Vision Boards are a Waste of Time.
Try this instead.

BLOG_Why-Your-Vision-Board-Isn't-Working

It was 2006. The book “The Secret” had just been released.

Yes, the Law of Attraction buzz had officially arrived.

And I was hooked.

When I received my first invite to a vision board party, my RSVP was an immediate yes. As a gal who’ll try almost anything once, I was committed. I gathered magazines, a poster board and a bottle of wine, and off I went.

We met in a friend’s living room like a giddy group of kindergartners (except we had wine) — cutting, pasting and celebrating. I thought it was a fabulous and a little weird (I thought meditation was a bit strange at the time.)

Over the course of six hours, I created my first vision board.

It was full of images of Paris, a beautiful closet, friends laughing, sunsets, beaches and a bottle of Petrus. You know, the usual vision board images…..

(Maybe you and I even had the same magazine cut outs?)

And I happily went home with a proud sense of accomplishment.

Honestly, I had the full intention of framing it and putting it on my wall, but instead, I had it on my kitchen counter.

And then it was propped up against the leg of my desk.

Eventually it made its way into a back corner of my closet.

And I never looked at that vision board again.

Around this same time in my life, I found myself at a restaurant with a table full of strangers who seemed to be much more “wine knowledgeable” than me. For some odd reason, I was handed the wine list. Initially, I was proud that I was the one chosen to select the wine, as this is something that I wanted to be proficient at doing. I mean, I had a bottle of fine wine on my vision board, right?

This was my moment.

But I froze.

The fact was, I knew nothing about wine.

My wine experience up to that point was Merlot and Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill (I know some of you know what I’m talking about …its clearly not even wine!).

I didn’t know a Bordeaux from a Beaujolais.

And pronouncing them? I wasn’t even close. I’m sure it came out like “bord-ee-yu” and “bee-u-jo-la.” – did you follow my hacked up phonetics? Try it. Hilarious. (correct pronunciations are here and here).

So, in a moment of social panic, I did the old “point out a random wine on the list” (based on price) and said to the waiter, “Oh, this one, please.”

(I was clearly really good at faking it.)

After that evening, I made a firm yet silent commitment to myself that I was going to explore the world of wine so that I’d never feel like an idiot when a wine list was passed my way.

See, the vision board that I made at the party with my girlfriends was pretty and inspirational, however it didn’t offer me knowledge about wine. I needed to DO something. So, I did what I now teach my clients to do.

I took inspired action.

I didn’t sit around and chant mantras, such as “I am a wine connoisseur.”

Nor did I stare at bottles of wine expecting knowledge to be downloaded into my brain.

And no, I did not make yet another vision board, one that was completely wine centric.

Blog.Vision.Board.Wine.Square.Instead, I researched various sommelier programs. And after taking a big leap of faith and investing a big chunk of time and money, I signed up.

The next thing I knew I was sitting in a class full of wine curious people, like myself. After a lot of embarrassing moments (like the time I shouted out “I love rose wine” pronounced like the flower instead of the correct way like this), I graduated.

I continued to dive into the world of wine which led me to publishing restaurant reviews (and get paid to eat and drink…magnifique!), attended exquisite food and wine festivals around the country (and tasted the finest…. and limited release wines… for free), and create wine programs (so others could enjoy what I had been experiencing.)

By taking inspired action, my life changed.

The Problem with Vision Boards

A couple of years later, I was invited back to that same vision board party. Curious about how everyone’s life was unfolding, I decided to go. This time, I didn’t bring magazines or a poster board. I did bring a bottle of wine, however.

(I will never turn down an opportunity to catch up with a fabulous group of ladies over wine!)

I watched the same group of women cut out the same type of pictures, and talk about the same type of dreams from a couple years prior.

But, I noticed that something was very different this time.

Their lives were still the same as two years before.

Mine had changed dramatically.

They had created vision boards.

I had lived out the vision.

I haven’t created a vision board since.

The power isn’t in the images. It’s in you.

Now, before all you vision board lovers get all in a tizzy, hear me out.

Here’s what I believe:

  • I do firmly believe in the law of attraction
  • I equally believe in the law of action
  • I believe that in order for a woman to change, she needs to know in which direction she wants to go
  • A main factor in creating your vision is committing to falling in love with your life right NOW

 LoveMyLife.Square.Cover.Promo   :: Ready to take inspired Action?  CLICK HERE for my Free Playsheet::

Sure, it could be argued that my cutting and pasting a bottle of Petrus onto my vision board set my desire to become a sommelier in motion.

And yes, I insist on have beautiful images and artwork around my desk and home that inspire me. Just not in vision board format.

However, since deep diving into the world of personal development….

I’ve seen far too many people sit around talking and pretending to work on their dreams.

They take classes …..without ever doing the real work.
They put up a dating profile …..without responding to a request.
They read financial books …..without ever sitting down and running the numbers.
They have a bookmarks bar full of delicious recipes …..without ever attempting to cook any of them.
They read fashion blogs ….without ever buying a new outfit.
They attend conferences or retreats …..without implementing one thing they’ve learned.

And, yes these tend to be the same people who create beautiful vision boards without ever showing up for their vision.

I know of people who have created vision boards for years and their lives are still the same.
Why?

They expected the vision board to do the work — instead of them.

I call this “distraction action.”

When I think about my first (and last) vision board experience, it was a great time. It was fun to be surrounded by people who were positive, laughter, a sense of possibility, beautiful imagery and creativity.

If that’s something you’re desiring, then, by all means, create a vision board! (because feeling good is always a good thing)

However, if you’re frustrated that your vision board isn’t working, let me make a suggestion.

Instead of taking 6 hours to make a Vision Board, Do This

If you’re serious about making your dreams come true, you may want to consider taking the time it would require to make a vision board (which for me was about six hours), and perhaps use that time to actually LIVE out your vision.

Want a beautiful home?
* Go grab some paint and color your room.

Want a better job?
* Polish up that resume and send out some emails.

Desire a man?
* Put on your best outfit and go out.

Want a beach vacation?
* Set a date, buy a bikini and figure out how to make it happen.

Want more clients?
* Stop hiding and start putting yourself out there with your message.

Want to lose weight?
* Put on those shoes and head to the gym.

Desire to visit Paris?
* Go online and start researching tickets.

So, m’friend, here we are.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you are here reading to the very end of this article.

I beg of you.

For the love of all things French…..

Don’t pretend to work on your dreams.
Make a commitment to show up and live it.
{Click to Tweet}

French Kissing Life is all about showing up.

It’s about taking inspired action.
It’s about deeply engaging in your experience.
It’s about living in your dream.
….not just thinking or reading about it

I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section below about how YOU plan to stop thinking about it, and take inspired action (big or small) this week to begin living in your dream.

P.S. Feeling like you’re wanting a feminine & loving nudge  to help you take inspired action ….so you can truly uncover your dreams?  Well, I think that my free playbook will just the antidote for you!  >> CLICK HERE to grab it! 

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46 Responses to Vision Boards are a Waste of Time.
Try this instead.

  1. This is awesome. I’m so glad to see people poking holes in the “attraction” nonsense. That kind of thing is worthless because it makes people think they’ve really done something when they haven’t actually taken any action.

  2. Idea boards can be useful for pulling together a cohesive vision of your plan–if you like everything, you’ll never be able to narrow down what you should actually buy to have the wardrobe or home decor you want. I think analyzing a group of photos that inspires you can make you see what it is that you like. It might not be the style, or color, but the setting. In that case, buying the same item isn’t going to contribute to the vision.
    On the other hand, planning without action is just a waste of time.

    • Totally agree. Like a magazine, I like mood boards to inspire colors, creative direction, etc. for different design aspects of my life. I just don’t expect them to manifest without action! As always, thanks for stopping by “Taste of France.” (love that, BTW).

  3. First of all, let me say Tonya that I can relate to the feelings you have as a mom watching your baby go off to College. When my son went to The Citadel in Charleston back in 2008, it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done as a parent. He survived and graduated in 2012 and so did I. Good luck to Sara and to mom!
    I’ve done my share of vision boards and that was as far as it went…pictures on a board. It’s the actions that one must take to make those dreams a reality that really matters. I am the queen of planning, making list, dreaming, etc. but do very little to bring any of those dreams or plans to fruition. I really needed to hear/read this blog today. It has given me some direction that I need to help me take action steps and not just dream. Thanks Tonya!

    • Alethea,

      So great to “see” you and thank you for your words re: this new chapter in our lives. You must be proud of your son. The Citadel is SUCH an honorable college.

      As for dreaming, I am a HUGE dreamer. But, it’s that “doing” where the good stuff happens. One little step at a time. You’ve got this!

  4. Just before I turned fifty, my daughter was planning and saving for her second trip to Europe. I had never had a passport because I had never gone anywhere that required one. I decided that something was wrong with this picture! For my fiftieth birthday, I bought a passport for myself, and was determined that I would use it to go somewhere! Taking that first action has resulted in MANY trips that required a passport, so I agree that even one small action toward your goal can make it happen!

  5. That was great & totally what I needed to hear. You know, it just occurred to me that I’ve subscribed to your blog for a couple of years and I still read it right when you send it. Every time. And I always read something I really need. There’s not any other blogs I can say that about. Thanks!

    • Hi Juniper,

      Thanks so much. It means a lot.

      I hope I continue to create content that inspires you to French Kiss Life.

      If there are any topics you’d like to see me cover, let me know.

      Thanks for being a part of the community!

      xoxo

      • Hi Tonya,

        Great post! I am so delighted you took the time to debunk the law of attraction- This explains why attending so many personal development seminars and non stop self help binges have not changed my life as much as I expected.

        This year my biggest intention has been to let go of my friends with very negative vibration and to make a new circle of friends who are more inspiring. I know you’ve done this with a great deal of success… any words of advice?

        • I think this would be a great topic for a future post. And, you’re so right. The reason my clients get results is that I don’t tolerate simply learning something intellectually. You can read a book for that.

          You must get out there and practice and apply what you’re learning.

          It’s why I challenge women to get a new outfit, do something they’ve never done before, engage in the world.

          And, then I get to witness the results that unfold.

          It’s so simple, and SO magical.

          Best to you!

  6. I loved you poking some holes in vision boards. I agree they have value in getting you in touch with your desires. Nothing does happen until “inspired action” takes place. But sometimes not knowing what action to take stops people. So I’d love to hear more about “inspired action” please.

    • I completely agree that the vision board idea of plastering poster board with pictures and expecting something to come from it doesn’t work. However, that is not the only way to do a Vision Board. My Vision Board does work. Rather than a disorganized mess, permanently attached, I have an organized grid, with one section for each area of my life, one goal per section. Each can be removed and replaced when achieved, and that is pretty often! Rather than hiding it in a closet, mine is hanging proudly in my room, where I see it daily. It is a spiritual experience for me. I pray before putting anything up, ensuring I am in line with God’s plan for my life. Then I very specifically spend a few minutes each day studying each goal, and tuning in to God for inspiration of what to DO next to achieve it. The DOING is soooo important! Whatever it is that comes to me; call a friend, go to a store, clean my kitchen, the faster I do it, the faster the goal is achieved. Sometimes that friend that I haven’t tasked to in a while knows just the person I need to contact to make my dream a reality. Sometimes cleaning my kitchen opens me up to a more peaceful feeling so I will be more in tunexpected to hear the next step. Sometimes I run into someone at the store who knows about the job opportunity I need to achieve my goal. Regardless, the DOING is very important. The Vision Board simply acts as my daily reminder to tune in, and the pictures on the Vision Board help me to visualize it in a way that energetically brings ithe into my life faster. Simply visualizing doesn’t work. Doing works, but can be slow. Combining Visualizing with Doing something about it works, and it works fast!

      • Hi Kitty!

        Love how explained your vision board. I am ALL for a woman doing her life in a way that serves her.

        My angle re: vision boards is towards those who teach us to make a vision board and just stare and believe. Yes, belief is a huge part of the equation, but like you said, you must SHOW UP for your vision.

        Just doing a vision board? Useless, IMO.

        But, the way you do it. Fabulous!

      • It truly about being intentional. I believe vision boards are great but O agree Tonya if their is no action it os a waste of time. I recently learned for myself I need to be more intentional about the life I desire to live. Action is key!

    • Great Question Rina.

      Let’s say your vision is to travel.

      An inspired action step might be to:
      //get a passport
      //set a date for your trip
      //sell some things on ebay to pay for your airfare.

      An inspired action may be scary, but it’s one little step that leads closer to your dream.

      Does that help?

  7. First, I’m by no means your youngest reader, but it wasn’t that long ago that I remember being dropped off by my parents at college. Looking back now I’m sure my dad had a very teary mom to deal with on the 4-hour drive back to their house. Even though it was over 10 years ago I still remember how excited and happy I was to be starting college and living with my friend in that tiny dorm room. I’m sure your daughter is feeling the same way. So lots of love sent your way in that regard 🙂

    Second, the timing of this post is, personally, uncanny. I watched “The Secret” for the first time this last Sunday. One of the stories was about vision boards. I believe the story was that a man had just moved into a new house. He still had boxes in office to unpack. One morning his son came in and asked what was in the boxes. He told his son that it was his vision boards. The man had trouble explaining to his son what a vision board was so they opened a box to have a look. Turns out the man and his family had just moved into the house, the exact house, that was on the vision board. Craziness. I’m sure you and some readers know that story. From personal experience I was shocked when we moved to find an old list of goals for the year and see 90% of them accomplished. I think there is something to be said for putting one’s intentions and dreams out into the Universe.

    Third, I can’t help but feel I attracted this article to myself as a reminder to not just “set it and forget it” when it comes to my dreams, like a crock-pot. I can still trust the Universe, or what have you, to provide opportunities, but I still have to take action! I’m loving the Law of Attraction AND the Law of Action.

    Thank you for such a wonderful and timely post. Wishing you and your daughter well as you both embark on new chapters.

    Cheers,
    Katie

    Such a long comment!

    • Katie, I loved your long comment!

      Yes, there is absolutely power in putting your desires out there into the Universe.

      Then, I believe you MUST show up in the enchantment of life and take action to realize your dreams.

      The man in that story had to take action. He had to go out and look at homes, decide and move in.

      Having a vision is key to a woman living a beautiful life, but the vision doesn’t work unless she shows up for it.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story and perspective. You are going to to do amazing things, m’friend!

  8. Great words of wisdom! You are so right. I believe in the law of attraction, but you are totally correct in that it can spark the motivation to work on your dreams (like your wine picture in your board), but you need to do the legwork. However, it is so easy to fall back on your chair and keep thinking that ‘good things will come’. I guess it is all about achieving balance – forcing ourselves to step out of the comfort zone and take action, whilst still having those positive thoughts for us and our future.

    • As I tell my clients, Maris, you can’t expect the UPS man to deliver your dream life. You hit the nail on the head with your last statement.

      I’ll add: I think the best way to create is by celebrating the life you have right now AND creating excitement about what is to come and then getting out there and playing in the world (my more fun phrase for action).

      Have a lovely weekend!

      xoxo,

      T

  9. Great post! I have been doing Vision Boards for years with good success but it is only due to action on my part. Have the pictures that I see daily keeps my goals focused for me. But one absolutely has to take at least a tiny step of action to achieve what is on the Vision Board. A lot of times the pictures also help remind me to say yes to opportunities when they come up. Which is again taking action.

    • Debbie, I’m so glad you chimed in here. As I said, I am all for women inspiring themselves (whether it’s through images, music, travel, etc).

      It just saddens me to see so many women sit back and wait for life to happen to them instead of them happening to their lives.

      I hope that women who love creating vision boards read your comment so that they understand how to use them in a positive way to create results.

  10. Such a great blog post! I really enjoyed listening to it as I am also a huge fan of The Law of Attraction and was a vision board junkie for years. It was only last year that I moved into the Inspired Action arena. And what a difference it has made. Along with this I believe the energy you create around your desires/dreams and goals helps to manifest all that you want. Thanks!

    • Where is I agree with your statement that it’s putting ourselves into action that brings our dreams and visions into our reality – I also believe that creating vision boards can be a wonderful activity to draw us together, to create the dynamic energy that comes from being in community and circle, and to bring more focused to that which we do desire. I haven’t done vision board circles for quite a while… but when I did – I always strongly encouraged people to choose a partner or two for support and accountability in walking towards their dreams … much as you’ve suggested. Lovely and provocative post as always. Merci

  11. Hello Tonya,
    Love, love, love this article! You have (again) hit the nail on the head with the Law of Action.
    I have had so many light bulb moments reading your blog – you have helped me enormously on my path of living a life of quality, grace and beauty. I am so grateful – thank you!
    Marija

    • Aawww….thank you so much for that Marija! It is my purpose and what excited me each day to wake up and share what I’ve learned and continue to learn. Thank you for being a part of the community.

  12. Aawww….thank you so much for that Marija! It is my purpose and what excited me each day to wake up and share what I’ve learned and continue to learn. Thank you for being a part of the community.

  13. Tonya Leigh, yet another great post, and one that resonates with me completely! Vision boards are attractive because they aren’t scary. Acting on your dreams is scary and it takes balls. In pursuing my dreams, I have: gone to a philosophy conference in London and introduced myself to the writers and presenters there, put in the hours of work to become a certified coach, did tons of research on vintage styling to maximize a photo shoot for my website… I can’t tell you how many embarrassing moments I’ve had in all of this. No, I’m talking open-up-floor-and-swallow-me moments. The only way to transform your life is to go for it. Love the post, darling!

    • Lindsay, you make SUCH a great point. Yes, vision boards are fun and inspiring, but actually living out that vision? Girl….I hear you. Like a roller coaster ride with moments of pure elation followed by intense fear. Thanks for your sharing your story. I hope other readers who are feeling stuck will read and be inspired to GO FOR IT! xoxo

  14. One of the things I love about your blog, Tonya, is that I am always inspired to act -right then! After reading this post, I immediately got up, kissed my sweetheart, and went on a walk outside. I had become complacent in exercising and spent way too much energy upset about it the day before. And I got enjoy a lovely blue sky, sit on a park bench, and work on my writing. Plans are great, but like you said, “distraction action” gets in the way of what I actually want.

    • I LOVE this article!! I agree that vision boards are great for helping you see your vision, but nothing happens without action. I recently took a major step toward living out one of my big dreams and will be starting my PhD next month. I’m excited about taking action and making it happen. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a while but tried to talk myself out of it, mostly because of fear. I realized that my dream isn’t going anywhere. It’s been planted in my heart, so that’s what I must pursue. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for listening to mine.

    • Hi Dana, I’m thrilled that my blog/podcast inspires you to act. When I think of French Kiss Life, I immediately think of women in the world doing from a place of love, joy and excitement (and yes, oftentimes, with fear). I spent a long period “thinking” about the life I wanted and not actually creating it! When I started practicing the principles I now teach, everything changed! Keep FKL’ing life, m’friend! xoxo

  15. I like this article. I always thought that vision boards are waste of time. I don’t have a vision board, I live out of my vision board. I don’t put pictures of the places that I like to visit but I I book the plane tickets and I just go or get in the car with my hubby and visit the place. I am a world traveler. My life is the way I like and I wouldn’t change it. I love my life. I have an extraordinary adventure life with my husband.

  16. Hi Tonya, I just found your blog today. I feel free and happy reading your writing 🙂 Thank you. I laughed a little as I read this post – a while ago I created a vision board too, in the middle of the night. I had the first insight as I read this post, that in creating that I not only did not take action towards goals … I embraced a false notion of perfection (just like those glossy perfect pictures) … and yes trying to aim for perfection only brings discouragement as we remember over and over again that life or us aren’t ‘perfect’. But right now as I am pondering this I am feeling the delight of a messy, beautiful existence with all these rich moments, I feel so encouraged. No more vision boards for me too! Look forward to following your work. x

  17. Hi Tonya, wanted say thank you so much for this awesome information and inspiration…it was faith that I see this post on Facebook…nothing like being at the right place at the right time! I’v been struggling for years trying to get my life in the direction I so wanted but nothing was working out that way…I also did the Vision Board and hung it up in my bedroom so I could see it everyday but somehow it did not make any difference at all even though I looked at everyday. I was really starting to give up on finding the answer for myself until I seen your post and you truck a cord in me somehow…It has help me to finally make the decision to stop talking about my big dream and instead start taking inspired action and go for it! I so see myself visiting Paris and living out my dream life! Something has awakened in me that has been dormant for far to long…it’s time to put myself first and live an awesome life!! Again a million thank you’s!! 🍷❤️😘

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