4 Steps for Creating a Vision Board That Actually Works

Silas & Grace

Image of a desk with a cork board that looks like it's a vision board. It has pretty colorful images pinned to the cork board. On the desk are also other design elements such as a vase with flowers.

I feel like one of the most important things you can do for your present and future self is to learn how to create a vision board.

When it comes to being able to reach our goals, action is incredibly important.

But it’s also very important to make sure that you’re visualizing the future you’re moving towards. 

It keeps you focused on the important things when:

  • You’re feeling overwhelmed with all the work you’re doing.
  • Something went wrong in your plan and you’re feeling discouraged.
  • You’ve been dealing with a lack of motivation, as we all do!

Visionary boards are kind of like the helping hand you need when the process gets hard, or you want to be someone who is intentionally focused on the goal.

So learning how to create a vision board is a great step in getting to your dreams.

Related: 102 Positive Morning Affirmations You Can Use Every Day (+ Free Planner)

So What is a Vision Board?

Closeup image of what looks like an inspirational and encouraging vision board. There are many things pinned to the board such as encouraging quotes and pretty photos.

A vision board is space where you can put images and meaningful objects and elements that remind you of what your why is.

So why are you working towards your a dream?

Why do you want to stay motivated?

Why are you so passionate about your future and what you want to accomplish?

Why do you want to become a better person?

Why do you want to give your family a better future?

Visionary boards are a visual reminder that you are working towards something that is so much more important than the present.

It’s so easy to be on TikTok or Instagram and see something that motivates you. Things like a person living a healthy lifestyle or someone working online and traveling full-time. And when we see that, we think, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

So we start working towards that goal for a short while, and then suddenly, all that in the moment inspiration is gone.


We get distracted with more TikTok and Instagram, a busy life, frustrations, and the belief that we just can’t have motivation.

But you know what? You can choose to have motivation. 

Only working when the “inspiration hits,” is such a lie.

And a vision board is a great way to help you get your mindset into a place where you can have on-demand motivation.

So is a vision board necessary? No. Is it helpful? Very much so.

And if you’re wondering if creating your own would be a waste of your time, then just know that it’s a great tool for keeping yourself in the mindset of knowing that your future is more important than any present distractions.

What Should a Vision Board Include?

An image of flowers growing on the side of an old building in Mexico. It's meant to be seen as an example of the kind of things you could put on your vision board. So if you want to travel, you can put travel photos on it.

Before you start gathering the materials you need for your vision board, it’s important to first think about what you really want to work towards.

What’s your “why” as I talked about earlier?

There are so many things we could all focus on, but what are the most important thing to you?

Also, when you think about these things, how do they make you feel? Do they make you feel motivated, sentimental, and/or happy to work towards you goals?

I think it’s important to not just go into this project with excitement, but also with intentionality. You don’t want this to be a waste of your time.

You want to figure out what will really keep you going each and every day. What will help you get into that spot of on-demand motivation? 

And while you’re taking some time to think about this, here are some ideas for things to include on your vision board:

There are so many different places in our lives that we get to focus on and make better than it was before.

There are so many ways you can improve your life and make it an incredibly happy one.

So start thinking about what you really want to change right now, and in the future, as you accomplish those things, you can move onto the next things that will make you a better person and give you a better life.

Related: 44 Journaling Prompts that Will Help You Live an Intentional Daily Life (+ Free Planner and Journal)

Goals of a Vision Board

An image of a table top with different things such as a cork board that looks like it's being used as a vision board, plants, makeup, books, and more. It's a very feminine and colorful set up.

Visionary boards are here to help and be a daily reminder of what’s really important to you in life.

Not spending more money on things you don’t need, not wasting time online, but what you really want to see happen and what would make you happiest.

So here are some vision board goals to think about that will help you make it as productive and as useful as possible.

Daily Motivation and Inspiration: Vision boards help you to see the future you want. Not the future that you think would be cool in the moment, but something that you’ve wanted for a long while. It reminds you of what’s really important and what would give you long-term happiness. Not in the moment gratification.

Understanding of What You Really Want: It’s so easy to get distracted by every cool thing that pops up. Someone on TikTok is living like this and that seems really cool. Or your best friend is going after a certain type of career and you feel that would be great for you too. Or at least that’s how it seems in the moment. But when that moment is gone, then you’re left working towards nothing. However, a vision boards helps to clear out all that noise and distraction. They give you focus on what you really want.

Keeping Your Mind Clear: Daily distractions and discouragements happen all the time; it’s a part of living the human experience. So you need something that’s going to help you center yourself and keep your eyes on the target.

Understanding Yourself Better: Vision boards are a great way to stop and figure out who you really are and what you really want in life. What is most meaningful to you and what your heart really calls out for each day. We all grow up in different family situations and we’re all unique individuals, and this can make it hard to understand who we are. So finding a way to bring some clarity into the situation is a BIG step in getting to know yourself and what you want our life to look like.


How to Create Your Own Vision Board

A photo of a work desk set up. There's a big Apple desktop computer on a wood table with a plant on the table as well. On the wall is a mirror, a light, art, and a wire board that is supposed to symbolize a vision board set up.

Step 1: Figuring Out Your Why

I want you to take a piece of paper, your phone, journal, or anything you fee like writing in.

Then start jotting down ideas of what your “why” or “why’s” would be.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is important to me in the long run?
  • What do I want to work towards?
  • What emotionally and mentally motivates me?
  • What do I care about so much that if it didn’t happen, I would be completely devastated?
  • Are there people in my life I want to take care of? Why do I want to take care of them?
  • What did I want as a child? Why was that so important to me?
  • What did I want as a teenager? Why was that important to me?
  • What have I been wanting as an adult? Why has that been important to me?

Figure out what is most important to you when it comes to reaching your set of goals. Make it as crystal clear as possible and don’t leave any room for confusion or questions.

You don’t want this process to be a waste of your time, you want it to be something that helps you reach your goals as quickly as possible.

Your desires and needs in life are important and you need to treat them as such. ♥️ 

Step 2: Gathering Materials for Your Vision Board

Alright, now that you understand your why’s, let’s get you started on what you’ll be needing for this vision board.

And if you’re on a bit of a tight budget, then don’t worry, I have some options on here that might just work for you. 🙂

Alright, now when it comes to the specific items you might want on your board, it’s really up to you! 

You can be as creative or as minimalistic as you want.

But if you want some help, then here are some ideas of different items you can put on your own Vision Board:

  • Photos printed out from anywhere online. Just make sure that if you’re not getting your images from royalty-free stock photo sites like Unsplash or Pexels, you don’t post your visionary board on social media or your website (if you have one). That could land you in some legal trouble.
  • Images cut out from magazines.
  • Old personal photos.
  • Materials that are symbolic to you that you can get from a craft store or around the home. So this could be a pink ribbon that symbolizes healing from your childhood and what you went through. Or it could even be a dollar bill, symbolizing your desire to get out of debt.
  • Materials or photos that you can get from family or friends.
  • Hand drawn images that you can cut out and put onto your board.
  • Bullet point lists for bucket lists or things you want to accomplish in your life.
  • Notes of encouragement to yourself.
  • Small letters or notes from your future self.
  • Inspirational quotes.
  • Affirmations.
  • Stickers.
  • Your goals written out.

There are so many ways to get creative with this and have fun while also making it a super useful vision board.

And now that you have some ideas of the kinds of things you can put on your visual board, it’s time to gather them up and display them.

There are so many easy ways to do it! It could be as simple as pinning images to your wall or going to Target and buying a poster board. It’s up to you!

So here are some ways you can display your inspiration:

  • Cork boards.
  • Phone lock screen – You would just be creating a collage of images for this one.
  • Wire boards.
  • Images and items taped or pinned to the wall with or without picture frames.
  • White boards.
  • Magnet boards.
  • Large picture frames that can fit all of the photos.
  • Poster boards.

Other Materials You Might Want to Use:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Pins
  • Magazines
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Paper and pen (or pencil)
  • Markers
  • Sequens
  • Ribbons
  • Fabrics
  • Color swatches
  • Flowers and other plants

Don’t feel too overwhelmed by this; no need to make it super complicated. Just do what you think will work best for you.

Also, you can always just adjust it later! 🙂


Step 3: Put Your Vision Board in a Place You Will Consistently See It

It’s important that you make sure you put your vision board in a place you know you will see it every day.

If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.

Put it on your desk, your fridge, by your bed, by your couch, or even take it around with you as you go about your day.

I’m not saying take it with you to the grocery, I’m just saying that maybe you might want to carry it with you as you transition from rooms you’re frequently using.

Or, you can always make more than one vision board and put them in multiple places around your home or work space.

It’s completely up to you, but it does need to be there.

You need to make sure that your vision of what you want stays before you at all times and doesn’t go unseen.

That way you’re always keeping what you want in mind and not letting the everyday distractions get to you!

Step 4: Change it Up When Necessary

Sometimes we get used to seeing things repeatedly and then we become blind to them in a sense.

There have been so many times where I created a collage of images or put an inspirational quote on my phone’s lock screen. And then pretty soon, I’m blind to it and not even giving it a second thought.

I’m not saying that this will happen to you, or at least happen to you right away, but it is something to think about.

So if you need to change it up every few weeks or months and switch out some photos or other elements of your vision board, then don’t feel bad about it!

It’s just another great way to keep yourself motivated and on track. 🙂

How to Create a Vision Board Online

An photo of an iPad with different beautiful images on it. The images are all in a sort of collage setup and are supposed to help you visualize what a vision board made on an electronic device could look like. There's also an Apple Pencil near the iPad.

1. Find the Right Editing Tool

I am a BIG believer in the free image creating and editing tool, Canva.

It has so many great resources and editable templates for creating so many different projects.

Also, they have a specific place where you can create your own Vision Board on Canva.

I mean look at how pretty this is down below and all the options you get on the side!

A screenshot of the photo editing and creating site called Canva. It shows a editable template for an online vision board. And on the left side is a list of other vision board templates you can use.

Of course all of these images are changeable. You just need to go into “Elements” on the left hand side and search for any photos or designs you might want. 🙂

You can also just choose to start from a blank slate and make your own vision board without any templates. It’s up to you! 

2. How to Find the Right Images and Elements

As I said above, you can get some good images and features from Canva for free. But there are plenty of great sites for getting good images if you plan on posting your vision board online.

The reason why I say that is because if you plan on sharing your vision board on your blog, Instagram, TikTok, or elsewhere, you’ll want to use royalty free images so that you’re not getting into trouble.

So sites like Unsplash or Pexels would be great for this.

They’re filled with so many professionally taken and stunning photos, so this should be an easy place for you to get the photos you want.


3. Save Your Image and Use It in Different Settings

Once you’ve saved your online vision board, you can download it onto your computer and print it out.

Also you can print out multiple of them!

So you can have one at your workspace, by your bed, in the kitchen, in your living room, etc.

Or, you can put it as a lock screen on your phone where you can see it all throughout the day.

And one last option is to put it as the main image for your computer screen.

It’s up to you and how you want to use it to remind yourself of what you’re working towards. 🙂

How to Use Your New Vision Board

A photo of a desktop with books, a wire basket, a plant, a pink mug, and other items. On the back of the white table is a cork board leaning against the wall, and that's suppose to symbolize a vision board. It has different images and designs pinned to it.

There are plenty of ways you can use your vision board!

It doesn’t require you to sit down for an hour before work and stare at it, or constantly glancing over at it every 2 minutes while working. You just need a bit of intentionality when using it. 

So here are some ways you can use your vision board:

  • Take some time, maybe 5 or 10 minutes in the morning, to meditate on the different elements of your board. And when I say meditate, I don’t mean in the spiritual sense. I just mean to focus and think about why these things are important to you and allow it to influence your actions throughout the day.
  • Make it a part of your daily self-care routine. If you have a self-care routine, or you want one, then this might be a good thing to include. Try using it as a way to be mindful about what kind of actions you need to do in order to work towards your goals and dreams. Also, see it as a way to take care of your present and future self.
  • Look at it before bed. Allow your vision board to be the last thing you see before you go to sleep. I believe that whatever you go to bed focusing on, is going to help motivate you for what you’ll be working towards the next day. It’s a great way to keep your mind on what’s important as you fall asleep so that you can wake up with a purpose.
  • Set a timer to look at it throughout your day. This doesn’t have to be every 10 minutes, but maybe once an hour or every two hours. This way you’re taking some time to stop and meditate on what you’re working towards. Then you can make sure your actions are being influenced by your dreams and goals.
  • Speak affirmations while looking at your board. Speaking positive affirmations is a great way to change how you think, and when you pair it with the different elements of your vision board, it makes things a bit more powerful. So for instance, if you’re working towards a debt-free future, you can say something like, “I am going to have financial freedom. It is going to happen.” This sends a clear message to your brain that this isn’t just a maybe, it’s a reality.
  • Look at your vision board right before you take action. You want to take action so that the things on your board actually happen, BUT you also want to reinforce to your brain that good things come out of your actions. That when you put in the hard work, you do see results. It teaches you not to just think good thoughts, but take real steps in getting to where you want to go. So if you’re constantly teaching yourself that dreams and progress come out of actions, you’re going to get so much more out of your life!
    Also, you need more reasons to make sure you’re taking action, one study found that people who had optimistic weight loss expectations but negative weight loss fantasies, lost more weight than people who had negative weight loss expectations, but optimistic fantasies. Essentially, you can’t just do positive thoughts and dreaming; you need to have positive expectations of yourself actually taking action and getting there as well.

Vision Board FAQ’s

A photo of a wall with different images, quotes, and words taped to it in a collage type of style. It's a photo that looks like a type of vision board you can create.

Do Vision Boards Really Work?

I believe that vision boards do work!

I’ve known people who have strongly visualized the future they wanted, didn’t give up, and actually got to where they wanted to go.

Case and point, my husband had a vision of us being able to work online and travel full-time before we had kids.

He didn’t give up on that dream, he researched, and kept on thinking about what he really wanted. And after finding out that blogging was a good option, and a whole lot of hard work, we were able to make it happen!

And while we weren’t using a vision board specifically, we were visualizing the future we wanted, and we finally got there. 🙂

Here’s a photo from our travels. Dreams and goals really can be accomplished. ♥️ 

A photo of an old blue and white tiled church in the old part of Porto, Portugal. It's also the New Year, so there are still holiday decorations up on the street. The travel photo is supposed to symbolize what can happen when you use something like a vision board to get to your dreams.

Should I Have Different Vision Boards for the Different Parts of My Life?

It’s not necessary, but you totally can!

And if you choose to, you can think about the different places of your life you want to see changed or the goals you want to accomplish. Make a list of them, and then start planning out how you to fill out each board.

This can be a great method for being extra motivated to reach different goals and get a lot more done in your life.


What Are the Three Types of Vision Boards?

Here are the three different types of vision boards if this is something you’re curious about:

  1. The Theme-Based Board: This type of visionary board focuses on one specific area of your life you want to change. Or just one goal that you want to accomplish. It’s a great way to hone in on a specific area and potentially see progress a lot sooner.
  2. A Vision Book: A vision book is where you can fill out a journal with the different designs and elements you want to add to each page to keep yourself motivated. You can carry it around with you in your purse or by hand and use it to motivate yourself throughout the day.
  3. Inner Reflection Vision Board: This is basically something you can do when you’re unsure of what you really want to accomplish or change in your life. You can go through images online or photos in magazines and cut or print out any images that speak to you. Images that make you feel a certain way. You don’t have to have it all figure out right then, but it’s a good way to get yourself thinking and starting to take note over time on why those images resonate with you so much. 

What is the Benefit of a Vision Board?

There are plenty of benefits of a vision board!

So here are a few of them:

  • They motivate you on days where you’re feeling very discouraged and don’t want to continue.
  • They help you actually realize what’s really important to YOU, not other people, and what you want to accomplish.
  • They help you get rid of any distractions that keep you from reaching your goals.
  • They make you the kind of person who is able to visualize their future, not someone who just focuses on the day-to-day life.
  • They cause you to be more intentional in thinking through what the most important things are that you want to accomplish in your life.
  • They help you stay on track when you’re tempted to throw away your progress for some short term gain.

How Do You Structure a Vision Board?

You can structure it in any way you want!

This is all up to you and your creativity. 🙂

One thought though. You could leave a bit of blank space in certain parts of your visionary board. 

That way, as you grow and change as a person, you can add more things on there that will motivate you to go further with your goals.

Because as you work towards the goals you have right now, you’re probably not going to be the same person in a few months. Your goals and motivations might change or expand.

What Should You Not Do on Vision Boards?

Here are some things you might not want to do when you’re vision boarding:

  1. No feeling embarrassed or silly about what you put on your vision board! This is your vision board and your future, others shouldn’t matter when it comes to accomplishing these things.
  2. Don’t feel like you need to get it all done in one go. It’s ok to take your time with this and gather what will really motivate you! I mean if you do find everything you want quickly, then great! But just don’t feel the pressure to finish it all at once. 🙂
  3. Don’t ignore your visionary board after you’ve been using it for a short while. This is your helping hand to keeping you on track. Make sure to be intentional about how you want to include this in your daily life and potentially make changes to it throughout the months.
  4. Don’t add things you think should be on there or what others tell you should added. Only add things that actually motivate you, not things where you feel guilty if they’re not on there. So for example, don’t add an image of a college if you don’t want to go to college. And also, no adding things that a friend or family member thinks should be on there! This is your board. 

If you’ve been struggling to have a vision for your future, then don’t hate on yourself, I’ve been there so many times. It’s apart of being human and it’s something we just need to work on.

But a vision board really is a great way to make sure that you can grow as someone who sees the future they want and works towards it!

I really hope these steps helped you and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments down below. 🙂

PS – You’ve got this!

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Silas & Grace

Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.

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