Creating a Vision Board & SMART Goals

Creating a vision board and smart goals, white text over an image of a woman creating a collageCreating a Vision Board & SMART Goals

If you have never created a vision board before, this is a fun and creative way to visualize what you want for yourself and help manifest your goals. There are no rules on how to create a vision board. I use cardstock, cutting and pasting inspiring images and words. Some people use canvases or cork boards to make their vision board as an art project. Others use online software. A vision board can represent the kind of person that you want to become. Some people use the term dream board interchangeably with vision board.

I love to dream about the future and envision the kind of life that I want for myself. I also enjoy setting goals and helping my clients and supervisees achieve goals, which is a regular part of my role as a mental health therapist and supervisor. I have noticed that some people have awesome vision boards, but these remain more of a dream due to the lack of goals and action to help make those dreams a reality. On the other hand, I have seen some awesome SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals, especially in therapy; however, people can quickly lose motivation.

Utilizing a vision board combined with SMART goals is a winning duo for manifesting your dreams and making them become your reality.  

This is something that one can do on their own but is often more powerful when done in therapy due to first needing clarity around values and needs, your vision and goals, and the focus that you would like to take. A careful reflection of specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that you would like to change in multiple areas of your life such as work, school, home, and relationships is first needed to be most effective.

I’d like to share some examples that I have utilized in my own life to help inspire and motivate your own next steps.

Create a vision board.

Within my planner, I have created a vision board. Using this as inspiration, I narrowed my focus by creating a vision board specifically for 2024. This includes images and words that represent what I envision for this year, along with a keyword for the year and a focus for each month. If you enjoy this type of activity, you can create a vision board for each month with a word or image to focus on, incorporating content from your personal goals.


Create SMART goals.

SMART goals are often incorporated in journals or planners and utilized within therapy and the workplace. Goals are going to focus on various areas of life such as the following:

  • Physical & mental health
  • Business & career
  • Friends & family
  • Relationships & connection
  • Finance
  • Personal development
  • Fun & recreation
  • Spiritual

Depending on the setting, you may create SMART goals with the support of someone who is an expert within a particular area such as setting therapy goals with your therapist and fitness goals with a personal trainer. You will have a long-term goal for the year, along with short-term objectives. If you need some help creating your goals, that is OK. In therapy, goal planning takes place in the 2nd or 3rd session. Your therapist can provide input based on what you are sharing as part of the presenting concerns and the reason you are seeking therapy.

Combine your vision with goals and action steps.

Combining the vision of your vision board with action steps of your SMART goals is an excellent combination of both written and visual material that is both motivating and goal-oriented to provide results. In therapy, it is recommended to check in weekly on your progress towards objectives. Having an accountability partner can help inspire your overall vision, encourage the development of goals, and motivate action to achieve successful results.

Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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