Create a Vision Board and See What Happens


Today’s project is making a vision board and the process is fun, creative, and a bit magical. So grab your old magazines, scissors, glue stick and poster board.

What’s a vision board? It’s a collage of images and words that appeal to you in the moment. The pictures you choose may not make sense or resemble anything you ever thought you wanted; some of the stuff you stick on your board may seem ridiculously impossible. But my experience is that once you’ve placed something on the board, it can take on a magnetic power.

Not long ago I hosted a vision board workshop for a few girlfriends, led by Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach Carol Moss from Wilmette. Carol equates a vision board to a creative to-do list that can be used to clarify your thoughts and desires. She also says it’s an “effective tool for tapping into the subconscious.”  It’s more compelling than a written list of goals, because it adds pictures, dimension and emotion.

Around my dining room table, Carol encouraged us to go through magazines and tear out pictures that made us feel good. She urged us to follow our impulses and not overthink the process. We all flipped, ripped, and clipped then pasted our selections to a poster board. Some of us added words or drawings. All of our boards turned out to be completely unique.

Making vision boards with magazines. One of the pictures I selected was a National Geographic shot of divers swimming in a spectacular cave system in Vietnam. I couldn’t resist the powerful image, even though I’m a big chicken about swimming in deep, dark water and have no plans to travel to Southeast Asia.  “I’ll never do that,” I said to myself. But one week later, on a family vacation, I found myself at a Mexican adventure park that offered zip lining, ATV four-wheeling, and swimming in an underground river.

I’d been splashing around that river for about 15 minutes when I realized I was actually swimming though a beautiful stalactite encrusted cave. This cave was smaller and less dramatic than the one on my vision board, but I was cave swimming nonetheless. Whoa!

You skeptics may be thinking oh, that’s just a coincidence, or that the picture on the vision board made me seek out that adventure park. Maybe so, but if the end result is that the cool stuff on the vision board starts showing up in real life, who cares how it comes about?

If you want to learn more about vision boards and their creative power, there’s more information on my blog.

Or take a look at Martha Beck’s article for O Magazine. And if you’re a tech savvy chick who would rather park your pics digitally, join Pinterest or check out one of the many apps available.