Dream It, Design It, Live It

Create Your Very Own Dream Board or Vision Board

Sarah Hughes, Gold Metal Skater, had hers at age six. Joseph Campbell, author, found his after visiting the Museum of History in NYC.  At age 4, Oprah Winfrey remembers watching her grandmother washing clothes by boiling them – Oprah “knew” then her life would be different.  They all found something that raised their inner vibrations, their passion — and created a vision.

People who live their visions always seem to have time to do the things they want to do – we often call them “go getters!”  They’re focused, make decisions easily and smile often.  And they’re flexible – they don’t get “stuck” in their vision and miss better opportunities.  As Joseph Campbell said, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

And you’re not limited to just one vision.  People are living full lives into their 80s and 90s, something unheard of just a few generations ago.  With continued opportunities to grow and evolve, we can create several visions over a lifetime. I can give you an example…I loved working on a trading desk on Wall Street and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.  But 20 years later, I  found another passion – consulting and coaching.  And when I added speaking internationally to my business, I found just the right mixture to keep me motivated into the next 20 years!

If you want to live in a way that empowers and motivates you, it’s time to create a vision.  Make it simple but remember that the hallmark of a vision promotes action.  You must get it out of your head, onto paper, and into your life!  Here are some ways to create a vision.

Design a dream board — a collage of images of what you’d love to have and make of your life. Below I have the instructions on how my clients do this.

The Dream Board is a fun, creative, and right-brained concept to integrate into your personal and professional planning process.   Also known as a Vision Board or Treasure Map, whatever you call it, and however you do yours, a Dream Board is as unique as you are.  It’s all about you–a visual blueprint of the people, places, and things you want in your life, and dreams that you want to come true.

Expressing your life vision with a dream board helps you clarify your dreams and focus on building them into a reality

Here’s what Oprah says about Vision Boards…

“Vision Boards absolutely work; you have to have a vision and a plan to execute so that every step moves you in that vision.”

Oprah Winfrey


I’m always amazed at how quickly I reached my 5-year goals.  Every now and then, I’d update the list in my computer, record my next few steps and work toward reaching them.  I learned to say “no” to many things that were great but would not help me achieve my goals, often reaching them in only 2 or 2 1/2 years.

When I started coaching in 1998, I learned a personal foundation concept in which I created a geographical dream board for my life, part of which involved relocating to a different environment.  And low and behold, my next move, to WA State, fulfilled that change of scenery.

The concept of creating a dream board added a more visual, right-brained approach to a former process.  It is also interesting that before I added something to my board, my left brain and my right brain were going in the same direction!

I can’t say that creating a dream board speed up the process of reaching my goals, but it sure did make the process more fun.


Most of my clients create a dream board for all parts of their lives.  Some, especially those who are going through a major life transition, might create a board for a year or two.   Others may choose one of the 7 parts that need their focus now.  Creating a board for what’s important is…well…important.  The 9 parts of your life you can take a look at are:

  1. Personal Growth/ Development
  2. Religious/ Spiritual Growth
  3. Relationships/Family/ Romance/Friends
  4. Career/ Business
  5. Hobbies/ Volunteering
  6. Financial Maturity/Money
  7. Play/Recreation
  8. Health/Fitness
  9. Physical Environment


The idea behind this inventive project is that what we think about, or focus on, is what we bring into our lives.  If we put good things in front of us, we will attract them – whether they are lofty goals we aspire to meet, or even objects we have always wanted.  Having a Dream Board will help you clarify and focus on your dreams, making them your reality!

Give yourself a moment to think of whatever you want in your personal life or financial practice.  If you’re like most of my clients, the two areas overlap quite a bit.  Here are some questions to get you started:

  • How would you like your business to look like in a year?  Five years? At your exit?
  • How much time do you want to spend working versus spending time with family, on hobbies, with friends or volunteering?
  • Who is your ideal client?  What is your audacious AUM (assets under management) or profit goal?
  • What types of people and positions would you like in your team within the next 5 years?
  • Where do you really want to live?
  • What is your vision for the legacy you’d like to leave for your family; the community; the world?

Write down your life goals, visualize them by creating your board and affirm them by moving toward reaching your goals.  When you set your dreams visually in front of you, they serve as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.  Before you know it, your dreams will be flourishing!  Just writing your goals on paper is very powerful on its own, but to build your Dream Board, follow the rest of the instructions.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Poster board/oak tag/cork board
  • Thumbtacks
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Glitter
  • A photo (or photos) of yourself
  • Magazines
  • Ribbons
  • Pens, markers
  • Shells, leaves or something from nature
  • Scissors: straight edge and/or your favorite border design
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Few pieces of thick 8 1/2 x 11 paper
  • Favorite rubber stamps
  • Anything else that calls to you!

“If your vision is in your head, that is not where it needs to be. It needs to be out in the world, for all to see.” — Maria


  1. Start with your blank poster board, oak tag, cork board or a wall.
  2. In the center of your board, place a picture of yourself that you really enjoy.  If you like, arrange items that represent your spiritual or religious beliefs above your picture.
  3. Cut out pictures and words that symbolize your dreams, or draw pictures.  Can’t draw perfectly?  Try it anyway!  (If I can, you can.)  Put words, quotes or captions under the pictures.
  4. Bring all your dreams to your board.  Here are the areas to consider as you create your board.  Remember to be very specific and descriptive!
    • Life Vision Board: Personal Growth, Religious/Spiritual Growth, Relationships, Family, Romance, Friends, Career & Business, Finance & Money, Play & Recreation, Health & Fitness, Physical Environment, etc.
    • Business Vision Board: Your Office, Staff, Bank Account, Client Results, Ideal Clients, Products, Retirement, Accolades, Philanthropic Efforts, etc.
  5. Go for it!!  Enjoy it!!  Have fun with it!!  Get your family members to create their own Dream Boards or create a family board!
  6. Tack it on the wall.  As your dreams continue to grow (or change), keep adding to it.
  7. Spend a few moments in front of it before you start your day, and make it the last thing you look at before you go to sleep!

Keep in mind–as you act on your dreams, doors will open in many directions – not all of which support your ultimate goal.  You may face some things to which you should say “no,” or come across unexpected, terrific alternatives that you hadn’t imagined.  It’s important to watch out for what the world brings, signs of God’s or a Higher Power’s plans and the possibility of everything working out differently – and more wonderfully -than expected.  So, start dreaming and dream-boarding!


They say, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but I say, “make sure the small stuff is on your Dream Board.

Years ago, as I was creating a new board, I realized that I needed new glasses.  Looking in magazines, I found a photo of pair I liked, cut it out and put it on my board.

The picture got lost among the hundreds of other images and words.

Two years later, it was time to update my board.  As I removed an image, under it was a pair of glasses.  I started laughing.

Even though I had not seen that photo in 2 years, I had chosen to purchase the same glasses as were in my photo.

Dream Board creation is very powerful – even if you don’t look at the images every day, or in my case, every 2 years!


It never dawned on me to go on vacation to create a Dream Board.  One of my clients, Karen K, did just that and while she created her board, so did her two children.  She told me that she learned quite a bit about what her children liked by what they chose to glue to their board.

Want to learn more about your team? Host a Dream Board workshop.

Don’t stop there.  Hold an event for 4 of your clients and ask them to bring 4 of their friends.

The ways to create and share the concept are endless!

“When we tell somebody else what we are going to do, it increases the likelihood by at least 100 times!”~ Marcia Wieder, Founder of Dream University


I prefer to choose photos, draw, cut things out, use hot glue, and post them to a board of some sort.  I find that it’s best looked at in the morning and before bed.  I keep my Vision Board “front and center” outside my bathroom.  It reminds me of my goals and could help me attract people to my life who can help me achieve my goals during the days.  It’s also are reminder that sometimes, I have to say no to good things, because I’m reaching in another direction.  And at night, before I go to bed, I look at it to bring those goals further into my subconscious before dreaming.

You may want to create yours in another way.  Below are some other ways to “get it done”.

Make it a class project.

Do it with a Girl Scout Group (yes, I was a Girl Scout).

Host a Vision Party for your ideal clients

Ask me to come to your office to conduct an afternoon workshops or day long Vision Board workshop

Create your Dream Board on Instagram!

Use Dream I Alive online https://www.dreamitalive.com/

Use an app created by Jack Canfield (of chicken soup fame)  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jack-canfield-success-vision/id498708060  or https://www.jackcanfield.com/blog/free-vision-board-app/


I know how difficult it is to start something sitting in front of a blank screen.

So, here’s direct access to a MS Publisher file listing the 9 sections.  Feel free to change the font, words, etc.  Do whatever will help you get started.  Take a photo of your Dream Board and send it to me.  I”m always pleased to see the many ways my clients and readers get theirs done.

Related: 18 Ways Advisors Can Get Unstuck to Grow