What should your vision board include? (Plus a simple vision board checklist)


When it comes to creating a vision board, you start with a blank canvas that you can use to create a vision of any goals you want to achieve in a given timeframe.

It may seem like having a blank canvas to create any image you’d like gives you a LOT of opportunity, but many people find that having too much creative freedom with no constraints stifles their creativity instead of enhancing it.

Your vision board should include the goals you want to set, images and quotes that represent those goals, words that resonate with who you want to become and an aesthetic that appeals to you. The major rule for creating a vision board is to set your intentions before finding your inspirational words and images because your vision board should be driven by what you want to create in the world, not enhanced or altered by influences from magazines or social media.

Many people wonder what should they put on their vision board. I asked my blog readers for their top tips for creating your vision board. In this article, I’m going to share what to do (and what not to do) when you’re creating inspiration for your goals.

Your intentions for the future.

A vision board is a visual representation of your goals, future accomplishments, pie-in-the-sky dreams and feelings you want to incorporate into your life moving forward. Vision boards are a great way to set your intentions for the year and have an inspirational companion through your journey on the way to accomplishing your goals.

You can create a vision board for your life, which will include goals for the different areas of your life you want to focus on. Alternatively, you can create goals specific to one area of your life. For example, I create a relationship vision board with my significant other every year.

I’ve also hosted vision board workshops for companies that want to help their employees and teams create a vision for their careers.

Start with defining whether the vision board you’re creating will represent your whole life or just one, focused area.

Aspirational accomplishments, feelings and purchases.

The goals you represent on your vision board should fall into three main categories: accomplishments, feelings and tangible items.

You can ask these questions to explore the goals you want to set.

What DO you want to accomplish?

These are the tangible goals that you have your heart set on accomplishing like completing your master’s program and receiving your degree, publishing your first book, launching your podcast, etc. There’s a clear metric on reaching this goal like a degree, award or book.

How DO you want to feel?

Imagine you’ve reached the end of the year (or whatever your goal horizon is) and you are proud of who you are and you’ve accomplished every goal you had your heart set on. How do you feel about yourself? In this case, you want to add feeling words. Maybe you feel powerful, satisfied, hopeful, joy or at peace.

What DO you want to own?

Maybe there’s something you want to purchase by the end of the year. Maybe you want a new car, home or dream vacation.

Once you’ve decided on the goals you want to set with your vision board, it’s time to move on.

A few SMART goals for important life areas

With nearly unlimited options on the goals you can set, it’s difficult to narrow down your options. Some goal suggestions:

  • Personal Finance: Creating a budget, saving more money, automating your investing or understanding your taxes.

  • Career: Finding a new job, asking for a raise, or switching careers.

  • Education: Learning a new skill, earning a new degree or taking a class to develop a hobby.

  • Fitness/Health: Taking walks, going to the gym, eating food that work well with your body, etc.

  • Adventure/Self-care: Taking a trip, starting a new hobby or

  • Spirituality: Attending church, learning about a new religion, etc.

  • Relationships: Better communication with loved ones, spending time with friends

It’s important to remember that these are important areas of your life that you CAN set goals in. You don’t have to set goals in all of these areas if you don’t feel compelled to. Honestly, it’s better if you choose 3-4 areas of your life to set larger goals in and work towards that goal over time.

Be Cautious - It’s easy to set lots of goals (like a ton). But when you set lots of goals you’re not doing the hard work of choosing what really matters. You have limited time, resources and energy to put towards any individual goal. And when you have too many, it’s easy to spread your resources too thin. This may lead to burnout, overwork and never really making it to the finish line for any of the goals we’ve set.

In your process of creating your vision board, set only the goals you want to happen in a short timeframe, usually a year. Focus on what’s most important to you right now and ignore the areas of your life where you feel you already have it all together or you don’t care to make improvements at this point in your life.

It’s ok to say you’re not interested in working on every single area of your life...if that will allow you to focus on what matters most. 

Images, quotes and words of intention

So far, we’ve only talked about setting the goals and intentions, we have not yet begun adding anything to our blank canvas. I hope you have lots of big ideas and focused goals to represent visually on your board.

Gather magazines, personal photos, vision board photo books and word art books to begin cutting out images and words for your vision board. If you’re creating a digital vision board, you can simply use Google or other image sites to find images for your vision board.

Cut out all of the images that resonate with your goals on first glance. Don’t worry about choosing the best and perfect images right now. This stage is just for image gathering. You’ll have plenty of time to curate and design the clippings later on.

Inspirational and thoughtful design

This vision board will be your goal-focused companion as you work towards your different goals. Once you have a pile of images, it’s important to organize your images and words to match an aesthetic that draws you in, engages you and inspires you.

I like to group images associated with the same goal.

For example, imagine I’m creating a vision board with the goal to sing more, save money and spend time with family. On the vision board, I will group the photos that represent the singing goals together on the board on the left, the saving money goals on the right of the board and the family goals in the middle.

There is no wrong way to structure your vision board. Some people like to group similar colors or only cut out images that are colors they like. Many people want to cut out images of people who look like them.

A Simple Vision Board Checklist

The vision board checklist below will help you stay on track with all the goals you want to set in the vision board you want to create. While I’ve included all life areas here in the checklist, remember that you should only set goals in the areas that matter to you.

Once you’ve found your images that represent each of the items on the list below and placed them on your board (or determined you do not want to add that item), check it off the list!

Goals for Life Areas

Feelings, Tangibles and Affirmations

In closing, keep your vision board where you can see it. Add to it, take items away, rearrange images and most importantly….keep making time to achieve your important goals!

Want To Start Planning Your Vision Board Party or Workshop? 


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!