Vision Boards 101

A vision board for those of you who may not know, is a collection of carefully chosen photos, pictures, and quotes that paint a picture of what you want in life. It’s a helpful way of focusing on the things you want to do/achieve or qualities you want to encourage in yourself. It comes from the concept of the law of attraction, that if you stay focused on the positives of what you want to get out of life you’re more likely to successfully manifest those things. It’s a worthwhile task to sit down and really evaluate what you want but it can also just be a fun way to take some time for yourself to be creative.

Usually you might create a vision board at the beginning of the year, almost like new years resolutions in picture form. But the great thing is there’s no reason why you can’t make one anytime you feel like. Unlike resolutions, which in my eyes put too much unnecessary pressure on people, a vision board is supposed to be about what you actually want to do, not the things you feel like you should be doing. When it’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday stresses of life it can act as a gentle reminder of what’s important to you. And if you didn’t manage to do all the things on your board by the end of the year? No worries! You can always include it in your next vision board if you want to. This long term approach to goals is so much healthier and means that you’re more likely to stick to any changes you make.

They are also way easier to make than you might expect.

So here’s the how-to part…

A three step guide

There are a couple of options out there for creating a vision board. You can make one the old fashioned way, with printed photos and magazine cuttings stuck onto card, or you can make one digitally like I did. This way you still have the option to print it onto card if you ever want a physical copy. In this guide I’ll be explaining how to create one digitally, but the same basic steps apply if you’re making yours physically (all you’ll need are some scissors, glue, card and your selection of photos)

Once you’ve decided what form to make yours in a good starting point is to think about what you want to put on your board.

Step 1 – Choosing pictures

If you’re stuck about where to start I’d highly recomend Pinterest, which will produce an endless aray of images at your fingertips, plus it’ll also recomend similar photos to ones you like.

Your vision board should be personal to you and there are no wrong choices of what to include so have fun with this step and be creative!

Here are a few ideas to help you get started…

  • Inspirational people – Who you might choose to include will vary depending on what aspects of that person you admire. It can be anything from their job, work ethic, personality or looks. (Though if you’re going to focus on looks I’d suggest steering clear of any photos that encourage a negative view of yourself. This should be a positive space that helps you focus on things that will truly make you happier, not to punish you or help you fixate on unhealthy goals.)
  • Motivating quotes – These can be anything from a meaningful quote to song lyrics or even a section from a beloved book. Anything that reminds you of what’s important to you or helps you focus on your goals.
  • Places you’d like to go – Go ahead, let your imagination run wild, include as many or as few places as you’d like it really is up to you. The beauty with a vision board is the goal you put on it can be long term not just short term . If there’s somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going but you know in your head you won’t be able to afford it this year pick it anyway. It might help you think ahead and start saving a bit now, or at the very least it means there’s less of a chance you’ll forget about it completely. Because we all have things we want to do but never get round to but this way hopefully that holiday won’t be one of them.
  • Things you’d like to do – Very similar to ‘Places you’d like to go’ but there’s even more freedom here. No idea is too big or too small. It could be something you’d put on a bucket list like skydiving, a hobby you’d like to pick up, or even just a restaraunt you’ve been dying to try out.
  • Material things you’d like to have – This ones pretty self explanatory. It would probably be best not to list every little thing you’re planning on buying though, as your board could get quite crowded very quickly! It could however, be a luxury item you’d splash the cash on if you ever won the lottery, or your dream car or ideal house.

Step 2 – Cutting

Once you’ve edited down the final pictures you want on your board the next step is to cut out your images. If you’ve decided to make your vision board on your computer like me you’ll need a tool to do this. Photoshop may spring to mind, and it’s a great option if you have it or don’t mind splashing the cash to get it. But you don’t have to. I’ve found a brilliant app that essentially does the same job for free.

It’s called ‘FunPhotocut2’ and its sole purpose is to cut out images. Once you’re happy with it, it’ll be transformed into a jpeg with a transparent background, perfect for layering when you then move on to making your collage. It’s easy to navigate too, you just work you way across from left to right.

First import your picture of choice, before using the ‘region cut’ button to select the area you want to cut out of the picture. The app will then automatically select what it thinks you want to cut out. As you would expect it’s usually not a perfect outline. This is where the ‘foreground’, ‘background’ and ‘erase’ selection tools come in. (Although most of the time I didn’t bother with the background tool, instead opting just to use the erase one which worked just as well.) It also comes with the option to zoom in and out of the picture and move around so if you’re a perfectionist like me you can be as detailed and precise as you’d like with your outlines. Once you’re done click the cut out button on the far right and let it do its magic. You’ll then be given the option to enlarge the picture so it saves at a higher quality.

Step 3 – Collage

The final step is to start putting together your collage. Again, if you have it you can use photoshop, but if not don’t panic. There are tonnes of free options out there. The website I used instead was Photocollage.com. It’s easy to use and lets you control the transparency/opacity of each image, if you want soft or hard edges to each image so they blend and the option of layering the photos you import.

Once you’re happy with your finished vision board all you need to do is save it. (I chose to save mine in the highest quality so I could have the option of printing it out)

And Voila! You have your very own personal vision board!

If you’re still struggling for inspiration here’s mine as an example.

My 2019 vision board

Places I’d like to go – After sitting down and really considering what I wanted to make of this year the main thing I realised was I’d really love to start travelling. Italy, Barcelona and Paris are at the top of my list of dream places to go.

Motivational quotes – I also chose a couple quotes to help me keep some perspective. Sometimes I can get caught up in worrying and these serve as helpful reminders that nothing is achieved overnight.

Things I’d like to do – A big part of my goals this year is I want to commit to writing more. I’ve been meaning to start my own blog for a while now but I’ve been too nervous to try. But with encouragement from my lovely supportive friends I’ve managed to find my way here and I’m excited to be making this step! Another practise I’ve been wanting to improve on is my yoga. I’ve always found it keeps me grounded and makes me happy yet I don’t carve out nearly enough time regularly for it and I want to change that.

Inspirational people I also chose to include two intelligent women I look up to, Emma Watson and Adwoa Aboah. Both have work ethics I admire and want to model myself. I chose Emma Watson for her activism work and how she goes out of her way to learn and educate herself on both environmental and women’s issues. Whilst Adwoa Aboah brings her positive down-to-earth energy to hosting the Gurls Talk podcast where she speaks to other empowering women in their fields and covers a variety of important topics from mental health to sex.

Material things I’d like to get – I’m not sure if this counts as a material thing per say, but I also included the first tattoo I plan on getting. I’ve been saying for years now that I’ll get it soon but I feel like if I’m not careful it’ll just be another thing I’ll never get around to actually doing.

The other images included don’t so much fall into the categories I mention above but they represent me. The purple amethyst (for my birthday), peonies (my favourite flowers) and the yellow happy sign, because at the end of the day being happy is all that really matters to me this year.

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