The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Vision Board

Photos: Blair Badenhop

Talk show host and self-care expert Nitika Chopra shares the four essential steps for getting clear on what you want and making sh!t happen in the year ahead.

If you’ve heard the term “vision board” before, chances are it was straight from Oprah Winfrey’s mouth, like years ago.

Since then, these goal-manifesting collages have become a seriously helpful creative tool—beloved by life coaches, the wellness-obsessed, and super successful #ladybosses from Ellen Degeneres to Beyonce—because “they totally work.”

I’ve been making them for nine years, and now is the best time to do a shot of wheatgrass, get out the scissors and tape, and make one because, even with all the uncertainty we have in the world right now, being connected to your personal truth is never a wasted effort. Trust.

But first a confession: When I first started making vision boards, I honestly thought the whole thing was kind of silly. I didn't understand how sticking some pretty pictures on a board was going to change my life and I had a lot of resistance to it.

But even so, I noticed a shift in my thinking. Every time I would wonder where my life was going or started to worry, my board was right there to remind me of my truth, of the things I really wanted for my life, and what's really possible.

Once I saw that I wasn't just feeling better, but I was also creating a lot of the things in my life that I'd put on my board, I became a firm believer that they DO work.

Now I’ve taught how to make vision boards at Soul Camp, and with my private group coaching program, and I’ve gotten it down to a beautiful science. Here’s how to go about making a major, moving-the-needle vision board that will help you realize your 2017 goals. So dream big.

First, here's the secret to creating an effective vision board

Any theory about visualizing your goals (from The Law of Attraction and The Desire Map to sports psychology and digital entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk), will tell you that in order to attract what you truly want, you must see it, you must feel it, and you must embody it. Just having just one of these, lessens its effectiveness.

In other words, pictures alone aren’t going to move the needle.

So what does? To help you create the best vision board for getting clear on what you want and making sh!t happen the year ahead, here are the four essential steps:

How to make a vision board with Nitika Chopra

Step 1: Make a list of the areas of your life that are most important to you.

Maybe you’ve been daydreaming about the perfect partner or a bigger paycheck or a far-flung wellness vacation. Light a candle and take some space for you to tune in and clarify what you really want—including all of the juicy details. You may want to start with stream of consciousness writing just to get your initial thoughts out, and then identify the stuff that really lights you up. It’s not cheesy; it’s called focusing. And when was the last time your *really* identified what you wanted? (Um, deciding your college major?)

How to make a vision board with Nitika Chopra

Step 2: Grab some magazines you love or head over to Pinterest.

Look at your list and scan it closely for any themes that are showing up. Note them, because now you want to find a visual representation of them for your board. For example, if you want to be a nutrition coach, select photos of inspiring food. If you want to be a beauty expert, tag some natural beauty images. Or if you want to call in more abundance, photos of entrepreneurial or successful women might work for you.

Now, go through and cut out any words, people, colors, or patterns that inspire you. Don’t overthink it, just go with your gut and have fun. The point is, you're spending time on your intention, and giving it energy—versus whining, or going over and over what you don't have, just for example.

How to make a vision board with Nitika Chopra

Step 3: Map out your images on your board.

Do this before taping, pasting, or tacking anything. Your vision board can either be completely filled up or have lots empty space. Either way is totally fine. You can allow that empty space to inspire you, knowing that as you go about your year, you’ll uncover more aspects of your dreams and goals to add to your board.

How to make a vision board with Nitika Chopra

Step 4: Hang your board someplace you’ll see it often.

Some people like to make their vision board small to keep it at work. Others have it next to the mirror in the bathroom so they see it when they brush their teeth. For me, seeing it on my wall right before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning is the best.

 How to make a vision board with Nitika Chopra

Bonus step: Feel it and be it.

Now that you’ve tapped into what you really want and can see it everyday, allow yourself to meditate on these visions by consistently imagining them as real. The more excited you get about what you want to create, the more likely you’ll be to attract it into your life.

Michelle Goldblum, founder of Soul Camp, shares her vision boarding success: "Back in 2014 when we were first dreaming up Soul Camp, we wrote out a list of all of the instructors we would love to have teaching and speaking. We wrote out a list of all of our favorite healthy snacks. And we wrote out a list of companies that used the word SOUL in their name that we would love to have sponsor us. Every single instructor on that list was a part of Soul Camp 2014. Our canteen was overflowing with kale chips and almond butter, and Huffington Post GPS for the Soul and Soul Pancake sponsored us."

So about those scissors and tape? And if you want more info on creating an epic vision board, I created these three videos that my clients said really helped them get the hang of it.

And here's the latest (and super healthy) way women are getting a career boost that you've got to try. And these successful women swear by these practices for powering their careers

All photos: Nitika Chopra for Well+Good

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