How to Manifest Your Dream Life—A Beginner’s Guide

Your best life, unlocked.

By Isabelle Eyman
gratitude journal prompts

Like many, I’ve had goal-setting on my mind. With the holidays in full force and the promise of a new year around the corner, I’m caught between wanting to revel in the celebration all around me and pushing forward to all the goodness I’m excited to get after in 2023. So, amidst all the parties, gifts, and cookie baking, I’ve been behind the scenes taking baby steps toward making my dream life a reality. With journaling, healthy habits, and manifestation techniques in my living-my-best-life arsenal, it’s beginning to feel well within reach.

If you’ve been on the internet anytime during the past year, then you likely know that manifestation is having a moment. At first—without much prior knowledge of the ins and outs—it felt a bit like a scapegoat for the hard work that comes with bringing your goals to fruition. But the more I began to read about manifestation and learn about different manifestation techniques, the more I understood that this is some of the most important work we will ever do.

Featured image from our interview with Kimberly Snyder by Teal Thomsen.

woman journaling at table
Image of Riley Reed by Jenn Rose Smith

Your Guide To Manifesting Your Best Life

To learn more about manifestation and how the practice can help us level up in 2023, I spoke to Victoria Jackson. Victoria is a certified mindset coach, the founder of The Manifestation Collective, and the author of the book Manifesting For Beginners. Below, Victoria shares her personal experience with manifestation, the history behind the practice, and she guides us through the manifestation techniques that you can begin making a party of your life today. Plus, keep reading to the end for the best manifestation journals to support you in your journey.

Victoria Jackson

Victoria Jackson is a certified mindset coach and EFT practitioner, author of the book Manifesting For Beginners and founder of The Manifestation Collective, a community, podcast and membership designed to help you create a life you truly love through soul, spirituality, strategy and science.

Could you share the history behind manifestation?

While manifestation is certainly a buzzword on social media right now with TikTok awash with tips, tricks and advice, alternative teachings and abstract views on the power of our thoughts have been around for centuries. The term “law of attraction” was not referenced in literature until the 1870s when Russian author and philosopher Helena Blavatsky spoke of the connection between spirits. However, the New Thought movement, which had begun to take shape in the early 19th century, as well as religious teachings prior to that, often shared the belief that what we put out into the world would return to us.

In the 20th century, thinkers such as Napoleon Hill (who wrote Think and Grow Rich), Norman Vincent Peale (author of The Power of Positive Thinking) and Louise Hay (who penned You Can Heal Your Life) delved deeper into the spiritual ideology behind the law of attraction and manifestation. However, one of the most mainstream forays into the world of manifestation came from writer and television producer, Rhonda Byrne, creator of The Secret—a documentary film and book now synonymous with the law of attraction.

This breakthrough into conventional media allowed a plethora of minds to suddenly open to an alternative and more positive way of thinking. Oprah has shared many of her stories of manifestation and Jim Carey shared his story of writing a check to himself for $10 million in 1985, dated 10 years in the future. He carried the check in his wallet while he was a struggling actor. Then in 1995, exactly 10 years later, Carey was offered a role in Dumb and Dumber with a payment of, you guessed it, $10 million.

stack of books with incense manifestation techniques
Image by Jenn Rose Smith

What is your personal experience with manifestation?

I discovered the concept of manifestation in 2015 while I was working as the editor of a men’s fashion magazine. Despite me reaching what I thought was the pinnacle of my career, I felt incredibly lost, unfulfilled, and was suffering from burnout. I began by listening to The Secret and was incredibly cynical. I found it hard to believe that our thoughts could change our reality.

Surely life just happened TO us and there was very little we could do to control it, right?

But I realized I would try almost anything to shift my negative mindset, so I began to practice gratitude on a daily basis and consciously refocus my thoughts to more positive ones, starting with my car ride each morning. Instead of getting angry at other drivers, I played music that made me feel good and let people get on their way. 

Soon my life began to align in ways it had never done before. I started my manifestation journey with small experiments such as seeing a pink feather (which came through the post in an envelope two days after I asked the universe to see one) and small amounts of money. As the years passed, I manifested trips to LA, Hong Kong and San Francisco, my dream car, hundreds of thousands of pounds in lottery wins, lump sums, refunds, unexpected windfalls, my dream business after being made redundant, working with brands I had on my vision board and most recently, my book deal for my debut book.

What started as an inquisitive mind—almost hoping to prove the concept wrong with my cynical nature— led to changing my entire life in the most amazing ways. 

woman sitting on couch with laptop
Image of Cyndi Ramirez by Belathée Photography

For many people, manifestation seems too good or too easy to be true. How can we trust and know that the practice works?

The reason I empathize with this particular mindset is because I held the same belief when I first began reading about the law of attraction. We can just ask the universe for something and it’s delivered? Surely not! While that idea would be very nice, that isn’t what manifestation really is at its core (despite what social media would have you believe).

Co-creating your life with the universe means you may be redirected at certain points in your journey, you may be led to learn particular lessons, go through different challenges, and work through certain mindset blocks before you can receive.

The goal isn’t always to have everything you desire, but to BECOME the person you desire to be first.

My advice? Start with small experiments. Test the universe. Ask to see a feather. Visualize receiving five dollars. Start small and build your trust that it works. And hey! Even if you don’t believe there is a higher source working alongside us, even changing your mindset to a more positive one and focusing on gratitude for everything you DO have, rather than what you don’t, will still have an incredible impact on your day-to-day life. 

Image of Nitsa Citrine by Claire Huntsberger

You offer 1:1 manifestation sessions. What can participants expect from these workshops?

As a certified mindset coach and EFT practitioner, my coaching sessions are focused on uncovering blocks that are stopping people manifesting their dreams into reality. I help them embody the version of themselves that already has their desires. For us to manifest, we have to be able to visualize our dreams and goals already being ours. By embodying that version of us now, we’re able to attract the actual tangible, physical thing at a much quicker rate.

For example, if you’d like to manifest starting your own business, but the version of you now does nothing toward the process—putting yourself out there and putting the action into the law of attraction—how can the universe deliver? It’s almost like you’re repelling your dreams. Instead, notice how good it feels to create space in your diary to focus on your business idea, to start your Instagram page, to register your website domain. Let the universe know you’re serious about meeting it halfway. 

While 1:1 coaching is an incredible investment for people, I also provide a low-cost monthly membership to help people integrate the art of manifestation into their daily lives—all within a community of like-minded souls. We have monthly goal-setting sessions, Full Moon circles, masterclasses and so much more in The Collective Membership.

Megan Roup practicing breathwork
Image of Megan Roup by Michelle Nash

If someone is new to the practice, where is the best place to start?

Aside from reading my book, Manifesting For Beginners, I would say start by getting clear on what you want your life to actually look like. We can often live our lives by what others expect from us, comparing it to what other people have, and living by someone else’s blueprint. But the most important thing is to create a life that feels good to you.

Ask yourself these journal prompts:

  • How would I spend my ideal day?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • Who do I want to spend time with?
  • If the answer was yes, what would I do with my life?
  • How do I want my life to feel?

Once you have some idea of what you want life to look like across health, wealth, career, love, home and personal development, create a vision board. You can do it the traditional way where you cut out images and words from magazines, or you can create a Pinterest board that helps you focus on the things you want from life. Instead of waking up and automatically scrolling through someone else’s life, spend that time looking at your vision board and allowing your reticular activating system (the part of the mind that enables us to focus on something and filter out information that isn’t needed) to filter out things that are not going to help you achieve your goals and manifest your desires.

When you make your dreams and desires a priority, you’ll notice how quickly people, places and opportunities begin to align in your favor. I have had a picture of Camille on my vision board since the beginning of 2022, and here I am now contributing to this feature. It may not happen overnight and things may need to be worked on in the background. But trust me when I say that if your desires are in alignment with your greater self, then the time will come where your vision board turns into reality.

woman pouring tea in kitchen manifestation techniques
Image of Sanetra Nere Longno by Michelle Nash

What are a few manifestation techniques that readers can begin practicing today?


Visualization is key to manifesting because the energy we put out into the world is the energy we attract. Begin by closing your eyes and thinking about what it is you would like to manifest. Perhaps it’s your soulmate. Start to daydream about them. Daydream about how you’ll feel. What you’ll do. What dates you’ll go on. How that person makes you feel. You’ll notice your energy shifting. Maybe you’ll smile. Maybe you’ll feel excited.

At this point, you’ll be at the same frequency of what it is you’d like to attract—in this case, love. Sink into that energy. Embrace it. Spend a few moments a day visualizing and daydreaming. Do it before you go to sleep in the evening or when you wake up in the morning when your mind is at its most malleable.

The Law of Attraction

The second step is to put the action into the law of attraction. Take inspired action by listening to your intuition. For example, if you want to manifest a certain amount of money and suddenly you get the idea in the shower or while driving to work, to approach your boss about a new position that’s come up, follow that internal guidance. Those ideas that come to you suddenly and that just feel right are downloads from the universe. Follow those through and see where they might lead. 

woman meditating in bed
Image of Kimberly Snyder by Teal Thomsen

The Best Manifestation Journals to Start Your Journey

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice? You can start by expressing your goals and desires through journaling. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best manifestation journals to help you get started.

Every product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Intelligent Change The Five Minute Journal

u003cpu003ePerhaps the most viral journal on social media. You’ve likely seen wellness creators feature this journal in their morning routines. Why? Because it’s a quick and streamlined way to keep consistent with your manifestation practice.u003c/pu003e

Do It For Yourself Guided Journal

u003cpu003eAnother TikTok and Instagram fave. This motivational journal features inspiring graphics and prompts to make your dreams happen. Set a goal and work through the journal’s five phases—each stage is designed to help you gain clarity on your desires and support your manifestation journey.u003c/pu003e

Lovet Planners Manifesting Journal

u003cpu003ePerhaps one of the best journals to pick up if you’re just getting started with manifesting. Why? Because it provides you with daily journal questions, reflective worksheets, and gets into the nitty-gritty behind why the work you’re doing manifesting works.u003c/pu003e

Papier Joy Wellness Journal

u003cpu003ePapier is known for making some of the most stunning journals—and this wellness-focused notebook is no exception. Each page is intentionally designed to guide you through every step in your wellness journey. You have space to map out where you’d like your goals to take you; pages dedicated to setting intentions; daily overviews for logging habits like sleep, water intake, meals, and emotions; and goal and gratitude check-ins for tracking your growth.u003c/pu003e

Berni Johnson The 369 Manifestation Journal

u003cpu003eThis journal draws upon some of the larger concepts of manifestation, with tips on how to use the law of attraction; divine numbers 3, 6, and 9; and guided journaling exercises to help you craft your dream life. With the 369 manifestation technique, you’ll jot down your desires three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine times at night. u003c/pu003e

Insights Manifesting: A Day And Night Inner Journal

u003cpu003eStructured to be used over a 90-day period, this tool is designed to help you get clear about the habits you want to bring into your life and identify how to put them into a daily practice.u003c/pu003e

Rebecca Smith Manifestation Journal

u003cpu003eYou can personalize this journal however you’d like—opting to change the title and the cover’s affirmation—so that each time you open it, you’re reminded that you’re on your own unique journey. By far, this is the most aesthetic way to realize your highest self.u003c/pu003e