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Pictures with torn edges represent New Year’s resolutions: They show travelers and foreign city skylines, friends helping one another and things people can do to be healthy.
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Vision boards: How to collage with purpose

Turn New Year’s resolutions from good intentions to reality with this fun-to-make tool that can double as constant motivation.

Turn New Year’s resolutions from good intentions to reality with this fun-to-make tool that can double as constant motivation.

If Your New Year’s resolutions tend to fizzle, making a vision board could give your 2023 goals the extra oomph required to turn them into a reality.

A vision board is an ultrapersonalized collage of photos, quotes, art, magazine clippings or anything you choose to represent your goals, passions and dreams. The process of making one is a helpful way to check in with yourself and define your objectives. Once you make and display your board where you can see it every day, it serves as a visual reminder of your resolutions.

At the end of her first year, sophomore Lauren Gonzalez created a digital vision board through her involvement in Ohio State’s Avanzando through College program, which helps Latino students succeed. As a goal-oriented student, she enjoyed the process of making her board and continues to use it as her computer background.

The native of San Antonio, Texas, chose to put a photo of her family at the center of her collage, which grounds her and reminds her to keep going when she misses home, she says. Next, she searched out pictures of law schools she is considering, organizations she wants to work for and places she cares about.

“I really loved doing it digitally because I learned more about the things as I was researching and that gave me a better reason to put them on the vision board,” Gonzalez says.

After reflecting and researching, her board evolved to a collage packed full of opportunities she wants in the future as well as references to what inspires her.

Her best advice for people undertaking their own: Don’t focus on the aesthetics. Instead, make it meaningful to you.

Interested in making one? Vision boards can be something you create digitally (websites such as Canva are an option) or something you piece together at your kitchen table with scissors, glue and old magazines, personal photos or other items. Some people prefer to use poster board and others, a cork or magnetic board. Whichever way you go, choose the form you’re most likely to see again and again throughout the year.

What’s most essential is the thought you put into your vision board to make it something that excites you.

Tips for success

Reflect on what you’re passionate about and what your goals or resolutions are: What motivates you the most? What are your core values? What do you want to achieve?

Once you have a few ideas, begin to search for pictures or words that reflect them.

Felling stuck? Vision boards don’t have to include a specific life plan. Gonzalez suggests thinking about an emotion or feeling you want to have. Or an outcome that will result from succeeding at your resolution. Pictures or quotes that represent that feeling are perfect for your board.

Not sure how to arrange your board? Try putting the image most important to you in the center and working outward.

Put your board in a place you will often see it. You can even set it as your computer or phone background.

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