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When I first learned about vision/inspiration boards years ago, I was a major skeptic. I didn’t see how cutting images out of a magazine could actually lead to any sort of substantive clarity — until it did. The simple act of letting your mind and heart react to things and collect them without judgement or a clear goal ended up leading me to important ideas and decisions I hadn’t realized would be so important to me. Sometimes these boards have been the reminder that I was ready to dig into a new work project; sometimes they’ve been a loud and clear voice that says, “You want to spend more time away from working.” Every person is different, every stage of life is different, and so every board is different. But the best part of making these little projects is that there is no “wrong” way to make one. I find they not only connect me to myself, but they help me connect with my friends and family when I share them, too.

Several of you reached out to me on social media to ask if I would make one last (during my time at Design*Sponge) vision board and share it here today. It sounded like a fun idea, and a nice way for me to mark and memorialize this chapter ending — so this weekend I dove right in! I have no idea what I am going to do after we close this month, but working on this board really helped me clarify what my heart had already been whispering to me: I want to spend more time in nature, with animals, focusing on quality (not quantity) of life and seeing how I can help others do the same. Want to join in? Here’s the (very easy!) way to make your own vision board:

*First: I find it most helpful to go into a vision board with no clear goal. When I’ve done that before, it felt forced. Try to let go of expectations, goals, and ideas of what you think your board should be or how it should look.

  1. Collect a small pile of magazines, newspapers, and any other printed or visual material you find inspiring.
  2. Clip out anything from these materials that grabs or tugs at your heart and mind. DO NOT OVERTHINK IT! There is no “wrong” answer and what may not make sense when you first clip it will have a funny way of making itself understood by the time you go to place things.
  3. Get yourself a large board you can attach things to — I like to use a glue stick on foam core, but you can always use a cork surface and push pins if you want things to be more flexible.
  4. Start grouping and attaching things! I find sometimes I end up creating sections I didn’t predict and then the words or phrases I clip out start feeling right next to certain images. I love when I clip two words or sentences that weren’t together that end up becoming an entire new sentence (with new meaning) when combined.
  5. Feel free to add other pieces that make you happy — like a flower clipping, feather, or a bit of patterned paper. But don’t feel pressured to decorate your board, make it prettier, or neaten it up. This isn’t about creating something for anyone else — it’s about helping you get in touch with what your subconscious is trying to tell you.
  6. Once it’s done, sit back and spend some time with it. Do you notice any themes? Any feelings? Any clear ideas? Again, there’s no right and wrong, just take note. Some parts will reveal themselves to you or make more sense as you spend more time with them. I sometimes share mine with friends and loved ones who notice things I didn’t!
  7. Place your board in a spot where you’ll see it frequently — this will help you stay in touch and stay inspired by the images, words, and feelings you felt drawn to when imagining your future.

This was my first shot at arranging things. It was a mess, but this feels truest to how the images and text all wanted to fit together in my mind…

Then I started gluing and placing items down. Not everything fit, so I had to smoosh or edit or cut some things down a bit.

The finished piece hanging above my dresser. I cleared everything else off the wall to make room. I’d had old vision boards up and realized I needed to make room for a new chapter by letting go of the old. I keep all my old vision boards in the office Julia and I share — I don’t want to forget them, but I think I needed this clearing out to make room for new doors to open.

What I see: A whole lot of nature. A desire to find a calling. Some travel. A desire to feel things, learn things, ask questions and be brave and curious. Now, let’s see where this leads me… xo, Grace



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