Vision Boards: What Are They & How to Create One That Actually Works


Silas & Grace

A desk with a corkboard, that looks like it's a vision board.

Vision boards are probably one of the most important things you can do right now.

They’re one of the best ways you can level up your life and reach your goals.

And I honestly think you deserve to live a leveled-up life that you actually like existing in.

You need something that’s going to help you take action and get you out of that space where you’re feeling stuck.

Also, it can help you focus on the future 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.

A vision board is kind of like the helping hand you need when the process gets hard, or you want to be someone who is intentionally focused on your goal.

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

So let’s get you there! ♥️

More Good Reading: 127 Positive Affirmations You Can Use Every Day

What is a Vision Board?

Different encouraging sayings pinned to what looks like a vision board.

A vision board (or dream board) is a 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?
  • Do you want to stay motivated?
  • Are you so passionate about your future, and what you want to accomplish?
  • Do you want to become a better person?
  • 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. Then you think, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

So you start working towards that goal for a short while, and then suddenly, all that excitement is gone.


You get distracted with more TikTok and Instagram, a busy life, frustrations, and the belief that you 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.

How Do They Work?

A table top with different things, such as a corkboard that looks like it's being used as a vision board.

A vision board is meant to help you take action.

Just saying things like, “I will have $7,000 in savings, by the end of this year,” won’t get you there. We both know that. 🤷‍♀️

But taking real steps to get to your goals is what’s needed, and having a board can help you keep your eye on the end game. They help push you there.

Also, here are some other ways they work:

  • They Give Clarity to Your Goals: As you thoughtfully and intentionally think through what you want your vision board to encompass, it helps you realize what you actually want in life. It gets rid of all the momentary distractions, and gives you clarity on how you want your life to look throughout the years.
  • They’re Are Physical Reminders: So many things grab your attention, and there are so many habits, and beliefs, you’ve gathered throughout the years. And not all of them are helpful (at all). But dream boards help remind you of what’s really important in your life, and motivate you to get rid of anything that doesn’t support it.
  • They Help You Make the Right Decisions: Whether that’s agreeing to something that hurts your goal, or doing something that doesn’t align with your values, vision boards help with this too. Think of them as a helping hand, that’s pulling you away from things that take from the future you want.
  • They Help People Who Are Visual: Some people like to write down SMART goals (which I recommend), or use journaling prompts to motivate themselves. But, if you’re a visual person, then a dream board is going to help you out a ton. It’s going to be a constant visual reminder of what you’re moving towards each week.
  • Boards Help You Stay Focused on Your Intentions: Even if something hard comes up, they remind you of why you’re doing something. Your intentions are to create a change that makes you, and your life, better. They help get rid of any doubt, and make you want to take more action to achieve your goals.
  • They Help You See the Successful You: Whether where you’re at in life is hard or not, it can be pretty hard to imagine the new you. The person who’s successful in that goal, and happy of what they’ve achieved. But these boards help you see what’s on the other side of things. They keep you focused on what’s really possible, and motivate you to keep going.
  • Vision Boards Can Help Your Self-Confidence and Belief: As you visualize living out that goal or dream, you start to realize that you CAN do this. A good dream board helps to build up your self-belief, and motivate you to take real actions that get you there.
  • It Helps Quiet Distractions: Whether your life gets busy, or you find yourself wanting to just sit down for a good 5 hours on social media, your board can help with this. It anchors you to what really matters, and to getting to the other side of things. The side where you’re a much happier, and more grateful, version of yourself.
  • They’re Great for Creating Abundance: When you incorporate different elements of gratitude and positive thinking, it helps to change how you think. Not only are you working towards a better future, but you’re building up thankfulness along the way. A mindset that says, “Things can go right!” And, “There’s enough for me, and others.” And with an abundance attitude, you’re going to experience so many more amazing opportunities, and get to your dreams faster.

Fun Fact: There was a study that showed tennis players having better success when using imagery, while pursuing both mastery and achievement goals. So I really do think that using a vision board as a part of your plan for reaching your goals, is a great idea!

More Great Reads: 240+ Positive Quotes to Keep You Encouraged During the Harder Times

What Should it Include?

A travel photo of flowers growing on an old building in Mexico. It's meant to be an example of what you could put on your vision board.

Once you’ve figured out your why, it’s time to understand what you should put on your board.

Anything that goes on your board, should be something that truly resonates with you. It should strike a nerve, support your goals, and make you think, “Yep, this is why I’m not taking a day off.”

I mean, have you ever read a quote that really jumped out at you? Or seen a photo that you instantly saved because it make you go, “That should be me”?

Those are the kind of things you should add.

And all together, this is what you can include on your vision board:

  • Quotes: These can be handwritten, cut up from magazines, printed, and cut out of clothing.
  • Pictures: These could old (or new) personal photos, printed, and from magazines.
  • Sentimental Items: Items from your childhood, adolescence, or even young adult years. They’re items that remind you of a memory that keeps you motivated for a certain goal.
  • Other: Flyers, signs, trinkets, and anything else that helps motivate, and keep you from getting off track.

More Good Reads: 74 Journaling Prompts for Living a Much Better Life


How to Make a Dream Board: 6 Steps

A work desk set up, with a wire board on the wall. It symbolizes a vision board.

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 vision board’s why (or why’s) should be.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is important to me in the long run?
  • What have I been wanting to work towards, for years?
  • 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 goals. Make it as crystal clear as possible, set SMART goals even, and don’t leave any room for questions.

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

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Alright, now that you understand your why, let’s gather the materials for your vision board.

So starting out, there are different bases you can have for it including:

  • 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.

And once you have your base, you’ll need to know the best place to grab photos, quotes, or other materials.

Here are some places to gather those items:

  • Online images.
  • New and old magazines, and catalogs.
  • Old personal photos.
  • Items from craft stores.
  • Blank paper for writing lists, quotes, drawing, etc.
  • Nature

Step 3: Find Images and Items That Represent Your Vision

Alright, now that you have your materials, it’s time to display all of those inspiring objects and items.

And you can get as creative, or minimalistic, as you want with this!

Here are some ideas of items you can use for your board:

  • Photos printed out from anywhere online.
  • Magazines.
  • Old personal photos.
  • Materials that are symbolic to you, that you can get from a craft store, or around the home. So for example, a ribbon that symbolizes healing from your childhood trauma. Or a dollar bill, symbolizing your goal for getting out of debt.
  • Materials or photos from family, or friends.
  • Hand drawn images.
  • 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.
  • Positive quotes.
  • Positive Affirmations.
  • Stickers.
  • Your goals written out.
  • Postcards

Other Materials for Crafting the Perfect Board:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Pins
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Pens or pencils
  • Markers
  • Sequens
  • Ribbons
  • Fabrics
  • Color swatches
  • Flowers and other plants

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

More Great Reading: 30 SMART Goal Examples for Almost Every Part of Your Life

Step 4: Arrange the Materials on Your Board


Don’t get intimidated, this is a great place to have some fun with the design.

And before you tape, glue, or pin anything down, look up inspiration online, or just play around with how it’s arranged. It’s ok to take your time!

Also, you might even find that there are item you didn’t think about, or forgot to get for your vision board. OR, that there might be things you realize you don’t actually want anymore!

Don’t feel that you have to stick with what you’ve got; it’s ok to change it up.

Then, when you’re happy with the design, go ahead and use your tape, glue, pins, or clips, to put it all in place.

Step 5: Place Your Dream Board Where You’ll Consistently See It

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

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

So for instance, put it on or by:

  • Your desk
  • Your fridge
  • Your bed
  • Your couch
  • Home or work office
  • An alter
  • A mirror
  • Your nightstand
  • An empty wall in a frequently used room.
  • Or, even take it around with you, as you go about your day in the home

Also, consider making more than one board and putting them in multiple places around your home, or work space.

Step 6: Change it Up When Necessary

It can be easy to get used to seeing things repeatedly, and then become blind to them.

There have been so many times where I created motivational phone lock screen, and then pretty soon, I forgot it even existed.

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 ever need to change it up, and switch out some photos, or other vision board elements, 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 iPad with different beautiful images on it.

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 for free.

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

A screenshot of the photo editing and creating site called Canva. It shows an editable template for an online vision board.

Of course all of these images are changeable. You just need to go into “Elements,” on the left hand side. And then you can 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! 

Other than Canva, Pinterest is also a great option. You just need to create a board, and start pinning any images that work with your goal.

2. Sourcing Your Images

As I said above, you can get some good images, and designs, from Canva for free. But, there are plenty of other great sites for getting good free images.

The reason why I say free, is because if you plan on sharing your board online, you’ll want to use royalty free images so that you’re not getting into legal trouble.

Here are some great sites to check out:


3. Add Your Quotes and Images

If you’re using Canva, then you can easily add images, designs, or positive quotes to your digital dream board.

You can go with their template, or start from scratch, and create your own personal design.

And just like with a physical dream board, it’s ok to take your time. Don’t feel rushed, this is all about getting it right so that you can actually motivate yourself. Also, if you need to come back to it, then I think that’s a great idea!

Sometimes it’s good to take a break, and then you can see new design ideas you didn’t before.

4. 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 use it as a lock screen on your phone, where you’ll see it all day long.

And lastly, you can put it as the main image for your computer screen.

It’s up to you, but just make sure that it’s sized properly, so that it works with your board size. If you have a big board, and the sizing is too small, it can come out pixelated.

Related: 30 Life Goal Examples & How to Make Them Work

Inspirational Ideas for Your Dream Board

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you have so many goals and dreams you want to accomplish.

You might have multiple reasons you want to create a vision board, so here are some ideas for things you can add:

  • Health: Images of the kind of healthy tasty recipes you wanna make, people who have the healthy body you want, and motivational quotes.
  • Travel: Post cards, old photos of your travels, photos of places you want to visit, old travel tickets, photos of trains, planes, or other forms of transportation.
  • Self-Love: Positive quotes, checklists of ways to love yourself, images of self-care, soothing photos, and reminders.
  • Self-Care: Inspirational quotes, self-care checklists, kind notes to self, reminders, soothing photos of self-care, and healthy living inspiration.
  • Getting Rid of Childhood Trauma: Photos of a parent loving their child, love notes to younger self, images of people in happy relationships, and photos and quotes promoting self-love.
  • Career and Success: Images representing the job you want, photos for financial abundance, trade magazine images, and photos of the tools of the trade.
  • A New Home: Images of the interior and exterior of the design you want, inspirational quotes, photos representing saving money, and images of holidays being spent at the home.
  • Being Debt Free: Photos representing a growing savings, images of people enjoying their life, travel photos, and any other inspirational photos of the kind of life you want outside of debt.
  • Having a Loving Family: Images of happy families, positive and loving quotes, positive affirmations, and photos that represent unity and closeness.
  • A Healthier Romantic Relationship: Images of people who look like they’re genuinely in love, photos of people supporting each other, images representing romance, and inspiring quotes.
  • Healthier Adult Friendships: Photos of good friends having fun, images showing people being close and helping each other, and self-worth quotes.
  • Getting Better at Certain Skills: Photos of people working on the skill you want to acquire, motivational quotes, and images of what it’ll look like once you’ve gained the new skill.
  • Dream School: Photos of the campus, inspirational quotes, friends hanging out on the campus, and encouraging notes to self.
  • Studying and Better Grades: Images of the ways you want to reward yourself when you get good grades, motivational quotes, and a photo of a report card showing good grades.
  • Retiring Early: Photos of people enjoying themselves while traveling, dream homes, and photos representing time freedom and savings.
  • Starting Your Own Business: Images of people who are successful in your business niche, motivational quotes, and photos representing the life you want to live when you start working for yourself.
  • Having More Time Freedom: Photos showing the things you want to do when you have time freedom, travel locations, checklists and bucket lists of things you want to accomplish, and images showing loved ones spending time together.

How to Use Your New Board

A desk with different items, and a corkboard leaning against the wall.

There are plenty of ways you can use your board!

It doesn’t require you to sit down and stare at it for an hour, 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 it:

  • Take 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. 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 take, in order to work towards your goals and dreams.
  • Look at it before bed: Allow your vision board to be the last thing you see before you go to sleep. I believe that it can be helpful to have the last thing you focus on, be your main goals.
  • 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 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 dream board right before taking action: You want to take action so that the things on your board actually happen. So while you’re motivating yourself with the images, you’re also reinforcing to your brain that good things come out of your actions. That when you put in the hard work, you do see results. So for instance, if you want to get a better job position, then you’ll start learning the skills needed to get there.

Vision Board FAQ

A wall with different images, quotes, and words taped to it, in a collage style.
Do Vision Boards Work?

I believe that vision boards do work! They’re a visual reminder of the goals and dreams you’re working towards daily.
But also, there was a study that showed how certain people found it necessary to act after fantasizing about their desired future, and then comparing it to their present reality. So while this isn’t talking specifically about vision boards, it is discussing how we might be affected by the visualization of the future we want.

Should I Have Different Vision Boards for Different Goals?

It’s not necessary, but it is helpful!
This can help you think about the different places in your life where you want to see change, and all the goals you want to accomplish. Make a list of them, and then start planning out how to fill out each board.

What Are the Three Types of Vision Boards?

The three main types of dream boards are…
1. Collage Theme-Based Board (on a corkboard, poster, or frame)
2. Bullet Journal (something you can carry with you)
3. Digital Boards (on your computer, phone, or even Pinterest)

What is the Benefit of a Vision Board?

Here are a few benefits:
1. They motivate you on days when you’re feeling discouraged.
2. They help you realize what’s actually important to YOU, not other people.
3. They help you get rid of any distractions that keep you from your goals.

How Do You Structure a Dream Board?

You can structure it in any way you want; it’s all up to you and your creativity.
One thought though: You could leave some blank space on your dream board. 
That way as you grow, and change as a person, you can add things that align with who you’re becoming.

What Should You Not Do on Vision Boards?

Here are some things not to do:
1. Put things on there that please other people.
2. Add things you don’t really want, because you’re in a rush.
3. Not add things you actually want, because you think it’s “silly.”



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 a part of being human, it’s something you and I just need to work on, and tools like a vision board can help.

Also, I really hope that these steps for creating a board helped you out. And if you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to ask in the comments down below. 😊

PS – You’ve got this!

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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.

Health Leveling Up Your Lifestyle Wellness

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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