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How to Make the Perfect Vision Board

As a college student, you may spend time in lectures daydreaming about a wild spring break in Cancun, the perfect job after graduation or your scholarship application being the winner of all that cash. But why do these things have to be dreams? Why can’t you find a way to save up money for partying on the beach, make a kick-ass resume that lands you an equally kick-ass job and write an essay so moving that strangers help fund your education? You absolutely can! Creating a vision board is one way to manifest the life you want.

Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” when he was a struggling, unknown actor. How much did he get for the film Dumb and Dumber a couple of years later? You guessed it: $10 million.

If you watched The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in 2009, you might remember the episode where she showed her vision board to the audience and she’d cropped herself onto Oprah’s magazine. You know, the magazine famously known for only ever having Oprah on the cover? Well, it worked. Ellen is one of two people who have shared the cover with Oprah.

The point is— vision boards are nothing new. They are incredibly powerful tools for obtaining the life you so desperately desire. Here’s how to make one as magical as you.

(Disclaimer: there is no wrong way to make a vision board. You can skip all these steps and just do what feels right. But if you’re stuck, here is some guidance.)


Step one: Meditate


1. You don’t have to literally meditate, although that would be a great way to reflect on your values and visions for the future. Whether you take some deep breaths in lotus position or open up a new Google Docs page on your laptop, it is important to take the time to visualize your goals.

2.I recommend making sure your environment is clean and calming. If you’re doing this in your bedroom, make your bed. Put your clean clothes away instead of letting them sit on your desk chair. Dim the lights. Fire up a candle. Do things that are going to let you fully relax and be in the moment. Once you’ve got your essential oil diffuser running and your blinds drawn, take time to think about what it is you really want out of life.

3.Is it the spring break trip? Close your eyes and see yourself with your group of friends on the beach. What color is your bathing suit? How does the ocean feel when you first step into it? Visualize the experience as if it is already happening and get specific about sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch.

4.Repeat this step a few times with the experiences you’d like to attract into your life and take physical notes on the things that come up.


Step two: Make


1.Once you’ve got that list of goals, it’s time to start gathering your crafts. Magazines, scissors, push pins and a corkboard are pretty standard, but you do you. Maybe you prefer to make a digital vision board on Pinterest or hand draw the things that will go on your board. Whatever feels right, do that. After all, the vision board should be as personal to you as possible in order to reap the most benefits.

2.With your list of goals by your side, start flipping through a pile of magazines and examine each page carefully. Cut out the things that match your list. If you see an image that makes you feel happy, rip that page out as well. You want your vision board to make you smile and feel motivated every time you see it.

3.As you flip through the magazines, rip out the pages and set them aside. Once you’ve gone through all of your source material, take each page and cut out the parts you want to keep. Maybe the word “beach” or a photo of a smiling group of friends hanging out on the sand. Don’t forget to cut out pieces of fun colors, plants, patterns, etc. This can cover up the brown cork and create a fun canvas to pin your visions onto.

4.I want to stress the importance of work! Jim Carrey didn’t just write himself a check and stop going to auditions. Ellen was very, very persistent in calling Oprah’s people a gazillion times, asking to be on the cover. Just having a photo of a beach isn’t going to be enough to get you to Cancun. You need to have a plan. Will you take extra shifts at work? Will you sell some of your clothing? If you will, include clippings that represent that, too. It will remind you of the steps you are committing to taking in order to reach that beach.

5.Now comes the fun part— pinning! Arrange your clippings in a way that makes you excited. You can divide the board into different lifestyle sections. For example, the top left could be for health, the bottom right could focus on travel, etc. You can also just arrange them all together into one big collage. Again, it’s all about whatever speaks to you. The great thing about push pins and cork is that you can rearrange your visions as many times as you want until you get it just right. You’ll know it’s finished when the board looks just like your dream life.


Step three: Manifest


It’s time to let the board work its magic. And by that, I mean it’s time for you to work your magic. A vision board is just paper on the wall. It contains no magical properties. But you now have a physical representation of the things you want to attract. Put the board somewhere you’ll look at it often, like above your desk or behind your bedroom door. Every time you look at it, you’ll be reminded of the experiences you value and what your dream life will look and feel like.

This is really helpful when temptation comes into play. Imagine this scenario: you are at your desk working on your resume when your friend texts you about going to a party that night. The offer sounds awesome. You’ve been working hard the past week and could use a break. You look up at your vision board and see the pictures you cut out. You remember pinning up the photo of a woman sitting behind a desk in a business suit. Next to that are the words “accountant,” “rich,” and “hard work pays off.” Next to that is your dream job’s logo. Next to that is a photo of a resume… on and on. A break sounds awesome, but your internship application is due at the end of next week and you know your top value is to be a successful accountant. You remember closing your eyes and envisioning what it would feel like to walk through Plante Moran’s headquarter doors on the way to your desk.

This is where you do the work. The vision board just hangs there. But it is a great reminder of what you really want in life. It allows you to text your friend back, “Not tonight… but are you down to go to Cancun for spring break???”


Monica Vigil is a journalism and theater student at San Diego State University. She is a staff writer and radio host for KCR College Radio, voted San Diego's best AM/FM station by the Union-Tribune Reader's Poll for 2018. She is passionate about performance and storytelling across all mediums. Monica's dream is to host a syndicated radio show and write magazine articles that make readers feel a little bit more alive. Outside of journalism, she hopes to one day own a farm sanctuary where happy cows and pigs roam the fields while Monica does vocal warm ups before performing in her red barn that was converted into a super awesome theater.
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