START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Vision Boards: Do They Really Work?

  • 1 of 2
Vision Boards: Do They Really Work?

Remember making collages as a kid? Remember the way you leafed through your parents’ old magazines, cutting out your favorite images and words and painstakingly gluing them together on poster board or construction paper? It’s probably been a long time since you’ve created or perhaps even thought about collages and what they used to mean to you. It’s also possible you think of collage-making as a strictly childhood pastime, which is a nicer way of saying that you think it’s childish. But for many people out there who embrace positive thinking and visualization, producing focused versions of collages, called vision boards, is a very important part of adulthood—more specifically, a happy and successful adulthood.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can …

The popularity of vision boards today is largely thanks to the hype surrounding The Secret, a book released in 2006 with an accompanying DVD that centers on the Law of Attraction, which is the idea that your mode of thinking, be it positive or negative, directly affects what the universe puts out there for you. In other words, if you think negatively, your life will only result in negativity. But if you put positive mental energy into the universe, positive outcomes—getting that promotion you wanted or getting out of debt—will happen. At least that’s what The Secret’s followers and other champions of positive thinking believe. It’s kind of like what Thomas the Tank Engine preached: “I think I can, I think I can …”

Creating vision boards is considered a vital step on the train ride to success. Since The Secret posits that positive, focused thinking is the key to achieving goals, pinpointing what those goals are and having something tangible to symbolize them is an essential part of that. As The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vision Boards explains, “[Vision boards] remind us what we should and should not be doing in order to achieve our goals.” The images and phrases that make the board should represent the highest priorities in your life. It reinforces what you’re supposed to focus your mental energy toward in your daily life. Some maintain that being in front of the vision board for a certain amount of time every day is necessary, while others, like O Magazine columnist Martha Beck, suggest that keeping it around is actually unnecessary. She writes that the act of making it is really what keeps the goals in the subconscious.

For some people, it’s surprisingly motivational. Nancy, a guest on Oprah’s “Go Beyond The Secret” episode in 2008, uses a vision board to keep her goals at the forefront of her thoughts. “It’s kind of a verbal and visual articulation of my goals,” she told the audience. “I can remind myself, ‘You need to take actions if you want these goals to show up.’ It’s not a magic trick, really. It’s about you being the person who’s motivated to make that stuff show up.” Whether you’re a Secret fan or simply believe in the power of positive thinking, that aspect of taking action should also be a part of the journey. According to the Complete Idiot’s Guide, “You need to act in order to make the most of your vision board; otherwise, it’s just a wish board—things you wish would happen, but for which you’re not willing to work.”

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Guidance, Inspiration, Self-Help, Spirit, , ,

By Vicki Santillano, DivineCaroline

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Samantha, selected from DivineCaroline

At, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at


+ add your own
10:24AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

I loved making collages when I was younger, and I recently started making some to add color and positivity to my room.

1:46AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

If they work or not, it's not any great consequence. The best part is being positive. It's better than the negative route.

4:41AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

thank you ! I love collage and have gotten into the practice and was mulling over how to expand to make them more inspirational for others--I love this article and the healing quality of the boards like mandalas! Mahalo!

6:06PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

1:02PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

I am actually in the process of making a vision board. For me it is putting together signs of hope as well as goals. No I do not view it as a way to bring life to me because I know that if I want something I need to go and look for it. However, I know that it will be a positive exercise. And that in itself is a step toward my goals.

6:07PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Vision Boarding is indeed only a smaller part of the whole picture - but is is a powerful, succinct reminder of what we are aspiring to..."a picure is worth more than a thousand words".
The Vision Board can be compared to a road sign: It clearly shows the name of a town/city and its distance away etc but you still have to drive there, you still have to take action to get still have to DO something to realise your goal. The secret is to make small steps, consistently, every day.

3:02PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

thinking, be it positive or negative, directly affects what the universe puts out there for you. In other words,

Read more:

11:10AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Well written article, thanks.

3:52AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Thanks ...

2:31AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks, this is useful information. I know how a deficit of B-12 can affect you because I had that …

Quinoa is certainly tasty. There are, as mentioned earlier in the comments, some places now grow…

Thanks for sharing.

Kids should be taught from a very young age to teach them to be kind to animals.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.