What Are Your Views on Vision Boards?

I guess the first time I thought of even making a vision board was two years ago. It was still in the heyday of The Secret, and people were all about hot catchphrases like the “law of attraction” and “manifesting your dreams.” I was kinda skeptical about the task. Cutting photos out of magazines and pasting them on a whiteboard was gonna help me…how exactly?

Since then I’ve become more attuned to the concepts and I see the wisdom and inspirational power of working on a vision board. And I’m not the only one on board (so to speak) – just this week I read a very informative post on Clutch Magazine about visualizing what you want and creating a vision board. Phresh Mentality did a step by step guide. And Oprah goes the extra mile (as she is wont to do) and offers the Oprah Dream Board on her site – you see the photo right here to get an idea. It’s an online, DIY-vision-board that’s great for busy geeks like me, as well as newbies to the whole vision board concept.

But do vision boards actually help? The vision board I created in 2009 stood prominently in my office cube at my old jobby job, and I can’t honestly say I achieved anything I declared the intention to do that year. I recently found it, and the tattered photos of women in yoga poses and travel photos from far flung destinations made me feel like I’d failed in my own vision. I was also kinda happy I had never shared it with anyone, because then I would have felt that failure even more.

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and I’m ready to settle down, look within myself, and figure out my plan of action for 2010. And all around me, friends online and in person are making vision boards, sharing their vision boards, and even having vision board parties. I understand the concept – write the vision make it plain! – but without execution and action, it’s just a board with magazine clippings stuck on it. And execution is where I fall down EVERY TIME.

Should I give the vision board craze a try one more time? And if I do, is it customary or recommended to share that vision with others? Am I overthinking this whole thing?

I wanna know! Please share your experiences with me, bellas. Are vision boards important and special to you, or do you think it’s an overrated trend? What has your vision board done for you lately?

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Comments

  1. gwendolyn says:

    I feel the same. I think what happens is that people fill them with things before actually discovering what they really truly want. Did you really want to be doing yoga poses or was something else really a driving passion and desire? I’ve never done one, but I often entertain the notion and end up more so thinking about what life I really really TRULY want.

    • I have wanted to be a yoga person for YEARS. I see the benefits, but it needs to go beyond just a photo! This year I need to take action if I really want to achieve the goal!

      • Try a short video like Candelight yoga before bed! I find it’s a lot easier when I can just pop it in on my schedule…

  2. I’m a big believer in getting a big sheet of paper and drawing out my ideas. For me it works. I make it real. It stops being a dream or an idea. I no longer say I have an idea…or ‘I was thinking of…’ and now say I am or I will

    Visualise, tell the universe, write a letter – whatever it is you need to do to realise your dream.

    • I usually make a list and write out my ideas and goals for the next 12…but the actual vision board concept takes that to another level! I agree with you – whatever works to help you express the goals and realize the dream!

  3. I feel you on the execution bit.

    Another phrase that comes to mind is the one admonishing us to not hide our candles under a bushel. (Matthew 5:15)

    In other words, if we keep our good intentions to ourselves, they are more likely to die off. Part of doing the hard work of change is the hard pokes of accountability. (Don’t worry; I’m sooo preaching to my choir right now.)

    Vision board, outlook book, action bracelet, whatever…just take the first step and tell someone else where you’re going. That’s what we do on any journey: we tell someone where we’re headed (not just any old body — those that matter) and then we set out with our cute bags and matching shoes.

    • And by the way…you have accomplished a LOT since you had that board in your office cube. Really, you have. Even if you didn’t do everything on that board, was the point of it to do what you wanted at the time or to make SOME kind of change happen??? If it was the latter, you’ve done that in spades.

      • what’s an action bracelet??

        Thanks for your kind words, b – sometimes I look at my accomplishments and take them for granted. I’ve come a long way since leaving that cubicle behind! But those visions weren’t ever on a board…

        still it can’t hurt to make one, right?

        • Oh, I made that one (and the outlook book) up. Sorry!

          And your post is right on time. My birthday is in January and this time of year is twice as powerful for me when it comes to reflecting on change. Your words are yet another catalyst for me to do what I have to do.

          I’m also reading a book called “Don’t Panic” and that helping a lot.

  4. My vision board is all about writing the words on the wall (pun intended) I put up poster size paper and i write scriptures, affirmations, goals, research words, ideas, etc. I respond to written word so that is what I implemented for myself. Don’t get me wrong I love looking at pictures, but i find that after a few months i don’t want to look at it anymore (lol) Having the board on the wall (i keep it on my side of the room so i have to walk by it all the time) I’m able to add as my spirit and/or desire sees fit. I plan on putting 2011′s board up this week. It’s a great feeling when you can look up on a somber day and have a word for yourself. :)

  5. i’ve never done a vision board. i have always written down the things i want to achieve in a journal and kept them to myself. for me some things are personal.

    as for the yoga, you really need to step foot in a class or find a dvd. if you’re a yoga person, you’ll know instantly!

  6. I was given the book of The Secret when it first came out. I read and reread the book and it wasn’t until last year that it all finally clicked. I still use a vision board. Some things I have manifested, some things I haven’t. I used to keep it out and look at it daily but now I keep it put up and look at it periodically. Sometimes what I thought I want has changed and I remove it from my board and move on. At times I have felt like it was a waste of time, but I continue with it cause it’s fun to do and I still believe that say 5 or 10 years from now I will look back at it and be amazed at what I have accomplished.

  7. Yeah, you should give it another shot! And no you do not have to share with anyone if you’re not comfortable with that. My basic rule with vision boards is that they make me smile when I look at them. My vision board has to make me feel good, motivated–not guilty. LOL I keep mine in my home office.

    I did a step-by-step for Madame Noire last month. :) http://madamenoire.com/29671/how-to-make-a-vision-board-get-your-power-back/

  8. I will be hosting my 2nd Vision Board Party in a couple weeks. The ladies really enjoy it.

    I think sometimes instead of starting with a self created vision, select items that you get your attention. Last year I worked with a life coach for eight weeks. My initial goal was to find a way to generate more income, so for one of the exercises I decided to create a vision board. When I showed it to her she pointed out to me that the items I selected had nothing to do with increasing my income, that was a huge AHA moment! The things on my board were more about other goals that I had, and has been life changing.

    I suggest just be open to what appeals to you when you start, you may get clarity to a subconsious vision that you already have been working towards.

    • That’s such a good point! It’s funny how we say one thing while our hands and hearts are busy creating our true desires. I’ll need to have a pow-wow with myself and see if my spoken desires are matching my heart. I have a feeling there’s a little dissonance going on.

  9. I’m torn on dreamboards. I recently tore mine up (not literally) thinking that it was pointless but I redid it. I added lots of color, inspirational quotes, and more realistic goals. By doing this I realized that I’ve accomplished. Another thing, I realize that a dreamboard requires action to go along with the vision. Putting it in a drawer is pointless.

  10. Hi there. I’m a newbie to your blog. My big sis shared it with me today after, coincidentally, I told her about my vision board.

    I felt like you for years. Until a few months ago. I’d dug an old journal out of my many boxes and re-discovered a list I made almost 10 years ago. It had all my dreams and career aspirations. Looking at it revealed to me that I’d realized all the aspirations I’d written down. In some ways, things surpassed what I’d written down. Still that list was old. And though I’m by no means a “life coach” guru, I had an “aha” moment as well. First of all, I’d grown restless, feeling like I was going in circles where my career and finances were concerned. Nothing had gotten worse, but everything was stagnant. I genuinely believe it is because since making that list all those years ago, I’ve not made a conscious effort to write out/claim in the universe new goals. Almost as if I were complacent. But I am not. I want more. I want to live forward in my next level.

    I decided this time to do the vision board for a few reasons.

    1. If I create this big old board it will be retty hard to stuff it away in a box and it’ll prompt me to stay focused, or at least to alter where/when necessary.

    2. I claimed to all the word (well my FB and Twotter folks) that I was doing it. This helps keep me accountable. More people hold you to it if they know about it.

    3. The vision board truly did help me discern what is really a purpose driven goal and what is a desire. The desires are not on this board. This board is my navigation to staying on my purpose. I know the desires will come as I fulfill my purpose.

    So here’s to getting more folks on board! I can see the vision of a Vision Board cruise on the horizon, full of seminars and dope entertainment.

  11. I have one. It’s actually my second one. The first one was completely chaotic. I’d cut out all these great pictures and slapped gem up there and yeah i did exactly what was there: mentally be all over the place. I had pictures of a house up there and I dont know why… I’m not looking to buy a house anytime soon. So, when I redid it I only put things on there that are pertinent to my right now. I actually separated pics into sections, glued them to a piece of construction paper and put them up there. Ironically when I was done I felt at peace about it, felt real good about. Because I have only things I’m trying to achieve now, within this year with affirmations and goals… And some successes from last year too.

    I shared it with people who wanted to know. U don’t have to share. It’s your choice, I’d say give it another try. My board covers several areas of my life, maybe you can narrow your focus down to just one or two and be honest with yourself with what you choose to put on it.

  12. Great post! I have been thinking about constructing a vision board for myself. I am a master procrastinator and I also feel like if don’t act on the things I want to do, looking at pictures on a board will not make them happen. I do believe in the power of the mind and “willing” things into existence. But if I am not a balanced person, then I am not able to will anything to happen. I think in order for a vision board to work, you must really focus on the experiences on the board and meditate on them daily and think them in to existence. As far as sharing the vision board with others, I would say only share with positive people.

  13. Vision boards can help you to keep on going for what you want in life

  14. Funny thing is, I bought posterboard yesterday so that I could put together my vision board tonight. Vision boards are wonderful. Just be mindful that what you want to manifest may take some time to manifest ( like years!) so be patient.

  15. I support vision boards. Whenever I dont create one for myself – I find myself searching for affirmations versus when I have a vision board – it makes it more real.

  16. I’m a planner. I like to write things down and have a goal. So I have a vision book with ideas and thoughts and also an actual board.

    The board is more of a visual reminder to stay on track and do what I need to do to achieve the goals I want. I have it in a pretty prominent place so I HAVE to see it every day. It pushes me to work harder and it’s filled with great pictures, beautiful quotes and things that keep me inspired.

  17. I did a vision board back in high school and I’m not sure if I thought of it myself or if it was a school assignment. Either way, it never was something that had things to be accomplished within one year. Mine was something to look forward to within the next five years, actually. I can’t even imagine trying to create one for such a limited time, sounds stressful. Maybe try to lengthen the time limit on it. I can say I probably achieved most of my vision board items, though I have no idea where it’s at. I didn’t share it with others, but I did post it on my wall near my desk/bed so it was at the front of my mind. I think I might create a new one one of these days, and maybe make it my computer desktop wallpaper instead. Best of luck!

  18. I’ve been doing vision boards for years but in a different way. I journal goals, things I’d like to achieve and resolutions then I read it daily. I do believe that vision boards but the person has to take actions and believe in them. I also think it has to be specific. For instance, I want to go to x country for my bday. Then the person has to spend time to look for accommodation, tickets, etc…
    Vision boards don’t necessarily have to be a board w/ pictures clipped from magazines. They could be a ppt slide w/ google images…..or just something on the phone, etc…
    I think it is fun :)

  19. a colleague told me about her vision board a few months ago. it was during that time that i realized i wanted a life partner and want to eventually get married. i don’t read magazines often (and don’t think i ever will) so it was odd to think of buying them to create one, but i came upon a few and started clipping some images out for the wedding and for what i want my dream home to look like.

    girl, until i read this blog i completely forgot about it. my dreams and desires have always been tacit so a dream board is easily forgotten, in my world, but a great way to visualize or remember what you may be working for. i really believe it works for people who deal on a tangible level and need a physical manifestation of what they dream about.

  20. I like the idea of putting together a vision board. My girlfriend recently made a board, quit her job and moved out of the country. I was shocked to learn about it, but so supportive of her, because she was following her dreams. It takes a lot to quit your job in this economy and follow your heart. Props to her and her husband.

  21. I have to say that I’m skeptical about the lazy law of attraction routine, I don’t believe in asking for something from the “universe” and waiting for it to happen like magic without action, putting myself out there, asking others for help, helping others(when I can)meet their dreams(I get inspired when I see others make it and it gives me fuel to seek mine)or simple focus. For me,the vision board works as a visual way of piecing together what I want in life – like a jigsaw puzzle where I get to choose what the final pictures should look like. From this,I revise/add to my 43 important goals on 43things.com. Every January, I’ll print out my top 5 unaccomplished goals and post it everywhere(even a laminated version in the shower and bathroom mirror). I’ve done this for the past 2 years, It’s helped so much with daily off and on journaling.

    For me? It’s fun checking off what I’ve accomplished and seeing how far I’ve come plus it helps in the face of criticism from others. Definitely helped my self esteem too and I’ve learned that writing down my goals serves as an anchor to my dreams…wants.

  22. You know something, I’ve never actually done a vision board (but I am going to a vision board party this weekend) but I do often make lists of things I want to do with my life and just yesterday I read a list I wrote over a year ago (32 Things About Me at 32) and not ONE of the things on that list had been accomplished. I think it’s a matter of being realistic. There are things we thing would be nice to do, I consider those my fantasy things. Like for me, writing a book would be a fantasy thing. I’d love to write a book…but if i’m completely honest with myself, I’m not going to take action on it, not at this juncture in my life.

    So the first thing is you have to be completely realistic about what you are WILLING to put forth effort on. And you’re right, putting together a vision board isn’t enough. Put together the board and then break those visions down into action plans. On a monthly/weekly/daily basis what am I going to do to get to this vision?

    I’ve tried so many motivation/goals/vision strategies and I, like you, have trouble with implementation. I enjoy the exercise b/c it helps me put into perspective the things I value…but what I’ve found to be most effective to get from idea to action, is just up and doing it…starting with something small. The Curl Station was started b/c one day I got fed up with my just writing my ideas down on paper and decided to apply for an EIN…the rest is a snowball affect.

  23. I did a collage, but didn’t really claim it as a vision board at the time… it was just something I did with my niece and liked that it was a positive reminder to look at everyday. Now that I am reading more about vision boards, I have decided to make one and keep it posted in my home office to see it everyday. I think that if you believe in it, it will be real to you and become what you want.

  24. If you were working in a company you would be looking at coloured gragphs and piecharts to plan and plot sales increase and profits ie the growth of the company – so in that way I guess the Vision Board is the growth of You.

  25. Another Roz says:

    Great post, Bella. I have two small vision boards from last year. After making numerous changes to get them just right, I put them away from prying eyes and potentially endless questions, and never really thought about them again. With all the great ideas I’ve read in the responses, (especially the idea of adding scriptures to the pictures), maybe I should dig them out and start again…

  26. So THAT’s why I’ve been hanging onto that big piece of poster board that I have-no-earthly-use-for yet can’t seem to throw away… I’m needing more support to stay focused on my intentions, and words & images would be a good way to do it

    I have never read The Secret, but I do find that I drive toward whatever I am looking at. So the bulletin board over my desk has photos of people who love me, fun things I am looking forward to, and images of my intentions.

    I agree that an intention isn’t just a dream or wish, but an actual mental state that drives action. Nothing “just manifests” without effort and mastery, but it helps if I’m looking for it when it comes my way…

  27. I’ve decided to make a vision board, but it is mostly going to be used to remind myself of who I am and that I can accomplish anything. I’m going to put my dreams and goals, but also the positive things that people tell me about myself that I tend to forget. I’m also going to include scriptures and quotes.

  28. I think vision boards help to outline ideas in a visually tangible way. Sometimes I carry ideas around in my head and need to write them down, but follow through and action is definitely the key. You must order your steps to the goal!

  29. thanks for the reminder, I need to revise mine!

  30. Vision boards have felt so very pivotal to me over the past year and a half. It absolutely makes me feel very presented, very invested and very attuned to my hopes and dreams. I love the randomness of it yet at the same time just touching my vision board boosts me in a strange way. :)

  31. Another thought, or several :) the things that kept me feeling accomplished this year was that I got something accomplished last year. But vision boards are a revision process and they are a revisitation of dreams. It’s so allowed. They don’t have to like a goals list that have a 3 month or six month outlook and things that you want or need to accomplish. This is your life, and you’re taking it in stride, and so you’re vision board just informs that. One thing on my dream board is this beautiful bed and bedroom scene that has mosquito netting and all that. It’s wrapped up in my dream of moving home base back to a more tropical locale. I’ve changed my bedroom so many times and never have I pulled a piece from that. It’s perfection was for that far flung moment. So sometimes it’s an outlook. I also have a pic of a gorgeous fullmoon because I caught it at a good angle and my moods are so informed by this so it reminds me not to be so hard on myself. So don’t beat yourself up lady. Do one vision board do two, better yet, do a whole wall of your office space :) Much love and have fun in 2011!

  32. missjosie says:

    In 2009, a friend of mine suggested that I consider doing a vision board for 2010. I was a bit reluctant at first, as I am a HUGE procrastinator, but I was also intrigued by what she said she was able to achieve by doing her own. I really prayed and thought about the things I wanted to achieve in 2010, and took a stab at creating one. By the time June rolled around, I not only achieved over half of the things on my board, I also started noticing a change in my confidence as I achieved. By the end of 2010, I realized that tt wasn’t necessarily about gaining ‘things’, rather the vision board really helped me see that by actually sitting, thinking, and praying about my desires and needs….I could map them out in such a way that they could be achieved. Through God, and my Vision Board I have become a homeowner, raised my credit score by 200+ points, lowered debt, turned 30 in New York, and so much more. I am an advocate for them, and will continue to be one!

  33. This is my first year doing a vision board and I am absolutely excited about my board. You see you have to look beyond the fact of posting pictures & words onto a piece of paper or poster board but you have to see that these are things, dreams, goals, wants, aspirations that you want to achieve whether it’s life time or yearly or monthly but they are things that you want to see come to pass. You have to take it to the bible Habakkuk 2: 2-3 when God states write your vision and write it plan you that you can see it, and it shall come to pass in it’s right timing. You have to believe God’s will for you and trust and have faith that you can make those things come to life. If you are making board after board each year and really don’t have the hopes or aspirations to achieve them then yes you are wasting time and your own self. Don’t do it because you think it’s the right thing to do but because you want to see the things go from your head to paper to life. That’s my thoughts on it.

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