Vision Board-Why You Should Make One, NOW



What is it

I have been making a vision board at the start of each year for the last 20+ years. Long before Oprah told us about it or The Secret was published, my BFF and I were making these collages.  A vision board is just that–a collage of visual images or words that represent the life you want to live. It is a tangible representation of the vision you have for yourself.

Why do it

I don’t know what is going on at your house as you read this, but at my house, as I type this, my five-year-old and I are engaged in an epic battle of wills regarding TV time. That’s just it. In the day to day grind, it can be a real challenge to be creative and have higher ambition. I just want everyone to put their shoes on! It’s hard to have VISION from the trench. When you elevate your vision and give attention to it, you elevate your experience. Not that the daily grind will ever entirely disappear. Focusing on your vision allows you to focus on more than just the daily grind.

When you focus your attention on the images in your vision board (pictures of your dream job, house, or relationship) you attract those things into your life (you may be invited to a new networking group, find out that a friend is moving, or meet someone on your next business trip.)  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. By adding one simple ingredient–focus, you are essentially turning your interests into commitments.

Ever wonder how Olympic athletes achieve what they do? Practice! Not just physical, but mental visualization. It’s proven, so why wouldn’t you give it a try?

How to do it

  1. Set the mood.

Take a long walk. Listen to the birds sing. Feel the sun and wind on your skin. Drink a glass of wine. Meditate. Pump up the jams. You get the point–whatever works for you. Clear your mind, and the rest will follow.

2. Determine your vision.

Don’t know where to start?  Consider these questions:

  • What experiences do you want to have?
  • How do you want to grow?  
  • What do you want to contribute?

If these questions are too broad, consider filling out this chart. If these were two wheels on a bicycle, could you successfully ride it? If you answered no, you know where to direct your vision–to the parts making the wheel lopsided.  

Or, maybe you prefer a more free-form approach. Some years I just sit and cut things out–pictures and words. I bring quotes or mementos from people or places I love. Once I have my pile of words and images, the answer to these three questions (and more!) is revealed.

  1. Gather materials.

You’ll need scissors, glue, and poster board to start.  Having a pile of old magazines is helpful. Some types of magazines are better suited than others. Check out your nearest used bookstore and grab some lifestyle publications like–O, Travel and Leisure, Money, Rachel Ray, Fitness, Real Simple. You can draw, paint, or write, as you see fit. You can attach mementos, quotes or photos. This is YOUR vision board! Anything you want more of belongs.

  1. Display it.

It may sound silly, but you have to see it to believe it.  The key is to post it somewhere that it cannot be overlooked. Post it where it is visible–daily–walk-in closet, bathroom mirror, kitchen table, Where do you start and end each day? That’s a good spot!

  1. Trust, and the Universe will deliver!

This is the part that sounds hocus pocus, but remember the science behind it?  It’s not. At least be open to this possibility: The Universe will provide you with the opportunities to manifest each and every thing you truly desire. Bring awareness to these images daily, and say “Yes!” when opportunities present themselves to make your dreams come true.

  1. Celebrate!

That’s right, I said celebrate! Celebrating your wins not only feels great, but it reinforces the positive attitude and behavior you want when you face a new challenge or opportunity. This is a big goal for our family every year as it does not come naturally to anyone in our house. If you don’t take the time to celebrate your wins, the winning is diminished.  

  1. Reflect & revise:

Your vision board is a fluid representation of your desires. Your dreams shift and evolve throughout your life. As you come up with new ideas and inspirations,  add them to your board. I make a new board each year, but you could make a new one every six months.  The important part is that it’s current, inspiring, and up-to-date with your values and priorities.

Happy New Year!  I know you can be the best YOU, THIS year! Now get to work!


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Kristi Howard-Shultz
Kristi grew up in Danville, Indiana where she met her childhood sweetheart and now husband Elliott. After years of living apart including graduate school in New York City and military tours abroad, they resettled and started a family in Indianapolis. Together, they are raising two bright and busy boys—Henry and George. She has a Master's Degree in Social work from New York University and is a RYT 200 Yoga Teacher. In her “spare” time, she enjoys reading memoirs, chasing her boys, and listening to her husband, the funniest person she knows.