What Magazines Should I Use For My Vision Board? Effective List of Do's and Don'ts

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Every December, I tend to go a little over board with Vision Board Parties (I end up doing about 5 parties every winter). In all my years of creating vision boards with friends, there are some magazines that get passed around the table several times and get picked over and cut up until there are only a few pages left. Then, there are the reject magazines - the ones that no one bothers to touch and even if they haven't completed their boards, and no one wants to take these magazines home.

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How do you decide which magazines to use for your vision board? Us get-it-done-gurus really don't have time to look through crappy magazines, do we? #AintNobodyGotTimeFoThat

Here's a straight-to-the-point list of Do's and Don'ts to help you create your next vision board effectively - with the right magazines. :-)  

Pro Tip: I like to order annual magazine subscriptions for super cheap instead of buying them at the Wal-mart. It's literally a difference of getting 12 issues for $5 or one magazine for $5.99 in the store. I save them in a box throughout the year so I'm super prepared once vision board time rolls around!


The Do's

Magazines with BIG, BOLD images and titles.

Think about how your vision board will be structured. You want a combination of visuals and text that represent what you want to achieve throughout the year. Selectively flipping through magazines BEFORE you buy will give you a good feel for the magazine's layout and style.


Use magazines that align with your goals for the year.

I always recommend setting your goals before you create your vision board. Knowing your vision and goals ahead of time keeps you from suffering from shiny object syndrome when everyone around you is setting lofty goals that sound really cool but have nothing to do with YOUR vision.

The other benefit to knowing your goals before creating your vision board is that now you can be effective in choosing your magazines.

For example, if you know you're setting big money goals like paying down your student loan debt, you can shy away from the home decor magazines and go straight for the jugular (ahem.. I mean Money magazines).

 Here are the BEST magazines for each of your goals: 

Travel: Sunset magazine ticks all the boxes. You'll find beautiful waters, elegant homes and beautiful designs that would make Martha Stewart herself proud. Get a subscription to Sunset for $0.31 an issue.


Style: From this seasons greatest to what's next in the fashion world, Instyle Magazine will give you everything you need to speak your future SLAY into existence. Get a subscription to InStyle for $0.92 an issue


Fitness: My favorite is Women's Health Magazine mainly because they talk about fitness, but with a more well rounded spin (and it doesn't make you feel like a total pile of flab). It's the fitness mag for the average women.  Snag a six-month subscription to this magazine for $.80 an issue.


Parenting: You really can't go wrong with Parents Magazine. They cover all things parenting for all ages and stages. You can get your fill on how to raise your kids, budget with kids, dress your kids and do arts and crafts with your kids all in one mag. 

The best part is the price tag. You can get a 2-year monthly subscription for $7.99 (That's $0.33 an issue! Seriously, why does anyone buy magazines at full price?) 


Money: If you're working towards some money goals, Kiplinger’s personal finance magazine will have everything you need! You will get tips on pretty much everything from savings, to investing, to budgeting, to retirement. 


Business: For the latest and greatest in all things business, there is no magazine that does it better than Forbes. You'll get all the most innovative entrepreneurs, what's coming up next in technology and an insider look into up and coming startups. 


Melanin: Without a doubt, you must show up with the latest Essence Magazine. They've been dominating the melanin magazine world forever with no signs of slowing down. With a price tag at $0.91 an issue, the annual subscription to Essence is a no-brainer.


Celebrity gossip magazines.

Trust me on this one... The gossip magazines come in handy when you want to put your she-ro on your vision board. If you want Rihanna, Beyonce or Michelle Obama, she will be in the gossip magazine - every week - slaying. (My fav is Us Weekly)


Anything Oprah.

Every issue of the O magazine is vision board gold. It doesn't matter if you get the most recent copy or an older issue, the layout of this magazine was created to inspire your inner creator, builder, and lover of life. (Yes, all of that was necessary.. and true.) You can't go wrong with the O magazine so if you're standing in line at the Walmart and you can't make a decision, buy 2 O magazines. #truth

Get a subscription to the O Magazine for just 3.99 for the year. (That's 0.50 cents an issue.)


The Don'ts

Time and The New Yorker.

I don't care if your goal is to become more learned and intellectual - these magazines will definitely help you do that. What these magazines won't do is give you that magical one-liner in a big, bold beautiful font that you can put on your vision board and glance at from afar. The wording here is brilliant, glorious… and tiny. It will not serve your vision board well, my friend. 


Retail Store catalogs

OK - I have been to several vision board parties where people just grab the catalogs that have been sent to their house all year and bring them to the vision board party. Yes, on occasion, people are just looking for a well-dressed person to put on their board. However, your J.Crew catalog hardly cuts it for most people's big hairy audacious goals. I promise you that Michelle Obama waving in a fab dress most of us can't afford will make it on the board instead. #WeDreamDifferent


Free city magazines from the grocery store

No explanation necessary. 

Crafting your vision board, whether you're by yourself or with a fab group of ladies, is a time of reflection on the successes of the past and a moment to dream about future possibilities. Choosing the right magazines gives you the opportunity to brainstorm and share stories with uninterrupted inspiration. 


Want To Start Planning Your Vision Board Party? 

  1. Download the FREE vision board party planning checklist.

  2. Craft your inspiring vision board workshop talk with our FREE High Impact Storytelling Journal Prompts

  3. Plan, promote & host your first (or next) professional & profitable vision board workshop with our signature course, Sold Out Vision Board Parties.

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Cyrene is a fun and accomplished workshop facilitator, learning and development guru and Human Resources professional. Being at the helm of Thrive Lounge has been a long-time dream. Through vision board workshops she plans to accomplish two-way learning. Sharing her vast years of knowledge to motivate and encourage others; while simultaneously getting the reward of great energy, ideas and questions to ponder back from each group. A super win-win. Please join our Thrive Lounge community so you too can benefit!