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Why you should make a vision board before the new year — and how to get started

Whether you're already into vision boards or you’re more skeptical (like I was), here's how to make the exercise work for you.
How to create a vision board MAIN
I was skeptical about vision boards ... until I made my own last year. TODAY illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TMRW

As a health and wellness coach, I've learned about the importance of a vision board in many trainings. But since I'm not a huge arts and crafts person, I never really incorporated a vision board into my own routine or into that of my clients.

My vision board from last year lived on my dresser for months.Stephanie Mansour

Except for last year, when I made a vision board on a whim that I kept on my dresser for months. I swear that it helped crystalize a vision that was engrained in my imagination even when it wasn't in plain sight.

It was such a creative and fun way to think about my goals. I found more out-of-the-box images and words that I wouldn't normally think of when writing out resolutions in a journal. It felt like I was using a totally different part of my brain to come up with my goals.

So whether you're already into vision boards or you’re more skeptical (like I was until last year), here's how to use a vision board to create a focused New Year’s resolution.

1. Pick your vision’s vision

Get magazines, books or online images that you can easily access. Some people like to do this on Pinterest, while others like hard copies. Personally, I like hard copies of magazines to search for images and sayings that I can then cut and paste onto a physical board; other people may like to create a virtual vision board.

2. Get a base

Whether it's cardboard, a virtual board or a piece of paper, determine what the base of your board is going to be.

3. Make a resolution

Think of a few sentences that describes your resolution, whether it's about creating habits, being more carefree, putting nourishing foods into your body, doing a regular workout, finding a partner, etc. Last year, mine was: "I enjoy eating and cooking healthy foods that nourish my body. I am dating my future husband who loves to play tennis with me. I take relaxing vacations and love being in loving relationships with my family and friends."

4. Hunt and gather

Search through magazines or online images and start tearing things out that speak to your resolution. For example, I picked out a tennis racquet, a green juice, a picture of Venus Willians (hello, in-shape superstar!), a vacationing couple and words that stood out to me. Make sure to clip anything and everything that speaks to you — it’s better to have too much than too little!

5. Put the pieces together

Now that you’ve gathered all of your pictures, it’s time to put them on your board. They can overlap, be in a random order or even hang off the edge of the board. If you like things neat and proper, maybe you’ll want to keep things within their own space and not have any ripped edges. So cut your photos into the shapes that you’d like. See what fits where and have fun with it. Remember that this process is supposed to be fun and help your brain think about resolutions in a creative way. Think: Less rigidity, more freedom.

6. Delete, edit and display

Re-read your resolution. If you do have too many images, discard any that don’t evoke the feelings you want to experience once you achieve your resolution. Then decide where you want to place your vision board.

Perhaps it’s tucked away with your yoga mat so that each time you go to practice, you’ll look at your vision board. Or maybe you’re like me and you’ll keep it on your dresser for a few months. It can also go on your fridge, in your desk, on your bathroom mirror, as the background of your phone or really anywhere! The point is to use the vision board to help you feel more excited about your goals and everything to come this year.