Written by Madeline Kalu
I first discovered vision boards through a series of YouTube videos from Terri Savelle Foy on the subject. For those of you who may not know her, Terri Savelle Foy is a Christian motivational speaker and life coach.
Listening to Terri’s testimonies on how she used vision boards to realize her goals, motivated me to find out how vision boards could help me achieve mine.
Therefore, l went up to my attic early last year and found an old corkboard that was standing forgotten in the corner. I cut out the letters “Vision” and pasted photos of the dreams and goals l wanted to achieve for that year; accompanied by each photo l wrote a declaration of achievement such as “I will have an article published by Crosswalk.com this year”.
Did it work?
Not only did Crosswalk.com publish an article l wrote, but l was also approached by Christianity.com to write an article for them. Consequently, I have been writing for both online magazines for about nine months now. Additionally, l was asked this month to become part of the writing team for YMI Magazine.
Vision boards work, and l am not the only one who thinks so: Christian Celebrities such as Steve Harvey and Adrienne Houghton claim that using vision boards helped them achieve their dreams and goals.
What is a vision board?
So, what is a vision board?
A vision board, otherwise known as a dream board, is a visualization tool that uses selected collages and verbal incentives on a board that act to clarify your dreams and goals, as well as keep you motivated and focused to achieve them.
Why do vision boards work?
Vision boards work as they:
- help you identify and specify the dreams and goals you want to achieve
- keep you motivated to make these dreams and goals a reality
- are a constant visual reminder of your intentions to improve your life
Do l need to use a board to visualize my dreams and goals?
Having a vision board hung in a prominent position in your home or your office is an effective way to self-motivate and keep your attention on your intentions.
However, a vision board doesn’t have to be made out of corkboard for it to be effective.
You can also create your own unique digital vision boards. Online tools such as PicMonkey and Canva enable you to create beautiful vision boards that you can store on your desktop or device, or download onto your phone.
You can also use Pinterest to create a board and “pin” photos, images, scriptures, and inspirational quotes on it.
The advantage of a digital vision board is that you can motivate yourself whenever and wherever you want to: at work, at the gym, or in the doctor’s waiting room. You can even re-focus on your life goals by referring to your vision board while you wait in the supermarket queue!
Whatever way you choose to design your board, the main thing to consider is that it should be kept in a place where you have constant visual access to it.
Are vision boards biblical?
It is a common assumption that vision boards work on the principle of the law of attraction, that is, that your mind works like a magnet to attract positive or negative things into your life, according to your mindset.
However, the Bible states that we attract what we think:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Proverbs 23:7 (AMP)
God advocates the necessity of having a vision – a revelation over our lives. Look at Proverbs 29:18:
“Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained.”
The key point to note here is that vision and revelation should come from God and His Word.
Furthermore, in Habakkuk 2:2, it states that we should write down our visions and revelations:
‘“Then the LORD answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on (clay) tablets so that the ones who reads it will run.”’
Though some argue that vision boards center around the self through the pursuit of one’s own interests, a vision board can actually be an effective tool to visualize the dreams and goals that God has put in your heart, if the fulfilment of His will is our incentive, and not our self-interest.
In order to achieve this, we need to seek God’s presence through supplication and prayer and keep Him as our first priority.
Is it superficial or materialistic of me, if l want to improve the quality of my life?
A desire to increase one’s personal wealth and acquire material possessions is a common association that is made when we approach the topic of making goals and achieving our dreams. And that is understandable, as we live in a broken world, whose value system is based on self-interest, materialism, and superficiality.
God is not at the center of such pursuits.
However, what if you had an ardent wish to be healed of a terminal illness? Or to heal a deep rift in your family? What if your biggest dream was to have a baby?
You may also be very unhappy with your current job situation, or you would love to start your own Christian ministry.
Would you seek God in prayer and ask Him to help make such matters of the heart a reality?
Yes, you would.
Dreams and goals do not have to be necessarily financially or materialistically orientated.
That being said, that doesn’t mean that we can’t ask God to help make our financial ambitions a reality.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary was not only to pay the bond price for our sins and thereby secure us an eternal position at His side in Heaven. Jesus also came that we may have a fruitful life during our time on earth:
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”
What remains important is that our dreams and goals are in keeping with God’s will for our lives. Therefore, staying in constant communication with God through seeking His presence in prayer and in our quiet time with Him should be our first priority, not only as goal makers, but as Christians too.
What is the difference between a dream and a goal?
A dream is an aspiration that has set itself in your heart. It is a vision you have of your future self – a healthier, happier, fulfilled self. You yearn for it and think about it on a regular basis; you hope and even believe it will happen, but you’re not sure when.
And that’s good, because we can turn our dreams into goals.
By attaching a deadline to them.
A goal is a dream with a projected timeline. Goals are something you act upon. It requires a plan to make them a reality.
What are the most common dreams and goals that people aspire to?
The following is a chart that depicts the most common dreams and goals that people want to achieve:
What you will need to create your own vision board for 2020
So, now that you know what a vision board is and how it can help you manifest your dreams and goals, you’ve decided that you would like to take the plunge and create your own vision board.
First of all, spend some time in prayer and ask God for revelation of the dreams and goals He has put in your heart. Have a notebook with you in order that you can write down your thoughts and dreams as God reveals them to you.
After you have determined your dreams and goals, it’s time to put them onto your board!
Here’s what you need to get started:
A board: A corkboard is ideal to use as a vision board, because you can pin your dreams and goals on them and then take them off easily and replace them with new ones. However, you can also use a whiteboard, a poster board, or a flip chart if you prefer.
Pictures: Use pictures that graphically describe the dream or goal you want to achieve. Pin or glue your pictures next to the dreams and goals you write on your board. For example, if you are believing God for a baby, find pictures of baby clothing, a nursery, and a crib and paste it next to your goal.
You can find pictures online, in magazines, or in brochures. You can even use postcards and pamphlets. Alternatively, you can create your own pictures digitally or draw them freehand.
Adhesive: Use map pins, drawing pins, sellotape, double-sided tape, or glue to adhere everything onto your vision board.
Writing implements: Write your goals on your board with permanent markers, whiteboard pens, or other pens of your choice. You can even cut out letters from magazines or use letter stencils.
What else you will need:
- paper or card to write your goals on
If you would like a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own vision board, click here to watch Terri Savelle Foy’s YouTube video on how she sets up her own vision board.
Customize your vision board:
The beauty of a vision board is that you can customize it to suit your tastes and preferences.
The following are some ideas on how you can customize your vision board:
Additionally, you can decorate your vision board according to your tastes with the following:
- Washi tape
- Ribbons and colorful bands
I know that this feels like a kickback to your childhood, when you made your own poster presentations, but you’ll be amazed at how your visionary mindset is ignited once you get your creative juices flowing.
You can also purchase vision board kits that provide you with printables such as scriptures, quotations, and affirmations with which you can customize your vision board.
However you decide to design you board is up to you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect; you’re creating a visualization tool, you’re not trying to be the next Picasso. Just have fun being creative!
Make the most out of your 2020 vision board
The following are some tips to help you make the most of your 2020 vision board:
Make specific goals
If you make unspecific goals, you are going to achieve unspecific results. Therefore, instead of writing on your vision board “I want to lose weight this year”, write down, “I will lose 10 pounds by July 1st”. Instead of writing, “I want to spend more time with God”, you can write, “I will get up 20 minutes earlier every morning and pray and have fellowship with God”.
Additionally, another way you can set specific goals is to do some research and find out exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals.
For example, if your goal is to come of out debt in 2020, ring your bank and find out how much you actually owe. Then write that number on your vision board. If your dream is to save up for a holiday, research how much the plane fares, hire car etc. are going to cost you so that you can have that number in front of you every time you look at your vision board.
Don’t set more than 10 goals
Setting too many goals can cause us to lose focus and it can also overwhelm us. Therefore, choose 10 goals to place on your vision board and concentrate on achieving them. Every time you reach one of those ten goals, you can always replace it with a new one.
As we established earlier, the difference between a dream and turning it into a goal that you intend to achieve, is by setting a deadline.
A good tip is not to set all your deadlines for December 31st, as the time span between now and then is so long, that you won’t be motivated to start achieving your goals until the end of this year, thereby putting yourself under unnecessary pressure. Making different deadlines will help you manage your goal setting and give you a sense of accomplishment as you tick each goal off as you progress through the year.
If you don’t achieve your goal by the set deadline, don’t worry – just make a new deadline and keep striving towards making your goals a reality. The main thing is to complete the race and claim the prize; it doesn’t matter how long it takes to cross over the finish line.
Make your deadlines realistic
An acquaintance of mine has a goal to read 52 motivational books by the end of this year. That is certainly an admirable intention, but that means he has to read an average of 1 book a week, which puts a lot of pressure on him.
However, what if he was to make a goal of reading 12 books a year? It’s a lot less than 52, but it means that he can read one book a month. And to have read 12 books in one year is still an achievement, isn’t it?
Additionally, break down your goals into smaller, doable increments. Having a goal to read 12 books in one year still sounds like a lot of discipline is required. However, when you see that it means that you only need to read one book a month, then that reading goal suddenly seems more feasible to achieve.
Another good tip, if you are making a vision board for the first time, is to make goals that you can see yourself achieving within 12-18 months; that way you can achieve a sense of accomplishment within a shorter period of time that will motivate you to pin further dreams and goals onto your vision board.
Keep your vision board visible
Now that you have made your vision board, you want to keep the goals and dreams that you intend to achieve at the forefront of your mind. Looking at your vision board daily will constantly remind you of how you want to change your life for the better; if your vision board is out of your direct sight, the desire for change will lose importance for you.
Hence, hang your board in a place that you have daily access to, such as your kitchen, or next to your bathroom sink.
If you have a digital vision board, save it onto your computer desktop or use it as your phone’s screensaver.
Pray over your vision board
On a daily basis, stand in front of your board and pray for God’s will, favor, and guidance for each of your dreams and goals.
We may have great plans for our life, but God always knows what is best for us; therefore, we should lean on Him and trust Him to guide our steps for the outcomes He believes will best serve us.
“A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life],
But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”
Speak positive declarations over your dreams and visions
In Joshua 6:20, the Israelites shouted in victory before they saw the walls of the city of Jericho fall down. In Acts 16:22-26, Paul and Silas praised God whilst fettered in prison chains before He freed them. In 2 Chronicles 20:20-24, King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites danced and praised the Lord in victory, as they saw a triune of enemy forces approach them.
There is tremendous spiritual power that is released when you declare your dreams and goals to be achieved before you have even seen them manifest. You are also showing God that you trust Him to fulfil the plans and promises He has spoken over you.
‘ Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord, “just what you have spoken in My hearing I will most certainly do to you.”‘
Therefore, declare your dreams and visions aloud in the present tense e.g. “My dream start-up is up and running”, “I am a mother”, “I am healed of anxiety and depression”, “My ministry reaches millions and gives them hope in Christ”. By speaking in the present tense, you are declaring that you see your intentions becoming a reality now, and not sometime in the vague distance future.
To assist you in speaking positive declarations over your God-inspired dreams and goals, you can pin positive Christian affirmations on your vision board and read them aloud.
Update your vision board yearly
Even if you have not reached your goals by the year’s end, make a new vision board at the start of every year.
You can always carry over your unfinished goals onto your new board; however, add some fresh dreams and goals as well, in order to motivate and encourage you to live the best life that God wants you to live.
Spread the vision
Encourage your family and loved ones to make their own vision boards and thereby bring the dreams and goals that God has put on their hearts to fulfilment.
You and a friend could also sit down with a cup of coffee and some baked treats and make an afternoon of it creating your own vision boards.
Better still, invite your family, neighbors, and even your colleagues over for a vision board party! If you would like ideas on how to host your own vision board party, click here.
Teach your children how to set their own goals through vision boards
A vision board is also a great tool to teach kids and adolescents goal setting; additionally, reaching their goals will give kids such a sense of accomplishment and improve their self-confidence.
There are also great vision board kits for children that provide colorful and fun materials that will engage your child and motivate them to create their own vision board.
Vision boards are a great tool to help you achieve the dreams and goals that God has placed on your heart.
We hope you enjoy creating your own vision board with the information you learned from this article. Feel free to share your designs and achievements with us in the comment section below!
With many blessings,
Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband Solomon. Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.