It is said that if we put our goals on paper we have a much higher chance of achieving those goals.  The idea is if we keep them visually in front of us, we will be more inclined to work on them and stay focused.  Often people will set the goals out on a vision board. 

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C.S. Lewis.  Photo of a sunset over a lake

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a powerful tool and great way to organize a visual representation of your goals.  They come in a variety of forms such as:

  • a collage of images, words or phrases on a poster board or cork board
  • a digital version of the collage of images that can be kept on your home screen of your computer or phone
  • a simple list of the goals printed and hung in a room where you will see it often.  Some put it beside their mirror in their bathroom so they are sure to look at each morning.

Most people start a vision board of goals at the end of the year when most are making resolutions for the new year ahead.  At this time, we are usually filled with hope of a successful new year.  The reality is that you can start a vision board at any time, so if you are just reading this now and it is July, do not let that stop you.  Grab the life that you want and start visualizing it.

Flower books spread out on a desk in an old greenhouse

Do vision boards really work?

I must admit, that I had often made a list of resolutions at the beginning of the new year.  The problem was that sometimes I put them in a stack of papers never to be seen again.  Then I started putting the list on a bulletin board, but it got covered up or forgotten about.  As a result, I just didn’t manage to have the success I had planned for.  

Then one year, I had a boss who required every employee to create a vision board.  I remember groaning at the thought.  She sent out examples and they were the collage variety.

 To me the collage style of a vision board is messy, disorganized, and painful to look at.  I wanted to impress my boss though so I set out to give this whole vision board a chance. 

To work, a vision board must be in a prominent position

Once, I got on board with creating a vision board, I knew I had to come to terms with the home designer in me.  First and foremost, it had to be like a piece of art or at the very least organized and attractive.

Then I had an idea.  What about a board with photos and messages to myself that was framed beautifully and each goal was represented by an individual piece of art?  Yes, that would satisfy the designer in me.

A brilliant way to mark success

One problem though, I still needed a way to show when I achieved a goal. I certainly would not want to put a big check mark on the goal that would take away from the beauty.

Then the whole vision came to me – let’s make it interactive.

By interactive, I mean that the photos or messages would be movable so I could move them to a special spot once I achieved them.  I could picture the joy I would feel when I moved the goal from “in progress” to “completed”.

What is the success rate of a vision board?

They say that 76% of small business owners who create vision boards, achieve the goals that they set.

So what happened for me?  Well, I created the board, placed it in the most visual spot in my office and FINALLY I was able to keep track of the goals.  

Each goal was right there in a pleasing visual form and having them there truly did keep me on track.

Did I achieve every goal?  No but I sure achieved more of them than I had any other year.

It was SO SATISFYING when I could move a goal to the SUCCESS area!  

Did I learn anything?  Quantifying goals is necessary.  For example, it is not good enough to say “lose weight”.  There is the need to be very specific so it would have been more appropriate to say “lose 10 lbs by year end”.

The biggest thing I learned is that a vision board is something I need if I want to keep on track.  The constant reminder is a must for me and I think many people.

I believe in the particular type of vision board I created so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. 

So let’s jump right in…

Dream big file folder
Dream big! Don’t let your fear of failure stop you from pursuing goals

Vision Board Supplies

If you are interested in any of the products I used for this project, just click on the bolded word and you will be directed to the product. Should you decide to purchase it, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

For this project pick a nice looking cork board so that it is pleasing to look at
Materials for this project

Step #1 – Determine your style

The first step is to determine where you are going to hang your vision board.  Mine is in my home office because I spend so much time there.  Some people like them in their bedroom near their bed so they see them when they wake up and when they go to sleep.  Others may have them in their kitchen as they want family members to help keep them accountable.

Once you know where, then look at the style of the surrounding decor and try to pick a style of cork board and frame that would fit in well in this setting.  

As mine is in my office, I chose a plain cork board with a wide white frame. Our style of home is coastal farmhouse, so I went with a simple twine, a mixture of natural wood small clothes pegs and gold clamps and a plain black cardstock with white paper.  

If you are wanting something with a little more detail, you could paint the cork board or cover it with a variety of materials such as fabric or wallpaper.  The frame could be more elaborate, stained or painted a specific color.  A fancier ribbon and feminine clothes pegs or clamps could also be used. I recommend using a simple cardstock to adhere the images to because you do not want it competing with the visual representation of your goal.

The key is to make sure it looks appropriate in the room and makes you very happy when you look at it.

Step #2 – Determine your goals

If you are a big dreamer or an over achiever like me, then you are likely to have a lot of goals. There are so many types of goals – personal goals, work goals, professional goals, emotional goals, financial goals, life goals, short-term or long-term goals, spiritual goals, social goals, smaller goals and bigger goals…I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.

Take your time when setting goals and:

  • think about the things you are dissatisfied with in your life and figure out how to improve them. 
  • think about where you presently are at in your life and where you want to be next year at this time, five years, and 10 years from now.  Then think up logical steps you will need to achieve each of those steps.

​Write down your list of goals and set aside for a few days.  Come back to the list, review and quantify.  Make sure each goal is SMART as defined below:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant 
  • Time bound

It is very important to pick achievable goals.  While it is great to dream big, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.

Step #3 – Group the goals into categories

Review all of the goals you have made and begin grouping them into topics.  

The groups I made were Living (work), Body (health and fitness), Mind (mental health) and Heart (spiritual).  You can name your topics whatever makes sense to you and you can have more or less topics.  

Topics for the vision board goals

Step #4 – Print off the topic labels

Choose a nice font and print off the topics onto a plain white paper. As well you will need a label “SUCCESS”.

For the labels, if you are doing the black frame or other colored cardstock around them, you will need to make the cardstock is larger at the top (3/4″ larger than the topic label) so that the clip won’t cover the words.

Success - vision board topic

Step #5 – Pick images to represent goals

Now is the time to choose whether you want to use words or images to represent your goals.  I chose both.  

Remember this is your own vision board so the images you pick should be powerful images to provide you with visual stimulation to achieve the goals.  Make the images speak to you!

Once you have a collection of images that represent your goals, print them off.  My images are any where from 2″ by 2″ to 2″ by 4″.  

Cut out a piece of cardstock that is 1/4 inch larger than the image on all sides. The best way to cut the cardstock and images is with a paper cutter so that all the edges are perfectly straight with clean lines.

Using a glue stick, adhere the image to the cardstock.  Let dry.

Photos of goals for 2024 vision board

On the back of the image, use a pretty felt pen to write details about this goal using the SMART acronym.  You could also write inspirational quotes on the back or positive affirmations.  Anything that will encourage you to keep going when the going gets tough and put you in a positive mindset will be very helpful in the long run.

Written goals on the back of the goals for the vision board

Step #6 – Layout your goals on your cork board

Cut one piece of twine or ribbon for each topic and then one extra piece of twine or ribbon for your “Success” category. I had four topics, so I cut 5 pieces of twine.

Lay your cork board flat on a table as it will be easier to work this way.

Cut your twine 3 inches wider than the width of the cork board. Tie the twine ends around the pin of the push pin with a small tail (about an inch).

Now lay the twine and push pins horizontally across the board leaving equal amounts of space between each line.

Place the cut out images and the labels in their respective sections and space evenly. Put the “Success” section at the top and leave enough space to move your goals up to this area once you achieve them.

Blank vision board

Once it is looking good, pin the pieces of twine to the board.

Next hang the goals off of the twine with clips. I mixed it up and used small wooden clothespins, gold clothespins and gold clamps. I spaced them out over the board to add some interest.

Vision board with all the goals placed on it

Step #7 – Hang your vision board in a visible spot

The whole point of this project is to keep your goals before your eyes so that you are constantly reminded of them. Earlier in this project, we picked the room, but it is just as important to place the vision board in a spot where you will see it often. Mine is just off to the left of where I sit so with a small rotation of my neck all of goals are visible.

Make sure to celebrate every success!

When you achieve a goal, make sure to think back to all that you did to make it that far. Then move the image up to the success line! Write the date on the back of the image of when you achieved it. At the end of the year, you may want save them by putting them into a diary, journal or a scrapbook.

Updated vision board with goals moved to the success level

One of our biggest projects that I created a vision board goal card was building a pool. It is something I had dreamed of for over five years and it certainly felt like an impossible dream. While we did not complete it the first year that I had the vision board, we did finish it part way through this year. I carried the goal over to this year and when we finished it, I moved it up to the success line.

Vision board showing goals that were achieved

I have kept it there to remind me that things I thought were just a dream turned into reality.

It is reusable!!!

When the next year rolls around, simply make new images with your goals, print a new year label and start over. I didn’t achieve some of my goals but I am still working on them so they are staying put and hopefully will be moving up the “Success” line very soon.

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this project and that you will give it a try.  

This is not just a powerful vision board, it is an inspiration board, a dream board, a mood board and even a board to represent a fragment of your life.   It will embark you on  a creative journey of achieving your unique goals.  I found it to be a dynamic tool that gave me a clear direction every morning of what I needed to get done!

I wish you the very best in the coming year!

If you liked this, you may like this…

Part of achieving goals is all about conquering fears and getting over hurdles. I created a post all about conquering fears and the nay-sayers in my life and I was surprised to find out who or what the biggest hurdle was that I had to conquer. Click this link for the post!

Feminine office

If you are looking for inspiration of how to create your dream office, just click this link.

Multi drawer storage unit in a home office

As always, my wish for you is success at whatever you are passionate about and to have loved ones who support and celebrate your success!

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  • Juliet
    January 8, 2022

    This is a great way of doing a vision board, Crystal … I love it! I still need to go through the process for 2022 … I’m behind. Happy New Year! xo

    • Crystal
      January 14, 2022

      Thank you so very much Juliet! Happy new year to you too!

  • Donna Allen
    February 4, 2022

    What a creative way to make a vision board! I love that you have a place to display your success! So inspiring!! Donna

    • Crystal
      February 5, 2022

      Thank you so very much Donna!