Let's get manifesting
You started the year more motivated than ever (Ace AP chem! Learn guitar! Get an after-school job! Finally finish reading those final chapters of The Outsiders!). But now it's October, and you're already feeling more "procrastinate it all" than "anything is possible" energy. Newsflash: There's a way to keep up your go-getter spirit *without* being sucked into a burnout spiral.
Enter vision boarding, AKA a visual representation of your most major goals at the moment. "Looking at images of the life you want to experience is the first step to actually creating that life," explains manifestation expert Haley Hoffman Smith. Think collage meets Pinterest board meets bucket list.
And get this, it works: "For years, I've wanted to be a singer," confesses Maddie G., 16. When she started creating her vision board, it helped her break down her dream into actionable steps: joining choir, taking voice lessons and performing for an audience. "As I accomplished each step, I replaced the visual with a new one," she adds. "Now that I've performed with my school, I added pictures of solo concerts to envision my next big goal."
Ready to start your own? Grab your scissors and a glue stick and press play on the perfect lo-fi playlist. While there are no rules as to how you craft your board, we've gathered some inspo to get the visionary vibes flowing.
Your vision board needs...
Whether you want to amp up your academics, focus on your friendships or hone in on feeling centered, seek out a mantra that feels authentic to *your* journey. "If something is taking forever to manifest, it might be because you're not ready to believe it right now," Hoffman Smith explains. So make sure to embrace each item on your vision board with an open mind and a sense that anything could happen.
Beach babe? City living? Posh in Paris? Imagine the place you hope to make your home someday —and start to visualize yourself getting there. "I've always wanted to live in New York City, so I added tons of NYC landmarks to my first vision board," says Natalie B., 16. Then, be sure to grow your board along with your goals: "When I finally traveled to New York with my family last year, I got to update my board with pics of me *actually* being there," Natalie adds, "I felt one step closer to achieving my dream."
Feeling stressed? Close your eyes and visualize exactly where you want to be and what you want to be doing. Maybe it's reading by the pool under the sun. Maybe it's curling up with a cozy blanket and your fave childhood flick. Maybe it's hanging with your besties, no HW in sight. Even if you can't create those experiences IRL just yet, surround yourself with images that inspire you to ditch whatever's causing you drama...and cultivate chill vibes instead.
How do you picture your passions? Maybe it's taking on something entirely new (playing the ukulele), bringing your talents out into the world (that TikTok comedy channel won't start itself) or glowing up a hobby you already have (making the leap from JV to varsity volleyball. No matter your motivation, your vision board is a chance to see how you can make those goals happen. "Make sure the pictures you pick excite you and make you feel positive emotions," Hoffman Smith says. Most of all, she explains, leave yourself open to spontaneity throughout the process: "You might surprise yourself with an image that ignites a whole new goal—even if it's something you never thought of before."
Does your vision board need an update?
If you're feeling any of the following, it might be time for a manifesting makeover.
You're closer to your goals.
Last year, you were fine snagging a chorus spot in the school musical. This year, you're hoping for the lead. Says Hoffman Smith, "Once you've achieved an aspect of your goal, you can take it off your board." That said, remember to snap a pic of your previous setup. "Keeping images of things you've already accomplished can help motivate you to go for that next step," she adds.
You're not checking in enough.
Danielle M., 15, thought her bulletin board collage was perfect—until she realized that, well, she was so busy going after her plans that she hardly ever peeked at it. "I switched to a vision board I created using Canva [canva.com] and turned it into my phone background," she explains. If your vibe is more on-the-go, consider swapping your DIY for a digital setup.
Your to-do's don't feel true.
Sometimes we take on projects because it means a lot to someone else. When it comes to cleaning your room for your mom's sake, that's OK, but goals that aren't genuine don't belong on your board. If you're struggling to manifest being soccer team captain because, tbh, you realize you don't really want that, it's a good chance to step back and reconsider who's in the driver's seat of your biggest dreams.
Your priorities have changed.
So your board's currently covered in Broadway...but lately, you're feeling less into performing and more into writing poetry. there's no reason not to give your board a redo to match your current energy. "If you aren't feeling inspired when you look at it, it's time to move on and start searching for new images," Hoffman Smith says. "Your board should represent the phase of your life you're in right now."
Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our October/November 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.
Top image: @brookhoury