The word ‘vision board’ often conjures images of a poster board covered with cut out magazine photos and quotes. These handmade vision boards can be fun and effective, but if it’s hanging on your closet door while you’re out living your life, its benefit is wasted.
What if you could carry your vision board with you everywhere? What if you could look at it throughout the day to help you make better choices? What if you could look at it when you’re feeling challenged? Well, you can do all these things with a digital vision board.
Imagine your goal is to run a 10K this year, but you’re tired and contemplating skipping a training run. In this moment of weakness, you could pull out your vision board and remember why you’re running in the first place.
Imagine your goal is to save for that vacation to Paris next year, but you’ve just noticed a bag you’ve been eyeing is on sale and you’re tempted to buy it. Before you reach for your credit card, you could first reach for your vision board to make sure that’s what you want.
But first, what is a digital vision board?
A digital vision board is just a version of that vision board in digital format. There are several vision board apps that can help you make a vision board without magazines.
Read on to learn how to create a digital vision board on your phone.
5 Steps for Creating a Digital Vision Board
Step 1: Set your intention.
“The secret of life is knowing what you want and asking for it.”
– Lailah Gifty Akita
Make your intention as specific is possible. Instead of saying, “I want to get in shape”, think specifically of what ‘getting in shape’ means to you.
Does that mean running a 5K by the end of the year? Does it mean finally reaching your ideal weight, whatever that is?
The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to visualize a clearer result and process.
Imagine a jigsaw puzzle scattered in front of you, but the puzzle box top is nowhere to be found. You remember seeing it before – there was something purple, some stars, and something yellow. Assembling the puzzle will feel like vague guess work. Now, imagine you know the finished puzzle is a picture of a purple cow jumping over a yellow moon. Your task becomes much easier.
Step 2: Choose a tool to create your vision board.
“We change our tools and then our tools change us.”
– Jeff Bezos
To create a digital vision board on your computer, you can use online tools like Canva, PicMonkey or PicStitch. Better yet, find an app for your phone that specializes in creating vision boards. Having your vision board on your phone enables you integrate your goal into your life and routine. A portable vision board can serve as a source of motivation at a moment where you may be struggling. Having your vision board on your phone also makes it easy to add to, such as when you want to add a photo of a small win.
Our app, Horizons, is a free digital vision board app that lets you quickly and easily create multiple vision boards in seconds. Try Horizons or do a search in the App Store of your choice for ‘vision board.’ Find an app that you like and would look forward to opening. The more you can use your vision board, the more it will help you grow.
Step 3. Add images and quotes that illustrate your intention.
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
– Pablo Picasso
Look for photos and quotes that will inspire and motivate you as you work towards you goal. Another big advantage of a digital vision board is that you don’t need to buy and cut up magazines anymore. You can find photos instantly on your phones.
Use photos from your own photo library or search for photos online. Try doing a photo search at places like Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay. If illustration is more your thing, places like ArtStation have millions of high quality artworks. Our app, Horizons, has an integrated search feature with Unsplash. You can search their gorgeous collection of photos and add them to your board with a tap.
You can even just save or screenshot images you come across online that speak to you. This goes for quotes and quote art, too. Visions boards are a great place to keep all of the visual content that speaks to you and your journey.
As you look for content, think about the questions below. Try to find photos or quotes that illustrate your responses:
Questions to consider:
- What will achieving this goal look like?
- How will I feel when I achieve this goal?
- How will I celebrate it?
- What’s the first step, and what comes after that?
- What help will I need?
- What skills will I need to improve?
- What kind of person do I need to become to achieve this goal?
- How will I track my progress?
- What challenges might I face and how can I overcome them?
- Will having a timeline motivate me?
Keep in mind, the goal of a vision board should be to visualize not only the glorious result, but also the process that makes up the journey. Your board board should represent both the good parts AND the challenging parts.
Why include the not-so-fun stuff? If you’ve visualized a roadblock along the way, and then that road block appears, you’re already prepared for it mentally.
Step 4: Look at your board daily. Make it a habit.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
– James Clear, Atomic Habits
Look at your board at least once a day.
Looking it at the start of the day, perhaps while you’re having your morning coffee, is a great way to remind yourself of your goals as you set your intentions for the day.
If you’ve created a digital vision board on your phone, set a reminder to look at it during the day. If you can look at it multiple times a day, even better.
It’s in the looking at your vision board that the magic happens, where the vision comes to life.
The more you look at your board, the more you can identify with the vision you’ve created.
The more you can identify with the person you’re trying to become, the more you will ACT like that person.
Step 5: Make a plan. Take action.
“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.”
– Antoine de Saint Exupery
Think about the puzzle analogy again, that purple cow jumping over a yellow moon.
If you know what the final picture is, you can ask yourself what piece will you start with first? Is it the yellow moon? Or a part of the purple cow? Or maybe start on the puzzle border, that’s a pretty standard approach.
There’s no right answer because they’re all right. The best answer is the action you know you can do now.
Start with something easy that you know you can do. Then simply ask yourself, what’s next? Create your plan from there. You don’t need to create a long, winding list of to-dos to check off. Start with small mini-goals.
If your goal is to run a 5K and you’ve never run before, start with a new pair of running shoes and some running gear. Find a place you’d enjoy running and then get out there. Even if it’s only running 10 minutes once a week, work your way up from there.
If you need to start out walking, work on your steps, and eventually go for longer walks. When it becomes too easy, make it more challenging. Try hitting 5000 steps a day for a week.
Achieving a goal is a process. It won’t happen overnight. Use your vision board to help you envision a lifestyle that is focused on helping you achieve your goals.
Visit your board daily. Try to think and act as if your goal has already been achieved. This subtle change can shift your mindset and your behavior.
Don’t feel like running today even though you planned to? Look at your board and ask yourself what a person training for a 5K would do. Only logged 4000 steps today and would rather watch Netflix than go for one last walk after dinner? Look at your board and ask yourself what a healthy person (you) would do.
Use your vision board to help you not only visualize, but to remind you of your ‘why.’
And finally, enjoy the journey.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe
As you work towards whatever it is you’re striving for, take time to celebrate the fact that you’re even on your journey. You’ve taken the hardest step, beginning. As you progress, take time to reflect on where you started and where you are now. Look back, appreciate, and celebrate the big wins AND the small wins.
It’s these little victories and the lessons we learn along the way that will shape us into our wonderful future selves.