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Did you know you have the power to change your life for the better?
That this power inside of you is easy to unleash?
You can harness this power at any time, and many of the most successful people in the world use it all the time.
What is this superpower?
It is the power to visualize your goals.
Visualizing your goals has become a hot trend recently.
The idea behind how to visualize your goals is that if you “see” your goal, you are more likely to achieve it.
Some of you might think I have fallen off my rocker, but I encourage you to read on and see how this works and then judge.
How To Visualize Your Goals For A Better Life
You need to practice visualization to increase the likelihood of reaching your goals and dreams.
By having the ability to see a desired outcome mentally, you do a few essential things:
- It teaches your brain to recognize what resources it will need to help you succeed in reaching your goals.
- It creates an inner motivation to strive for your goals and dreams.
- It promotes positive thinking, which will help you to stay on track to be successful in the long run.
How To Visualize Effectively
To begin using visualization techniques, you must find a quiet place to sit uninterrupted.
All you have to do is get comfortable and let your mind and imagination go to work.
For me, this usually happens at night when I first lie down.
I do it first thing in the morning, lying in bed, or when I get into my office.
I do it at these times because I rarely get interrupted.
My cell phone is off. My computer is off.
There are very few, if any, noises at night, and since I am up at 5 am, there are little to no noises at that time either.
Currently, one of my goals is to lose 20 pounds.
When I create a visual representation of this goal, I see a mental image of myself, 20 pounds lighter.
I see my clothes fitting better. I see and can taste the healthy foods I am eating. I see how happy I am.
In other words, I envision my life as though I have reached my goals.
In my daily life, when I am craving a burger or a pizza, I find that image saved in my mind of being 20 pounds lighter, which helps me overcome the craving.
Visualization And Professional Athletes
Professional and Olympic athletes use visualization all the time to better their performance.
Arguably the greatest golfer in the world, Jack Nicklaus once said,
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First I “see” where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s a sort of fade out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
There is also a scientific study on a few athletes looking to improve their free throws in basketball. They divided the athletes into three groups:
- Group 1: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day
- Group 2: They only visualized making shots every day
- Group 3: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day, and before going to bed, they visualized making perfect shots
The results of the study were astonishing.
Group 1, who only practiced taking free throws, improved free throw shooting by 7%.
Group 2, who only used mental imagery of them making free throws, improved free throw shooting by 10%.
Group 3, who practiced taking free throws and used mental images of making free throws, improved free throw shooting by 32%.
Steve Nash used this technique to perfect his free throw shooting.
The fact that he is the best free throw shooter based on percentage shows that visualization practice works.
Why Visualization Works
How does this visualization technique work?
It works because of the wiring in our brains.
The neurons in our brain interpret images as real life.
For example, when we visualize ourselves running up a flight of stairs, the neurons in our brain receive an impulse that tells them to perform the movement.
This creates a new neural pathway that tells our bodies to act as we have imagined.
So when you visualize doing things, your body creates pathways and memories of how to do that action even though you never actually performed the act.
And the more times you visualize it, the better you get at perfecting not only the mental aspect of the task but also the physical aspect.
Keys For How To Visualize Your Goals
As great as this visualization technique sounds, it isn’t something you master the first time you try it.
You must be aware of vital aspects when using a goal visualization technique to help you achieve your goal.
Focus On Your Senses
When I use visualizations for another goal of mine, the goal of my dream house, the picture I imagine in my head is this:
I am standing in my front yard with my dog. I can feel the warm sun on my back. I can hear my dog panting. I can smell the fresh cut grass.
All of these things help my visualized goal to become more real.
When you first begin to visualize, you may not be able to experience all of your senses. This is OK.
It is like trying to clear your mind by meditating or touching your toes when stretching.
At first, you most likely cannot do either, but with time and practice, you can clear your mind when meditating or touch your toes while stretching.
Focus On Details
Once you know what you want to achieve, it is time to put visualization into practice.
This takes focusing on your senses to the next level.
When I say focus on the details, I want you to get very specific and see as many details as possible.
For instance, I can imagine and see the individual blades of grass in my front yard and the fibers of the tennis ball that I am throwing to my dog as I visualize it.
I can feel the warmth of the sun on me.
Work your way up to being able to see specific details.
In time, this will become easier for you.
One thing that helped me focus on the details was looking at the object closely for a few minutes.
For example, I got out a tennis ball, and I closely looked at the fibers of it and took in how it felt in my hand.
Then I would close my eyes and see with my mind what I just saw with my eyes.
See Your Desired Outcome
While it is important to see your desired outcome, you also want to include sensory experiences.
Take note of how you feel when you achieve your goals.
This will help to make your visualizations more real and relatable for you.
I mentioned this earlier when talking about when I do goal visualization, but it is vitally important.
When you visualize, you cannot have any distractions.
Turn off your cell phone. Go to a room where you won’t be disturbed. It should be you and quiet so you can focus 100%.
This is especially important when first starting since you need practice to improve.
Once you have visualized success, some noise in the background isn’t the end of the world. But you still shouldn’t have your cell phone around when visualizing.
Don’t Give Up
You won’t be an expert at the start. You may struggle a bit.
For many, visualizing success isn’t natural. It is something that has to be learned, like riding a bike.
You will fail initially, but you must keep trying, and you will get better each time.
In the moment, you won’t realize your progress, but looking back, you will see how far you have come.
Create A Daily Practice
Finally, you want to practice these visualization techniques every day.
Doing this will help strengthen your subconscious mind, making it easier for you to visualize anything you want moving forward.
It is the same as with any other skill. The more you practice, the more likely you will master this skill.
Creative Visualization Techniques To Practice
In addition to the above keys, I have a few visualization exercises you can do to help you practice and become better at achieving your life goals.
Practice Seeing Colors
One exercise is to practice seeing colors. Look at a page with various colors on them.
Study the colors and then close your eyes. Now picture the colors.
Strengthen Your Subconscious Mind
Another exercise is to light a candle and sit close to it, ideally 3 feet away.
Watch the flame and study its color and shape and how it moves.
Now close your eyes and get a clear vision of the flame in your mind. See the color and shape of it.
See it move around. Open your eyes and repeat this exercise 3 more times.
When you first do these two exercises, the pictures in your mind will quickly fade. This is normal.
As you get better at visualizing, the image will stay longer as your focus improves.
Create A Vision Board
When starting, it can be difficult and frustrating to have visualization work.
An easy way to help is to create a vision board.
This board has the image of the goal you are trying to achieve.
For example, if you want to own a house, you would place pictures of homes you see in magazines.
If the image is online, print it out and tape it to your vision board.
Once you have your board created, spend time daily to look at the pictures, close your eyes, and envision them.
Writing in a journal might not sound like it would help, but it is a different form of creative visualization.
When writing in your journal, try to be as descriptive as possible.
This will help you take it from only writing to including your other senses, like smell and touch.
Use Guided Videos
Finally, you can practice using the video below.
It will help you start by focusing on images and then picturing them in your mind.
As you get better, the images will float around, and as such, you will practice having them float when you visualize as well.
The Importance Of Visualizing Your Goals
At the end of the day, if you want to be successful, making it a habit to visualize success is critical.
But don’t think you can sit back and daydream about a fantasy life a few times, and magically, your life will improve.
Visualizing doesn’t work this way.
Visualization is a tool in your tool chest for reaching success and your goals.
It works alongside hard work, surrounding yourself with good people, and pushing yourself to be your very best.
It is not a substitute for any of these things.
Looking back at the example of shooting free throws should make this clear.
Those who were most successful practiced their free throw shooting and visualized.
It wasn’t one or the other. The key was doing both.
Benefits Of Following Visualization Techniques
Visualization helps in many other ways aside from reaching your goals.
#1. Banish Negative Thoughts
We all think negatively now and then, but for some people, negative thinking is more the norm than the exception.
When you spend time with creative visualization, you can tap into positive energy, which will help you think positive thoughts more often.
You will also find that when you go through your daily life, you will be inclined to see a positive outcome instead of always seeing the negative.
#2. Mitigate Stress
Reducing stress is good for your mind and your body.
Research has shown that excessive stress levels can lead to many health issues.
When you practice visualization regularly, you can remove some stress from your life.
If you experience a lot of stress, you can use visualizations to see the tension leaving your body and feel relaxed.
#3. Reduce Anxiety
Are you always anxious?
If so, a visualization practice can help you to be calmer.
Then when you are feeling anxious, you can close your eyes and quickly picture a relaxed setting in your own mind that will instantly ease your nerves.
#4. Improve Motivation
Visualizing important goals is a great way to stay motivated, especially if your goals are longer in duration.
By seeing the life you want, you will be motivated to put forth the effort.
And by simply trying, you will eventually make progress in reaching them.
#5. Mental Rehearsal Of Different Scenarios
Outcome visualization is a powerful visualization technique that can help you perform at your best.
When you envision the many scenarios that could play out, you will be better prepared in the moment.
Instead of feeling out of control, you will remain relaxed because you played out these various scenarios in your mind.
Overall, learning how to visualize goes a long way in helping you to achieve your goals and dreams.
There have been countless times when I visualize something, and it comes to pass.
It might not happen tomorrow or the next day, but it does happen.
I encourage you to start visualizing your goals today and see the difference it makes in your life.
I encourage you to take a few moments and use the visualization techniques I discussed.
It will help you create a positive mindset and help you with the goals you want to achieve in the future.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.