From Vision to Reality: Using Vision Boards to Help Clients Manifest Their Dreams

Using the Vision Board Exercise to Help Your Clients Manifest Their Dreams
September 14, 2022
Table of Contents

Thinking of incorporating vision boards into your coaching? It’s an effective tool that has many aspects for your consideration:

Execution: Integrating the concept of a vision boarding exercise within coaching allows clients to visually map out their aspirations, acting as a powerful tool for manifestation. Vision board training can further enhance this process, providing structured guidance on creating effective vision boards. 

Analysis: For those seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of their vision boards, a vision board test could offer insights into alignment with personal goals and aspirations. 

Remedies: If the vision board exercise doesn’t yield results, exploring vision board alternatives is important to cater to different learning styles and preferences, ensuring that every individual can find a method that resonates with them for visualizing and pursuing their dreams. 

Through these practices the goal remains for clients to gain clarity on their goals, harness their inner motivation, and embark on a path toward realizing their visions.

But let’s rewind a bit and get down to basics…

A tried-and-tested tool for many, the vision board is by no means new for those who believe in manifestation. The general idea of a vision board is to give the ideas and visions in our head, about something we want out of life, a physical manifestation. It also serves as a reminder to work towards something we want in the future – constantly seeing something in front of us has the potential to help us get micro doses of inspiration to consciously or even sub-consciously work towards what we want.

What Is a Vision Board in Coaching? 

Well, even in the coaching context, the premise of the vision board exercise is similar – to serve as a reminder, motivation, and inspiration to work towards what an individual wants. Also sometimes known as an ‘inspiration board’ or a ‘dream board’, the way a vision board works is by using a collage of visual imagery to not only understand and picturise who we want to become in the future or what we want to achieve but also how we can get there. 

A vision board works on the premise of visualisation – one of the most powerful mind exercises one can do. Olympic athletes have been using it for decades to improve their performance, and coaches (especially life coaches), use it with clients to help them turn the image they have in their head into something more tangible. 

But engaging in a vision board exercise is not simply about creating a collage of images and texts about the things you want; it is also about using the vision board to focus on how you wish to feel in the future. The more your vision board helps you zone in on how you eventually wish to feel, the more likely it is that it will come to life. 

The main purpose of using a vision board is to teach our mind to focus on the things that are important to us. It is a great way to connect to our subconscious wants, desires, and needs – and make them conscious!  

A few ways a vision board can help coaching clients: 

  • Help them identify their visions, dreams, and aspirations 
  • Make their goals seem more attainable – thus improving their likelihood of achieving those goals 
  • Serve as a constant reminder for action towards their dreams 

Vision Board Ideas 

A vision board can be used for pretty much anything your client desires. Here are some ideas for some common areas around which people usually use the vision board exercise: 

a. Financial goals

If your client is hoping to attract more money into their lives, you can ask them to include things that they would want to buy/do/own as a result of achieving their financial goals – the things that the money will enable for them. Buying a home or car for instance, or going on a world tour. 

b. Travel goals

 This is where one can get really whimsical and include all the travel goals they fantasize about, from the exact locations and spots they wish to visit to the activity that they intend to do there – think hiking, snow-boarding, or having a cup of coffee on the pebbled streets of Paris. Encourage them to be as specific as possible – the more specific one is, the more likely it is for them to live the closest version of their dream! 

c. Relationship goals

This can work in two ways – changing or bettering the relationship that one already has, as well as manifesting a new relationship the way one sees best for them. Again, the feeling the vision board invokes is vital and not necessarily the exact imagery only – though that can serve as a catalyst for the same. 

d. Happiness Goals

This can be a general vision board not specifically directed at attaining or achieving or owning something, but rather focusing on anything that makes the individual feel happy, fulfilled and content. 

Vision Board Instructions to Give to the Client 

1. Put thought and emotion into the research

Ask your client to collect pictures, images, words, and quotes that speak to them and convey a strong message and sense of association with what they wish for. The important thing to remember is to not overthink the process – it doesn’t need to technically or logically make sense to an outsider, only to the person making the vision board. Secondly, it needn’t be something necessarily material, but something that evokes an emotion or feeling – for instance, one may have a picture of plants and trees on their vision board because it gives them a sense of grounding and tranquillity. 

2. Don’t sweat the format or output

There are no specific vision board rules about how one needs to make it – it is purely personal and not an art project. Sure enough, people can take inspiration by looking at vision board examples online, or even by researching vision board questions but all that matters is that it makes sense to the creator and is all clear to them! 

3. Create one or many vision boards

Clients can choose to have a single large board or several mini boards each dedicated to a particular area on which they want to focus – then scatter the mini boards at different locations around their household, if they can. To get started though, you can encourage your clients to just start with one board that calls out strongest to them in that moment and then take it from there. 

4. Keep the vision board visible 

The vision board(s) must be kept at a place where it can be seen at all times, so that it can serve as a constant reminder (consciously and otherwise) and be a source of inspiration and motivation.

5. Spend time with the board 

Ask your client to take time out once in a few days (if not every day) to just stand or sit in front of their vision board and soak it all in in a conscious, aware manner, instead of glazing over it as they might tend to do in their daily hustle and bustle. It will help bring their awareness back to what it is they are going after and help them refocus on their bigger vision.

A vision board is one of the simplest coaching tools that you can employ with your clients, and it is one that has proven to be rather effective. It allows clients to use their hands, mind, and creativity to put together a visual representation of their dreams and visions, bringing in a lot of focus and perspective. 

You can ask your clients to do it privately at their own time in between session, or if you’re holding a group coaching session, you can have a workshop session where every member can put together their individual vision boards in the context of themselves and their team in a fun and interactive session! 


The Coaching Tools Company, Jack Canfield, Huffpost, The Ultimate Coaching Guide 


1. What should a vision board contain? 

There are no rules or regulations in terms of what a vision board should or ought to contain. People usually use pictures, images, quotations, and words of affirmation on their vision boards. These could be in the form of paper, objects, or anything else that can be stuck onto the board. The idea is that it should be a visual amalgamation of elements that represent something you want in the future, both in the material as well as the emotional sense. 

2. What are some substitutes for the vision board exercise? 

If you find that physical vision boards are too much work for you, you can even do a digital version of a vision board using Pinterest. If a vision board is not an exercise you or your clients enjoy or resonate with, other substitutes can include keeping a journal for things you want but don’t have or even writing a dream life journal! 

3. What are the psychological benefits of creating and using a vision board?

Vision boards offer several psychological benefits, including:

  • Clarifying goals and intentions: Creating a vision board requires clients to identify their desires and aspirations, helping them gain clarity about what they want to achieve in life.
  • Visualizing success: By compiling images and affirmations that represent their goals, clients can visualize their desired outcomes more vividly, which can enhance motivation and confidence.
  • Reinforcing positive thinking: Focusing on positive images and affirmations on a vision board can help shift clients’ mindset from doubt and negativity to optimism and empowerment.
  • Increasing focus and commitment: Displaying their vision board in a visible location serves as a daily reminder of their goals, encouraging clients to stay focused and committed to their aspirations.
  • Enhancing manifestation: The act of visualizing and believing in their goals can activate the law of attraction, aligning clients’ thoughts and actions with the realization of their dreams.

4. How can life coaches guide clients in selecting images and affirmations for their vision boards?

Life coaches can help clients select images and affirmations for their vision boards by:

  • Reflecting on their values and aspirations: Encouraging clients to identify their core values, long-term goals, and ideal future can guide them in choosing images and affirmations that resonate with their vision.
  • Encouraging creativity and intuition: Advising clients to trust their intuition and explore a variety of sources, such as magazines, online images, or personal photographs, can inspire creativity and authenticity in their vision board creation process.
  • Ensuring alignment with emotions and beliefs: Guiding clients to select images and affirmations that evoke positive emotions and align with their beliefs and desires ensures that their vision boards reflect their authentic desires and aspirations.

5. What are some common challenges clients face when working with vision boards, and how can they overcome them?

Some common challenges clients may face when working with vision boards include:

  • Lack of clarity: Clients may struggle to articulate their goals or find suitable images that resonate with their vision. Coaches can help by facilitating brainstorming sessions, asking probing questions, and providing guidance to clarify their intentions.
  • Limited belief in manifestation: Clients may doubt the effectiveness of vision boards or feel skeptical about the concept of manifestation. Coaches can address these concerns by sharing success stories, explaining the principles of the law of attraction, and encouraging clients to adopt an open-minded attitude.
  • Procrastination or inconsistency: Clients may struggle to maintain consistency in updating or visualizing their vision boards regularly. Coaches can offer accountability, motivation, and practical strategies to help clients integrate vision board practices into their daily routine and stay committed to their goals.

6. How often should clients update their vision boards, and why?

Clients should update their vision boards periodically to reflect changes in their goals, aspirations, or life circumstances. Life coaches may recommend reviewing and updating vision boards every few months or as needed to ensure alignment with clients’ evolving visions and desires. Regular updates help clients stay engaged, motivated, and focused on their current priorities, facilitating continuous growth and manifestation.

7. Can digital vision boards be as effective as physical ones, and how can they be created?

Digital vision boards can be just as effective as physical ones, offering convenience, flexibility, and accessibility. Clients can create digital vision boards using various online platforms or software, such as Canva, Pinterest, or vision board apps. Coaches can guide clients through the digital creation process, helping them curate images, design layouts, and incorporate affirmations digitally. Digital vision boards can be easily customized, shared, and updated across devices, allowing clients to visualize their goals anytime, anywhere. 

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author
Content Marketing Manager @Simply.Coach

Ipsita Nayak is a full-time writer-editor-content strategist and a part-time NLP coach & yoga teacher. She believes conventions are overrated, has a disproportionate need for solo time over social time, and loves a good mix of sci-fi and trashy TV in her free time!

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