Vision boards: Can a creative project and positive thinking change your future?

Most people think of daydreaming as a useless distraction, but there are others who believe it plays a major role in a person’s future.

Vision boards, also known as dream boards or action boards, have been around for years, but they have gained popularity following the success of the book and film The Secret. The phenomenon is based on the law of attraction, or the idea that a person’s thoughts control their reality. Based on this law, obtaining your dream job, significant other or car is as easy as envisioning yourself already possessing it.

Vision boards are a physical or digital representation of this concept. Using pictures and words, a person depicts the life they wish to have, focusing on intangible objects, not just material items. Generally, the boards are created at the beginning of the year and hung somewhere visible so that its creator can see it on a daily basis.

Tyler Mitchell, a journalism major who hopes to write about fashion in the future, said she learned about vision boards after visiting her aunt in Los Angeles. Her aunt, an actress, filled her vision board with influential figures and successful actresses.

Mitchell said her vision board for 2013 focused on her love of fashion. She said she landed on a fashion blog after meeting a blogger in New York City and she has since added the picture to her board.

“I became a part of the image that speaks to me,” she said.

Mitchell also has a motivational quote wall with inspirational messages from Buddha, Ralph Waldo Emerson and more.

“I can look at it every day and it reminds me of what I want to do and my goals in life,” she said.

Sheriden Garrett has never made a vision board, but she said she’s familiar with the process and would like to make one in the future.

Like Mitchell, Garrett said her board would feature style elements, including pictures from magazines such as Glamour. She said she would also include a few quotes.

“I am a huge fan of inspiring quotes about self-love and building your own foundation so that you aren’t depending on anyone else for your happiness,” she said.

Garrett said she, too, believes a vision board is all about speaking things into existence.

“It’s about accessing your vision for the year to come,” Garrett said. “A vision board is to draw [those] things to you and put [them] into your reality.”

Oprah, Martha Beck and other celebrities and motivational speakers have supported the idea of vision boards in the past. Still, some supporters believe it takes more than creating a vision board to accomplish goals, while others believe making the board and thinking positive thoughts is enough to attract an ideal lifestyle.

Studies where patients report feeling better after being given a placebo pill, which they believe is real medication, seem to support this theory, but there many people that believe this mode of thinking can be a source of unnecessary guilt. They use victims of violent crimes or accidents as examples that sometimes people can’t control their future.

It is hard to know if vision boards will continue to gain attention as the year progresses, but with pin-board social media sites like Pinterest becoming popular, dreamers will always have somewhere to visualize their ideal life.

Creating a Vision Board is a fun and creative way to set goals.
Creating a Vision Board is a fun and creative way to set goals.

How to Make a Vision Board:
Step 1: Make a list of your goals, dreams and resolutions.
Step 2: Search for pictures to depict the items on your list using magazine pictures and the Internet (Pinterest, search engines, Tumblr, etc.).
Step 3: Print pictures.
Step 4: Creatively place the pictures on the board. Leave room if you plan to add quotes and meaningful words.
Step 5: Using glue and/or washi tape, secure the pictures.
Step 6: Write meaningful quotes, messages and words around the pictures using a pencil.
Step 7: Trace the words using markers and/or glitter.
Step 8: After the glue has dried, hang your vision board in a visible place.