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The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

Change Your Life: Create a Vision Board

One way to change your life is to create a vision board. Visualizing your dreams is important towards reaching them.

If you would like to take your life back, part of healing involves moving forward. Yes, grieving is important, but so is moving on; and part of moving on is visualizing the future you want for yourself.  A vision board can help you with that process.

Imagery is very powerful. And what more powerful way to utilize imagery than to use it to visualize the future you want? A vision board is a collection of images, affirmations, dreams, goals, and hopes for your future. Following are instructions on how to create a vision board for yourself.

Pick a Goal

Consider your goals, desires, and dreams.  Write a list of what you want for your future; something positive and good. You can create a vision board for any aspect of your life – personal, physical, psychological, etc. As you start planning your vision board, choose a goal for yourself from any area of your life.

There are many different goals and dreams to consider – dream job, ideal relationship, fear you want to overcome, addiction you want to conquer…

Pick a medium

Once you decide on the basic theme and goal for your vision board, now it’s time to begin planning how to make your vision board. What material is it going to use? Vision boards can be made of paper, poster board, cork board, and can even be electronic, such as a document on your computer.

Pick a location

Where will your vision board be located when finished? It is recommended that you place the vision board somewhere prominent so you can see it every day.

Gather images

You will need images to put on your vision board. These can be pictures or words cut out from magazines, newspapers, photographs or drawings. Try to find images that are inspirational to you; positive images that go along with your chose theme.

Be specific when choosing what goes on your vision board. Pick positive and inspirational words. Use affirmations that you can use as mantras to encourage yourself along the way towards reaching your goals. Keep the tone positive. Do not use the word “not.” For example, rather than saying, “I will not overeat;” say something positive like, “I will practice healthy eating habits daily.” Turn your negative phrases into positive ones. Keep your vision board joyful and happy.

You might want to include a picture of yourself on your board. If you do, find a picture that matches your theme and goal(s) for the board.

Choose a background color

What’s a color that depicts you and/or your dream? Use a color for the background of your board that matches what you want to accomplish.

Create your vision board

Now that you’ve selected your materials, it’s time to get to the fun part and create your board. Start by arranging your pictures and words to develop a plan. Be yourself and don’t try to imitate anyone else. This is yours, for you. Keep your unique style and show it on your vision board. Do not try to match anyone else’s style.

Display your vision board

The purpose of your vision board is to create a visual reminder of your hopes and dreams in order to frequently view it, maintaining your focus and motivation. Whatever you do, place your vision board in a prominent location. Don’t hide it behind something else or leave it laying around haphazardly.

If your vision board is meant to be private for you, that’s fine. Just remember to keep it visual for your eyes alone. You don’t want to forget about it and what it says. Make sure you place it in a private location that you view every day.

In fact, make a commitment to yourself to notice your vision board every day. Study its contents and read its message(s).

While you shouldn’t give up your dreams before you start, understand that life throws roadblocks at us, and that sometimes, try as we might, we simply won’t be able to achieve everything that we desire. If you go into this project thinking that you’ll get results if you do it correctly, and if you then aren’t able to get everything you want, you’re only setting yourself up for self-blame and disappointment, which can lead to depression or lowered self-worth.

Visualize the process of achieving your goals

While you are using your vision board to inspire you, realize that it cannot replace actual work. Your vision board serves as a motivation. In order to accomplish any goal, however, it is important to take action. Visualize yourself taking the necessary action you need to reach your goals.

Change Your Life: Create a Vision Board

Sharie Stines, Psy.D

Sharie Stines, Psy.D. is a recovery expert specializing in personality disorders, complex trauma and helping people overcome damage caused to their lives by addictions, abuse, trauma and dysfunctional relationships. Sharie is a counselor at LIfeline Counseling & Education Inc., in Southern California ( Lifeline Counseling is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) corporation. Sharie is also an abusive relationship recovery coach -


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APA Reference
Stines, S. (2019). Change Your Life: Create a Vision Board. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from