How to Throw a Vision Board Party That Truly Inspires

how to throw a vision board party: High Angle View Portrait Of Girl At Home, scrapbooking on a table
Dasha Petrenko / EyeEm/Getty Images

The wellness world is abuzz with talk of visioning and manifesting as a means of identifying unarticulated goals, harnessing a newfound sense of purpose and unleashing one’s full potential. This popular self-improvement concept is deeply rooted in positive thinking…but let’s be honest, things can get a bit abstract and muddled in our brains. Hence, the vision board: an eye-pleasing collage that serves as a visual reminder of one’s most stirring goals (a new romance, a massive promotion or that amazing new leather jacket, perhaps?). Basically, it’s like a less snoozy cognitive map, or your bucket list pasted on posterboard.

With this background info in mind, it should come as no surprise that vision board parties are a thing. If you’re curious to see what visioning can do for your present and future, gather your friends for a fête that’s full of purpose and still entirely fun. Here’s how to throw a vision board party, courtesy of Kimberly S. Reed—a visioning pro, optimist expert and author of Optimists Always Win! Moving From Defeat to Life’s C-Suite. Read on for the full scoop and get ready to meet your best self.

how to throw a vision board party: High Angle View Portrait Of Girl At Home, scrapbooking on a table
Dasha Petrenko / EyeEm/Getty Images

1. Gather the Supplies

Your guests will need some basic supplies in order to make their empowering collages—namely, a posterboard, scissors, and glue stick (or bottle) for every guest, plus several stacks of magazines (don’t skimp) for folks to share. Easy peasy.

2. Set Up the Seating

Reed recommends clustering guests into small groups at several different tables (think: five tables of four for a group of 20), because this arrangement encourages socializing, without the kind of impersonal hubbub that might distract a person from the project at hand. The collage-making process is not intended to be collaborative, but it’s still beneficial to give guests an opportunity to share what they are adding to their boards if they feel so bold: “I always encourage people to have individual vision boards, but to have friends with them. You want to laugh, you want to share magazines, you want to be able to bounce ideas off of someone you trust,” explains Reed, adding that, “the best parties have a ratio of about 40 percent socializing to 60 percent independent work.”

3. Provide the Right Magazines

As for the magazines, Reed emphasizes that it’s absolutely key to have a diverse selection on offer—you might find the stuff your dreams are made of in Elle magazine, but that doesn’t mean the friend to your left feels the same—and magazines that have negative or divisive content should be avoided, lest the inspirational activity turn into a big bummer. In other words, save the highly-charged political material for your own personal consumption and stick to lifestyle magazines and other publications that cater to a broad audience. (Reed’s favorite choices include Success, O magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur, Time, Essence, Black Enterprise and Good Housekeeping.)

vision board party: Woman Sitting On Potted Plant At Home with scrapbooking things around her
Dasha Petrenko / EyeEm/Getty Images

4. Explain the Process

Guests might be tempted to start pasting down one pretty picture at a time, but Reed cautions that this is not the way to make a meaningful vision board. Instead, she suggests that guests first scour the magazines and clip out everything that catches their eye; then they can sift through all the clippings and assemble them in a way that’s more resonant, coherent and visually appealing. “It doesn’t have to be pretty, you don’t have to be Picasso…but you do want to make sure you are using the best images for that blank canvas, so take inventory before you paste” says Reed. Bottom line: Over-eager partygoers might get one step ahead of themselves, so it’s a good idea to share this wisdom before the visioning is in full swing.

5. Set a Time Limit

Per Reed, it’s best not to have the project drag on for too long. (It’s a vision board, not a vision bored, after all.) If you are hoping for a slightly longer bash, by all means, let the guests hang around and party down once the visioning is done, but the expert recommends limiting the vision board-making portion of the event to around 90 minutes. This will give guests ample time to make significant progress on their boards—perhaps even complete them—without tiring of the task.

6. Set the Mood

Visioning is all about tapping into unrealized desires and imagining yourself at your very happiest, without any constraints. In order to do this, though, “you have to have an open mind, be willing to accept any ideas that may come and let your inner perfectionist rest,” says Reed. And let’s just say that’s a tall order when the mood isn’t right. As such, Reed suggests making it a point to create a laid back environment by queuing up a playlist that features upbeat tunes and sending out invitations that indicate a comfy clothing dress code (no flirty cocktail dresses for this party, friends) so that guests can feel completely at ease.

It’s also worth noting that, though the aforementioned table set-up is good to have as an option and starting place for partygoers, the expert recommends that hosts do anything possible to cater to the comfort of the guests, like encouraging them to move to the floor, couch or wherever else they wish once they’re in the groove.

7. Serve Snacks and Refreshments

Goal-setting can be scary and ambition can work up quite an appetite—solve both problems by serving some cocktails or wine, plus an appealing spread of finger foods and party appetizers that guests can help themselves to at their leisure. (Hint: Getting hangry is one of those unpleasant constraints that can put a serious damper on the visioning project.)

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...