Creating a vision board to welcome good things in your life may sound a little woo-woo, but research has shown visualization to be a seriously powerful tool. Entrepreneurs and athletes often use visualization to help them meet their goals. You may have already experienced the power of visioning in your own life. I know I have.

Vision boards give the brain a head start. They help us mentally rehearse and picture ourselves in new situations. Did you know that the subconscious speaks to us in images? That’s what makes setting an intention and selecting images such a powerful exercise. I’ve heard of people who end up living in their dream spaces or taking trips to places they didn’t even realize were on their old vision boards until they revisited them. Pretty cool.

What have I learned about vision boarding the hard way?

Now, as a designer and investor working in real estate, I have a LOT of construction industry and trade magazines. So this brings me to…

My #1 tip for vision boarding:
Ensure you’ve brought a wide variety of images!

One year a friend and I tried to do vision boards together and we realized we only had pictures of raw materials. Oops! We weren’t making designer mood boards… we were trying to visualize our future lives. I guess that old design-school training is hard to break. We could only laugh and let the idea of creating a vision board go for the moment.

Another friend attended a party where many magazine images were provided, but all of the images featured nature scenes. Nothing inherently wrong with that — nature scenes can be beautiful and calming, and remind us to think sustainably. But if the images don’t speak to you, or are just generally too similar to one another, it’s going to be a problem for your vision board to unlock your mind’s full potential.

So I’d humbly like to suggest that you make a super brief “wish list” of the things you want to bring into your life, or at least your 3-5 top categories for personal growth, and then consider what you want to contribute to the world with your talents. Then go find 10-12 magazines ILLUSTRATING THOSE DIFFERENT AREAS OF LIFE.

What kinds of magazines should you get?

Common areas for personal and professional growth might include:

  • Home
  • Family
  • Self / Sprit
  • Money
  • Travel
  • Hobbies
  • Relaxation
  • Wellness

You get the gist. Now, you don’t want to get too prescriptive about it. Have faith that your best, most evocative images will ultimately find you. Just be sure to start with a wide variety of options. You don’t want your whole life projection to be about only soap-making or wallpaper. You want to manifest a well-rounded life.

Where can you get a variety of magazines?

Your favorite local bookstore will likely carry the latest magazines featuring gorgeous images and fresh perspectives. You may want to start there for inspiration and a few completely custom-to-you image sources. But if you want a more economical option for at least a few of the images, you can mix in some catalogs from your favorite stores or pick up free magazines at places like the grocery store.  Natural Grocers in particular distributes free multi-page magazines with a wide variety of images. It also sells a nice range of conscious and meditation-focused magazines — if you’re into that!

If you’re hosting a vision board party for a group of friends, your best bet is to call a doctor’s office, nail salon, or library to see if they have old magazines available. Maybe they can recycle those old magazines with you? This takes a little advance planning, but it will be much less expensive than buying everyone all the latest issues at a premium price.

Basically, keep your eyes peeled for a few weeks before your vision board session. You should find some good options.

Should you add words?

You can add words. Lots of people do this. Just be careful not to crowd it with too many words. Choose specific words that give you a spark or a jolt of excitement, interest, or intrigue. Ultimately, though, the power of the vision board rests in the actual images to speak to our brains on that subconscious level. It’s all about developing a heightened sense of intentionality.

Still feeling stumped?

If you need more guidance, consider attending a guided vision board party. These seem to grow in popularity every year. My friends have described a few different types of vision boarding sessions:

. The in-person retreat-style vision board party – at an office, library or public space – where materials are provided.
. The online instruction session – where a coach or expert walks you through their vision board process for you to try at home.
. The online vision board party – where each member has done the vision boarding and shares results, maybe over wine or mimosas.
. The private vision board session – solo, as needed. This can be digitally in a slide show or using tactile printed images that you literally cut and paste onto a board.

Any time you want to plan your next move, for any period of time, it can be helpful to create a vision board.

Good luck with your next visualization session!  I’d love to hear how it goes.