Vision Board 101: How to Use This Manifestation Tool

A vision board of pictures of dreams and goals

If you’re reading this article, chances are you have already done some reflecting on what you want to be, do, or have in your life. Perhaps you’ve heard of vision boards and are curious to learn more about how they work, or maybe rendezvousing with the Universe via the Law of Attraction is new for you. Creating a vision board is a fun, tangible, and powerful way to say “Yes please!” to the abundance you’d like to receive (and deserve!) in your life—whether it’s the first or 50th one you have made in your lifetime.

What Is a Vision Board?

Since the release of the 2006 book (and film) The Secret, vision boards have grown in popularity. A vision board is a collage of visual images or words that represent the life you want to live. Quite literally, it is a tangible representation of the vision you have for yourself. You can make one by hand—think old-school magazine cutouts on a bulletin board—or you can make one digitally, via a website like Pinterest. What matters is that you manually create it (no one else can do it for you), and that it excites you when you see it. It can represent your vision for a particular area of your life (i.e., your career), or your whole life in general.

How Does It Work?

You know how when you get a new car, you see that particular make and model everywhere you go? That’s because you have put your attention on something specific, and are unconsciously scanning the world for items that match it. It’s not that those cars were never there; it’s simply that you never noticed them before.

So it makes sense then, that if you put your attention on the images in your vision board (e.g., pictures of your dream trip to Hawaii) that the energy of that thing will more likely be in your awareness (e.g., commercials for Hawaiian Airlines might keep popping up on your TV, or your job might unexpectedly send you there for a work project).

When you continue to give your attention to the things your want, you attract those things into your life. But be careful! The Universe responds with both the positive and the negative! If you look for reasons to support why you are having a terrible day (“I stubbed my toe, then spilled my coffee, then got stuck in traffic”), you’ll keep attracting annoyances to prove you right! Bottom line: The more you surround yourself with the things you want to experience, the more you’ll actually get to experience those things in your life—as so perfectly put in the adage: Energy goes where attention flows.

Follow the steps below to create your own Vision Board.

Step 1: Connect to Your Vision

Meditate, daydream, or journal about all the things you want to be, do, or have, and don’t forget to consider the multiple dimensions of your life as well. Imagine your ideal career, relationship, house, car, community, body, and so on. The more specific you can be, the better! You want to be in a good headspace when you sit down to make your vision board, so lighting some candles and playing some good music can also help to set the scene.

5 Steps to Manifesting the Life of Your Dreams

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Sometimes it’s fun to flip through magazines and cut out images and words that call to you. If you go this route, take into consideration what kinds of magazines you have laying around. For example, Yoga Journal Magazine might be a good choice, whereas Us Weekly might not be quite as choc full of positive imagery.

Remember that it’s crucial for everything you select to appear on your vision board to be representative of what you DO WANT, not anything you don’t. For this reason, it can be even more helpful and specific to use your old friend Google to pull up the exact image or word you want to see. It’s a lot easier to search online for a pile of cash to represent abundance and then print it out than it is to count on your magazine collection to contain that specific image.

Once you’ve gathered your images, you’ll also need a bulletin board, poster board, or several pieces of paper, scissors, and glue or tape. Sidebar: If you don’t consider yourself particularly crafty, and would rather create a digital vision board, Pinterest can be a great way to collect and display images that light you up.

Step 3: Display It

Once you’ve made your vision board, it’s important to hang it in view—maybe on the inside of your closet door or on your refrigerator. Don’t feel like you need to stare at it 24/7, but it does need to appear in a place where you will encounter it every day. If you make it and put it under your bed, you’re likely to forget about it. But keep it in your consciousness, and you’re sure to see results much more quickly.

Some people like to make smaller vision boards that they can take with them. You can put it on or in your journal or daily planner. If you are a student, you can slide it into the plastic cover of your three-ring binder. Or if it’s digital, you can make it the desktop picture on your computer, or the wallpaper photo on your smartphone.

Step 4: Let the Universe Do Its Thing

Once you’ve clarified your vision and made your vision board, your job is simply to look at it often, and trust that the Universe will provide you with the opportunities to manifest each and every thing you truly desire. Hold these images in your awareness on a regular basis, and say “Yes!” when opportunities present themselves to make your dreams come to life. As you come up with new ideas and inspirations, feel free to add to it at any time. Your vision board should be a flexible and fluid representation of your desires as they shift and morph throughout your life. In fact, it’s recommended that you create a completely new vision board every 6 to 12 months to be sure it’s current, inspiring, and up-to-date with your values and priorities.

So get to it! Your vision board doesn’t need to be perfect and can certainly be a work in progress. Each person’s vision board will be unique and individual, so try not to compare to others or judge the outcome. Have fun, be open and willing, and see what happens! The Universe might just surprise you.

5 Steps to Manifesting the Life of Your Dreams

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About the Author

Karson McGinley

Yoga Teacher and Life Coach
Karson McGinley is the owner of Happy-U Yoga in San Diego, California. A teacher for over a decade, Karson works to bridge the gap between the ancient wisdom of yoga and the modern science of human flourishing through her classes, bi-weekly article contributions to The Chopra Center, and leading the Happy-U Yoga & Positive Psychology Teacher Training program. Karson teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Anusara Elements™ classes, inspired by the teachings of Classical and Tantric yogic philosophy, positive psychology, and metaphysical texts like A Course in Miracles . By sharing spiritual themes, scientific research, and anecdotal...Read more