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How To: Create a Vision Board for Happiness, Creativity & Inspiration

When many people hear the term “vision board” they think about an entrepreneur. While entrepreneurs and businesses do often use vision boards to inspire them, invoke creativity, and generate new ideas for projects and products, these boards can also be beneficial for non-entrepreneurial individuals as they can be utilized for a wide range of other purposes. A vision board can provide one with a sense of focus or purpose, or even just inspire an appreciation for inner love and happiness. If you’re a college student who struggles with self-love, finding time for herself in her exceptionally busy life, or figuring out what you want out of your education and future, you may find creating a vision board to be a worthwhile experience. Creating a special space to display what you want, need or crave out of life will help bring these desires to life – visualization can be a very powerful tool.


| “Everything you can imagine is real.” ~ Pablo Picasso |


So, now that you’ve decided to create a vision board, you might be wondering how to go about it. There are two things you need to think about before you set out to build your board.

First, your vision board should focus on how you want to feel, not just the things you want. You may want those beautiful black stilettos from Christian Dior, but why? Is it because you just think they’re cute, or is it because they make you feel like a strong, powerful woman – in charge and in control? If the reason is the former, they definitely belong on your board.

Secondly, your vision board should be motivating. Think about the things that motivate you to get up out of bed everyday – is it your family, a significant other, a best friend, a special song or TV show, or is it even the smell of freshly-brewed coffee? Whatever motivates you in your everyday life should serve as a reminder of what you have to look forward to in the near and far future.


| “Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.” ~ Bo Bennett |


Once you’ve thought about the sorts of details and images that may inspire and motivate you, go searching for the images you’re going to use on your board. You can use a variety of different sources for this; old family photo albums and magazines are great, old-school methods for collecting images, but you can also search online on Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram and you can mix-and-match images from numerous sources. Don’t worry too much about your images “going together” – as long as the image means something to you, there’s no reason you cannot include it.

One final point I want to stress before I walk you through how I created my vision board is that there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow when creating your vision board. While I’ve made note of a few of my suggestions, these are somewhat based on my own personal preferences and the board I created. When it comes to creating your own vision board, the process is so individual and the only person who needs to see and appreciate the board is you – so you are ultimately the one who needs to happy with it.


| “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche |  

What You Need:

  • The images you’ve collected, cut up as you wish.

  • Any kind of board or background; you can use a cork board, a poster board, a pin board, shadow box or even a clipboard if you’d like. You can get one in a particular colour, but for the purposes of this project, brown (as in cork-brown), black or white really work best. I used this shadow box from Michaels

  • Construction paper (possibly)

  • Scissors

  • Tape, pins or glue

  • Fun stickers, ribbons, jewels or embellishments

  • Any other extras you desire

Here’s how I put my personal vision board together. For me, my vision board serves to invoke feelings of happiness and calmness within me even on my bad days. It contains inspiring images which give me a sense of peace when I look at each one of them individually and collectively. I started with a large, blank canvas with the hopes of filling up most, but not all of, the space available. And here’s a shot of the printed-out images, alongside the blank shadowbox. I bought the wooden dream sign from Michaels as well. I painted the dream sign black to stand out better against the white shadow box. I cut out my images and glued them to black construction paper, once again to help them stand out better against the white shadow box. I pinned the images all down to the board with sewing pins, then hot-glued down the dream sign, as well as some jewels for fun.​ Here is the finished board, sitting up in my living room! After I took this shot, I moved it to my bedroom where it now sits above my computer so I can see it everyday when I’m working on schoolwork.


I’ll tell you about each of the images I used and why just to give you some inspiration if you get stuck brainstorming images:

  • A golden world map symbolizes my desire to travel and explore the world

  • A blue heron is my favourite bird, and a rather common to see around the lower mainland of Vancouver

  • Cookies are my favourite dessert to bake – and there’s no pleasure simpler or greater in life than savouring a warm chocolate chip cookie, ooey and gooey fresh from the oven

  • A Disney skyline provided some extra colour to my board whilst providing evidence of my love for all things Disney and Disneyland

  • The CHOOSE HAPPY quote is a reminder for me that happiness doesn’t come to one naturally everyday, but it is a choice you can make everyday. Remembering this has actually enriched my life lately – I cannot choose everything that happens to me, but I can choose to remain strong in the face of adversity and choose happiness anyways

  • The Aquarius sign is a fun extra that reminds me of my birth month (January)

  • A woman doing yoga on the beach empowers me to get up and move my body physically everyday (yoga is one of my favourite ways to do this)

  • A model posing in a designer dress fills me with jealously – in a good way – I hope to find a reason one day to wear a dress like that

  • A paintbrush swirling colours on a filled canvas reminds me to paint more and be creative

  • A girl in a denim jacket and black skirt exemplifies my personal style & my two favourite items in my wardrobe

  • Finally, a shot taken from a café in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Towel again represents my urge to travel & experience the world – if I had a choice, I would choose to see France first

Final thoughts… Creating a vision board is a fun and worthy experience. It helps one establish focus in one’s life and it doesn’t hurt that they can also be quite aesthetically pleasing to look at everyday. The time you spend to create your board is also time you can use to yourself to rest and recharge, or you can invite some friends over and you can all create your own vision boards together. The most important thing to remember when creating your vision board is who you’re creating it for – YOU. When it comes to creating your vision board, just like in life, the only person you have to please is yourself.

BBA Candidate at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. Writes about fashion, makeup, cooking, baking, personal physical and mental health, and more. Passionate about being creative and collaborating with others with shared interests.
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