Vision Board: A Tool For Clarity

A vision board provides a tangible, visual representation of goals and dreams. It’s easy to think about our goals as a destination – the challenge is picturing how to get there. Research shows that visual tools play a powerful role in achieving goals. Many athletes, for instance, can manipulate their brains in certain ways simply by visualizing the mechanics of a task. And the potential of visualization reaches far beyond sports. Whether in business or personal life, vision boards can help anyone who wants to turn aspirations into action. So, grab a pencil and let the creative juices flow!

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Table of Contents:

  1. What Is A Vision Board
  2. How Does Visualization Work
  3. Purpose Of A Vision Board
  4. Vision Board Examples
  5. How To Make A Vision Board
  6. What To Put On A Vision Board
  7. Vision Board Checklist
  8. Vision Board Template

What Is A Vision Board

The style of vision boards varies, but there are a few core characteristics that constitute the vision board definition. As the name suggests, there needs to be a physical board. Durable surfaces like poster board or cork work quite well. Vision boards always involve attached pictures, clippings, or mementos. This may sound like a mood board, but there are nuanced differences. Vision boards focus on life purpose while mood boards center on aesthetics planning. Lastly, the vision board definition encompasses a “high traffic” location in your house or room. Daily reminders are important to really kickstart a strong visualization process.

How Does Visualization Work

As a brief aside, let’s quickly examine how visualization works. The human brain is extremely pliable, and when stimulated properly, can accomplish just as much as the body. Think of visualization as mental exercise for the brain. The body’s muscles build strength by lifting weights, and the brain can build cognitive strength by imagining actions – over and over again. Seeing really is believing, and mental rehearsal translates into improved ability when it comes to actually doing something. Many top professionals, from chess masters to boxers, swear by their mental routines.

Purpose Of A Vision Board

Clearly, visual tools are dynamic, but what purpose will a vision board serve in your life? If nothing else, a goal setting vision board prompts self-reflection. We talked about how hard it can be to move past the “daydreaming” phase of goal setting. Organized vision board goals make you really think about what it is you want. Secondly, vision boards remove the sense of inertia that often comes with everyday life. Between work, chores, and other obligations, it is hard to devote time to the purposeful pursuit of goals. Done the right way, a vision board will hold you accountable for things that matter a lot. Finally, vision boards are simply a way to express yourself in a fun, no-strings-attached kind of way. There are no right answers, and your board will surely fire you up on a daily basis. In the sections that follow, you can see some vision board examples, as well as a step-by-step guide.

Vision Board Examples

vision board example

Vision board examples

You can see that it’s simply a visual representation of what you’re wanting in life, work, or relationships. It keeps your target goals in front of you, and gives them a visual that your mind can easily remember.

How To Make A Vision Board

  1. Come up with Goals

Equally important in this step is thinking about prioritization. What is most important to you?

  1. Structure, Structure, Structure

As any good consultant knows, the solution to any ambiguous problem needs a framework. Before you put pen to paper on your vision board, think about the categories of your goals, and how they might appear on the page.

  1. Populate

With a structure in place, find the unique images that belong on your vision board. You can print out pictures from the web, or collect clippings from magazines, brochures, etc.

  1. Self-Audit

Stepping back from your assembled board, does it match the original vision and structure? As we all know, goals are flexible and ever-changing. It’s important to reflect on the accuracy of your vision board as time passes.

  1. Display and Utilize!

Think about a great location for your vision board, and make sure you notice it every day. Practice visualizing every time you see the board to get the most out of it.

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What To Put On A Vision Board

In addition to goals, you may consider putting other things like desires or values on your vision board. Desires differ slightly from goals in that they represent things already in existence that you want. Goals skew more towards the side of “not yet a reality.” Values represent core parts of your being that shine through not only in goals, but in other parts of life (i.e., work and relationships). Again, what you ultimately choose to put on your board is up to you.

Vision Board Checklist

To keep yourself on track, you can keep a vision board checklist. A checklist is especially useful if you choose to keep things off an initial vision board – then add them later as priorities. One way to position a vision board checklist is as a set of questions. Do you have a collection of goals and ideas that inspire you? Have you given thought to how things on the board will manifest in your life? Are you holding yourself accountable over time?

Vision Board Template

The below represents a very rough idea of the types of categories that your vision board might include.

Vision Board Template


The beauty of a vision board comes from customization. We’ve discussed what a vision board is, how visualization works, and the power of visualization. Hopefully, the vision board examples spark some ideas around where vision boards can fit into your life. Personal, goal setting boards are a good place to start, but vision boards apply to the workplace as well. Business vision boards can help companies manage the strategic planning process and drive efficiencies over time. Just remember – conceive, believe, and then achieve!


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Filed Under: Corporate Training