How to create a vision board that works

Hello Protagonist, how are you? How are you feeling? How has this month or the start of the year treated you?

Last month, I released a freebie to help you get clear on the goals and what you wanted for 2021. This time, I want you to focus on a visual representation of those goals and manifestations in the form of images. 

It may seem a little late in the game to make a vision board, but I assure you, May, July, or even November it’s never too late to get started! This is timeless. You work at your own pace. Maybe your year starts in August, as a college student. Or in July, if you work in Academics? This is totally up to you when or how you do this, but I find I like to work on mine towards the end of January through February. 

I find that a lot of people rush to make their vision boards before the year ends, or as soon as the new year begins. I like to wait a bit. Give a moment to put the past truly behind me, and really get clear on my intentions and goals before I put the images down. Today, I’m going to help you create a vision board that works! Trust me.

What you need

  • The goals/intentions you wrote down last month
  • Magazines, Tape, Scissors, Washi tape
  • Pinterest, Canva, Procreate, Paint, GoodNotes
  • An open mind

What makes a vision board work?

Let’s talk a little bit about why and how a vision board works. In the past, I’ve always been told to make it and forget about it. That never seemed to make anything I want to happen, happen. A vision board, sometimes called a mood board, is supposed to help motivate and inspire you to go after what it is that you want. It won’t just fall magically into your lap one day, or who knows maybe it will, but a lot goes in to get it up to that point. A lot of work, or fanning the flames, should I say? It won’t work unless you do!

Usually, I find that a vision board really truly only seems to work when you make it, and put it somewhere you can see every day reminding you about your “Why.” 

A few examples of where you can place your vision board in a direct line of sight are:
  • phone or tablet wallpaper
  • your laptop or PC wallpaper
  • on a canvas in your room 
  • print it out, put it in a 5x7 frame, and put it in your office or on a shelf
  • your screensaver
  • right in front of what you see first every morning
Last year, I put mine everywhere as a visual reminder of why I was doing this. Why I wanted, what I wanted. It worked! It put the pedal to the metal, and I got a lot done.

This is because our minds correlate better with images than with words. A word can be misspelled, but we know what the word is because we can picture it. That’s the key! We can imagine it, picture it, envision it! You can do anything you put your mind to, as cliche as that sounds! Vision boards won’t work unless we do. 

I see a lot of the time people fall into the trap of making a vision board full of quotes, and that’s nice to have on a Pinterest board and all, but not as a means of trying to motivate you. Instead, if there’s a quote you like, try to find a corresponding image or action verb to describe it in the board itself. You can definitely add words, I’m not saying you can’t! I always like to throw in a few keywords here and there, or like the image above, instead of quotes impactful words. Action verbs. Adjectives. Feelings. 

But remember, this is totally your vision board, but try to be open-minded. If previous boards didn’t work for you, try to give these different methods a shot! 

Something important to remember

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. That sounds as cliche as half the shit I say in this post, and that’s because they’re true. I thought I was going to be on top of all my shit, but I find it really hard to make content right now as I’m struggling with feeling lost, pursuing other projects, and healing an injury all at the same time. I feel like I’m letting everyone down including myself, and you know what, that’s just part of being human! 

Going back to January, I chose my word as SHIFT, and this is just a big part of it. Relearning, unlearning, processing, progressing, falling behind, getting stuck, and so much more! So even if you create your vision board, and things aren’t working out for you, maybe take another look at it, and dial it down to one or two focuses that you know you can do. Focus on how you want to feel at the end of 2021, rather than what you want to accomplish. 

You don’t have to always be hustling, go, go going! You don’t always have to be productive, sometimes you can just be! It isn’t easy, but even I had to learn to be okay with resting recently. It really made me take a deeper look into my intention and goals for the year, and get even clearer if they’re possible for me right now or what it is I truly want from this year. And that’s totally okay, if you don’t want to destroy what you have, take a picture of it save it somewhere else, and then assemble a much smaller vision board to what you know you can do. And implement smaller baby steps to accomplish those. Don’t beat yourself up, when things don’t work out overnight, they rarely ever do.

Choose a style of a vision board to create

Now we’re finally on to the good stuff! The steps! Or rather the different types of vision boards you can create! There’s more than one, and you can create one or you can create them all! I actually had a lot of fun creating them all this year. It is a lot of work, but I wanted to really solidify these goals and intentions that I have for this year. 

So here are some of the different types of vision boards you can create:
  • A digital vision board
  • A traditional style vision board
  • A mixed medium vision board
  • A vision board created entirely of your own
Last year, I created a digital vision board. It was a lot of fun, a bit daunting because I was new to the whole tablet and stylus world, but it was amazing how much I accomplished thanks to it. It felt so good to me! And the year before that, I created a traditional style vision board in the back of my Passion Planner.

But there are two others on this list that I mentioned that may have some of you asking as to what they are. I won’t spoil what they are here, this is just for introduction purposes, but I can assure you they’re fun too!

How to make a digital vision board

So most people when they think of a digital vision board they think of Pinterest, WeHeartIt, or some other type of platform where you can search and save for images. My god, I’m having flashbacks to Photobucket, anyone here remember Photobucket?! Or am I showing my age? Lmfao

All these are great for compiling all the quotes and images that mean something to you, but you really want to take it a step further and create a document in Paint, Procreate, Microsoft Word, Canva, GoodNotes, Evernote, Xodo, etc. to really bring key pieces together. Being able to look through Pinterest boards is nice and all, but it’s hard to turn them into a visual representation that will always be in your line of sight. But that’s actually where we’re going to start today, Pinterest or WeHeartIt. I personally am a Pinterest girl, so be sure to follow me on there!
  1. Get onto Pinterest or WeHeartIt
  2. Make a board or group and title it “2021 Vision Board” or something similar
  3. Let’s start looking for photos! Now here are some tips you’re going to want to pay attention to, to really get the fullness out of your vision board.


  • Don’t just use a board full of quotes

  • Think about how you want to feel and find images that express that. If you want to feel more joy, maybe find a person that’s jumping into the air, etc. If you want more laughter in your life, find an image or illustration of a mouth wide open or something with the action of laughing.

  • Try to find action-based photos that speak to you

  • If there’s an image that speaks to you even though it makes NO sense in the moment, grab it! It’ll make sense later.

  • Don’t create to make it look aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes the most helpful vision boards are messy, but they make sense to you!

  • Don’t think too hard about it, if you’re struggling walk away, come back later or in a few days or a few weeks like I did.

  • If there’s a particular image you want but just can’t seem to find the right one, keep changing up the keywords to search for it. Sometimes the searching will and can take up to a few days. I like to add words such as “image, art, illustration, design” next to all my keywords to try and find a wide variety of images in hopes of finding the one that I was looking for. 

  • Take your time, putting together a Pinterest board of photos can take hours to days, you can stop and start whenever you want. It can have as little as you want or as much as you want. I, personally, like to have a wide variety so I can choose the best ones to work with later instead of feeling like a photo doesn’t fit anymore and then having nothing to replace it with. Having to go back to Pinterest and find something else, etc. I like to have at least 100+ photos, and I like to keep quotes down to like 10 at most. 
After these sets of tips, figure out where you’re going to combine your photos. As I mentioned above, there is: Paint, Procreate, Microsoft Word, Canva, GoodNotes, Evernote, Xodo, etc. You’re not limited to one, or if you have your own then by all means!
  1. Save 1-2 photos of each goal and/or intention onto your computer, laptop, tablet, etc. that you feel best resonates with that goal and/or intention.
  2. This last part is totally up to you, it’s combining everything together until it feels finished to you. Again, if you’re struggling, take your time, walk away from it, drink some water, come back later or in a few days. Don’t rush it. It takes me up to a week to fully finish a digital vision board. But I feel that thought process, that intention, that work that you put in, isn’t going to waste. Instead, I feel it starts to be embedded into your mind and body and helps with reprogramming to get started. To look for steps, make a plan, etc. 
Making a digital vision board is as easy or as hard as you want it to be, you can slap something together and be cool with it. If it works for you, it works for you. But if you never found it moving your compass in a different direction, and you’ve done this before, try to put in the little extra work. Putting in the work will always be rewarded.

(How to video and finished photo coming soon.)

How to make a traditional style vision board

vision board example tradition style with magazines and scrap paper

You might be wondering, “What is a traditional style vision board, Diana?” A traditional style vision board is basically using magazines, scrap paper, and just about anything you can get your hands on to make a vision board. What you will need is:
  • Scissors, or fingers to rip things. I personally like the look of torn images and words.
  • Glue or double-sided tape
  • Some type of canvas to work on or poster board doesn’t have to be big. Can be as big or as little as you want it to be. I like to work on mine in the back of my Passion Planner, but you can also make one in a bullet journal.
  • An open mind
  • Some time put aside to do each individual step.
You’re definitely going to need some time for this one because you have to flip through magazines, junk mail, old picture books, etc. one by one ripping out just about anything that speaks to you, catches your eye, or has something to do with your goal or intention in some way. 

If something catches your eye, and it makes no sense to you in the moment, rip it the fuck out, maybe it’ll make sense later! Do not second guess yourself, don’t think too hard about it. Your heart and gut know best.

Some things to remember though:
  • Don’t look into making something aesthetically appealing. It’ll be appealing to you because it’s yours, it’s the map of what you want. Don’t think social media or Instagram has to validate it. Don’t create for them, CREATE FOR YOU.

  • Give yourself time, don’t rush to finish it in one day. To make my traditional vision board that you see here it took me about 2 weeks. Set aside one day to find all the images and words, another day to combine them and take a picture of how you think it’ll be put together, and the last day to really take the time and put it all together. I take a lot of time, waiting for new magazines to come in or junk mail before I feel, finished. 

  • Another thing you can do, that I did for this year is take from old vision boards if those things are still relevant to you. I have plenty of photos of my old vision boards, but I also have a few of them printed out, so I just ripped out the things that are still relevant and reused them.
This style of a vision board is really less about steps, and really about you being open with yourself. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed feeling at peace with my traditional style vision board.

How to make a mixed medium vision board

mixed medium vision board mood board inspired by amandarachlee and zoetryandletters

So this is something new this year that I came across from Zoetryandletters. Such a sweet genuine young woman, love her art and illustrations, and this mixed medium vision board felt like it spoke volumes. It’s something different. Maybe some people do this, but I never have and I jumped at the chance at making my own! Using a mixture of a few key images, your own handwriting, or words to come up with this mixed medium vision board! 

I’m not even going to explain this any further, but I will have my own rendition video of it coming soon so instead I will leave you with Zoey’s YouTube video of her process!

How to make a vision board created of your own doing

Does this sound more complicated than it is? It does, doesn’t it? I wasn’t sure what to title this type of vision board, but it really is of your own making and doing. Writing or drawing everything you want out instead of finding it on the internet. I got this idea from Amandarachlee, and again I’ll leave you with her video instead of some steps. To be honest with you, this is the only one I haven’t done yet. That’s because I just stumbled upon it and the idea that this is a capable vision board also. I don’t know why I missed it, but I did. 

Without further ado...

Wrapping it Up!

Vision boards come in all shapes and sizes. I think we as people get too caught up in thinking it has to look good for the gram, or that a new year has to somehow mean a new us. Well, protagonist, if the past year has taught us anything it surely does not. Work on what you can, what you want to feel like by the end of 2021, and let your journey do the rest of the talking. 

With that being said, a quick update.

So as I posted in one of my posts from this past month, I became injured. It really gave me a hard time because I couldn’t sit upright or get around without my foot swelling. After receiving great news, I started to relearn how to walk, but I still have bad days and can’t push myself entirely. I’ve been feeling really bad about myself because I’m so behind on projects, so many projects I took on, and on top of everything posting here every week. I managed to pull together this post after resting a few hours in bed Saturday. 

I really want to continue at least posting every week until this site’s anniversary because it’s a promise I made to myself. On the other hand, I want to only put out my best work when that time comes. It’s been quite a feat that I’ve been putting out so many posts since August, but I feel like I’ve strayed from what I wanted this site to originally be, and I really want to get back to my usual self or try a different means of content creation. 

Really struggling with feeling lost for the last few weeks, even prior to my injury, and I’ve just been rolling with the punches. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do or not going to do, I don’t want to let myself down, but I also want to put my efforts into quality content instead of quantity. I really want to focus on being more authentic, and figuring out what I can bring to the table. 

When I make up my mind, I know there will be a post about it, and why. Even if maybe I go on a break until I can bring out more posts I’m proud or other means of quality content. I still have many freebies to post, but I feel like many people are just here for the freebies and don’t pay attention to the rest. On one hand, makes me feel great, on the other not so great. So I’m not entirely sure, to be honest with you. Trust me, this just adds to the pile of things I have to figure out. 

Question of the Day

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Till next time!


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