5 must-have images for your fitness vision board


Visualizing your goals and the path to achieving them is a powerful tool for effecting change.

Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference. – Joel Barker


For many people, creating a physical representation of their goals and the steps they’ll take to get there helps keep them motivated and inspired.

The thing is, so many of the fitness vision boards I come across are full of negative language and unrealistic images.

Language that equates exercise and good nutrition with punishment and deprivation. Phrases that use guilt and shame to goad us into action.

Not to mention that they focus primarily on aesthetic outcomes; washboard abs, ripped delts, glutes of steel and Linda Hamilton arms.

(Confession: Linda Hamilton’s arms did motivate me to start lifting weights ten years ago, but they’re not the reason I continue to do so today 🙂 .)

It’s like the creators of these vision boards skipped Goal-Setting 101. (Making me wonder if they ever attained their goals, or gave up feeling depressed and small when they realized they’d never measure up to the impossible standards they set for themselves).

Goals, and the images we use to represent them need to be realistic, attainable and time-bound.

They should also be couched in positive, can-do language.

They should evoke positive feelings and emotions, inspire us to push through when things get difficult and make us feel capable and strong.

I don’t know about you, but phrases like “sweat like a pig to look like a fox” do nothing for me.

She does have lovely, glossy fur…


Looking to create a fitness vision board that will actually motivate and inspire you?

Try focusing on what you want to feel like, rather than what you want to look like.

Achieve the former and the latter is often a happy by-product!


My 5 must-have images for your fitness vision board


  • a photo of a woman doing something physical that you’d like to be able to do (soon and for many years to come).

For example, a woman crossing the finish line of a marathon, carrying her kayak from the shed to the lake, flipping a monster tire or climbing a mountain with her family. Ideally, she’ll be closer to your age range than your daughter’s ;-). Although photos of women who are older than we are doing the things we long to be able to do can also be a great source of motivation.

successful midlife exercise program

I’ve never flipped a tire. I’d like to flip a tire.


  • a photo of yourself looking happy, proud, content, strong, capable or whatever feelings you associate with reaching your goals

Perhaps it’s an old photo of you and your children. Or the day you graduated from university. Or got promoted. Or completed your first 5K. This photo doesn’t need to be fitness-related. It’s meant to remind you how you’ll feel when you reach your goal.

My first and only 5K. All the sweeter because I did it with Clara


  • a photo of your body (or a part of your body) that you love

This might be a picture of you rocking your favourite jeans (those ones that you know you’ll be able to fit in with a little focused attention on exercise and diet). Or a close-up of your eyes. Or a bicep-flexing pic from Instagram. We’ve all got at least one body part that we adore. Show it (and yourself) some love.

I have great hair. I love my hair. I need to wash my hair more often…


  • a photo of you doing something physically challenging

This needn’t be current, although chances are the feats of physical daring you were capable of in your 20’s and 30’s may not be as easily attained now. Keep it motivating, but keep it real 🙂

I used to be able to do pull-ups. I am working on getting back to this place.


  • words or phrases that focus on positive feelings including self-acceptance, self-improvement, perseverance, resilience and pride

Search for motivating and inspiring quotes online. Notice them when they pop up in books, magazines and newspaper articles. Make them up yourself. Personal mantras can be very powerful.


Here’s what my current fitness vision board looks like.

The perfect blend (for me) of uplifting quotes, photos that make me smile and reminders of why fitness, strength and health are important to me.



Do you have a fitness vision board?

If so, tell me about the images you’ve chosen to help propel you towards your goals.



  1. I love your ‘tude, girl. These are all super ideas. I read you all the time but this time I had to comment about that “sweat like a pig” laugh you gave me.

    • I’m so glad that made you chuckle. Remarkably, this slogan was on a t-shirt given out at the very first fitness blogger conference I went to. I was not impressed…

  2. Fantastic tips! I don’t have a vision board, but I do have a picture of Jackie Joyner-Kersee mid-stride showing off her powerful legs. Most commercial (magazine?) images don’t do it for me since I never relate to the tall, thin models.
    Coco recently posted…Training For The Farm To Fork Fondo HillsMy Profile

  3. I don’t have a board but I know now is so different from back then… I love that tire pic! I want one! 🙂 Love the pic of you and Clara xoxoxoxo

  4. Such a great beautiful, Tamara! I think the initiative to transform people’s lives is important, always bringing relevant content like this, congratulations! Sharing on social networks. I’m sorry for my English.

  5. Some neat ideas for a vision board. I’ve always used pictures of other people. Never even thought of using pictures of myself but the idea of a picture of me doing something physically challenging is interesting. And of course, fitness quotes are a must.
    Jay recently posted…Is it Bad to Do the Same Workout Everyday?My Profile

  6. Hey, great pictures haha. I have actually flipped a tire before and I gotta admit its a great exercise. I recently brought my wife into fitness world also, maybe I will organise her some tires training.
    Brian recently posted…Bench Press Vs Dips: Which Is Better For Strength & Hypertrophy?My Profile

  7. 100% agree with having images to help you achieve your goals. Doesn’t even have to be fitness goals. I have a board in my office to motivate me to keep working.

  8. Super fantastic idea. I learned a lot about vision board.I will buy soon. Thanks.