How to Create a Dream Board and Watch It Work Magic

With each New Year comes new goals, opportunities, and dreams! The New Year is always a great time to start forming healthier habits and taking action towards your big goals. One way to get moving towards your goals is to create a dream or “vision” board.

A dream board is a visual representation of what your biggest dreams for yourself are. The easiest way to make one is to look through a bunch of magazines, cut out the photos that you have a particular feeling towards, and then create a collage of all these images. You can also include phrases! For those of us who love making things digitally, Pinterest boards or digital collages made from photos from the Internet work great too! Like I mentioned before, find photos that speak to you.

Choose the images that create an intuitive reaction, where you begin to feel the way you dream of feeling.

Before choosing the photos, I would do some brainstorming. What do you want to accomplish in 2018? What new habits or hobbies do you want to take up? Where do you want to live? Where do you want to vacation? Who do you surround yourself with? What do you look like? What clothing do you wear? What do you eat? What do you like to do? How do you spend your time? How do you practice self-care? What do you do for work, and where do you work? How do you feel? This last one is really important… think about how you want to feel in the New Year, and write those down! Some of my words for how I want to feel in 2018 are love, free, fun, joy, and adventure.


So you may be thinking… yeah yeah, but do these dream boards actually work? Well, I’m here to tell you that yes they do! I’m a lover of dream boards, and I have made three major ones in my life (that all brought their visuals to fruition!).

The first one I made was right after graduation from college and I put photos of New York, non-profits, friends, and NYU on it. I moved to NYC after college (a few weeks after making this vision board), got a job with a local non-profit, and enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at NYU. I met some of my best friends while I was in NYC, too!

The second one was made while I was in NYC and ready for some changes. I put photos of the Peace Corps, Africa, and the United Nations. Shortly after creating the board I studied abroad with NYU at the UN in Geneva, where I realized I wanted to join the Peace Corps, and soon after moved to Mozambique (in Africa). I also worked with UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) while in the Peace Corps.

The most recent one I created was last year. It had photos of yoga, little straw huts on the beach, and a big “LOVE” sign in nature. Less than a week later, I joined a yoga studio and started practicing yoga everyday. This year, I traveled to a beach town in Brazil with the same huts, and also went on a retreat in Tulum with the same vibe as the photo. I also moved to the town where the “LOVE” sign in the photo was taken, and I didn’t even know it!

I believe the reason dream boards come to life is because when we constantly see our hopes and goals, we are focused on where we’re trying to go.


We’re reminded of what we want to do and be in life. It helps keep these goals top of mind. Then when we hear someone talking about the Peace Corps, New York, or yoga and there’s an opportunity to get involved, we know that it’s an easy YES. We take small action steps every day that get us closer to our goal.

So I invite you to get clear on what your vision for 2018 is and plan a dream board party with friends, or take a few minutes to create a dream board by yourself. 2018 is going to be an awesome year, so let’s dream big!

Photos by: Amy Hulst

Elisabetta Colabianchi

Elisabetta is the founder of Kurandza, a non-profit that empowers women and girls in eastern Africa and around the world. She is also a social impact consultant and works with purpose-driven women who want to start or grow their non-profit or social enterprise initiatives. Elisabetta speaks 5 languages and enjoys traveling the world when she’s not at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves making new friends, so come say hi to her on Instagram!