together, I pinned a photo of a green “APPROVED” stamp, hoping the process would be a smooth one. We went to one inspection, a small unit near the city we loved, and were approved within a few days.

In 2022, I started using my yearly Pinterest boards as both a manifestation tool and a photo diary. Next to images I want to manifest (sushi date nights, taking up running, baking cinnamon rolls, establishing a skincare routine), I also uploaded photos of my own life. Seeing myself and my friends on this board made my manifestations seem more real, and like they aren’t that far away from the life I have now. I’ve enjoyed using my 2022 board as a time capsule of what my life looks like now, a process that has encouraged me to reflect on how I can make it even better.

However, I’m not arguing that a Pinterest board does all the work for you. A vision board doesn’t save you money, make it easier to get your license, or approve a rental application, but it does help you get a clear sense of your aspirations. Vision boards are just a tool to clarify what you want your life to look like — down to the minutiae of your daily routine, what you eat for breakfast or the outfits you wear to university. I don’t often use my Pinterest boards to manifest huge goals or events, but I believe that surrounding yourself with images that correspond with the kind of life you want to live and visualizing exactly how that lifestyle looks and feels is a powerful practice.

Visualization is a huge element of this for me. By imagining myself in these images, or doing what the images portray, I’m tuning myself into the frequency of the life I want to live. So, think of what your dream life looks like for the rest of the year. What time do you wake up and go to sleep? What kinds of meals do you eat? What kinds of social activities do you like? What kinds of exercise do you enjoy? What do you do to relax? What habits do you have? Writing these answers down can help (often called “scripting“), but the next step is making your manifestations come to life.

Whatever your answers are to these questions, type a few of those keywords into the search bar of Pinterest (it often helps to add “aesthetic” to find more aesthetically pleasing images). Create a new board and save all of these images there. Before long, you’ll have a collection of motivations to draw on throughout the year and to measure your progress toward your goals. Once you’re committed to bettering yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and (most importantly) genuinely believe that you are capable and deserving of good things that come your way, your vision board will become invaluable.

Using a digital platform like Pinterest for a vision board is an easy way to make your vision accessible, editable and fun to look at. This means that as your goals change, and thus as you change, your vision board doesn’t have to remain static. Gone are the days of paper, glue and thumbtacks! Using an online vision board, you can update, delete and re-arrange images as the year progresses, making the board interactive and representative of your year as it happens. Enjoy making your vision board and enjoy watching it change and grow — just like you will!

Writer Profile

Anna Merlo

University of Queensland, Australia
Law/Arts (Extended Major in Writing)

Anna is a fourth-year law/arts student, majoring in writing. She loves reading, baking and really long walks. She plans to write a shelfful of novels and pursue academia after her bachelor’s degree.

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