You’ve got your goals set. You’re excited about them and the prospects of achieving them. Whether those are true statements for you personally, for your team/organization or both, congratulations! They’re both necessary and important steps.
And, they aren’t enough.
I’m guessing you’ve heard about visualizing your goals. Many tell me it seems silly, others think it doesn’t help. Most don’t understand how or why they should do it. By the end of this article I’ll show you how to visualize in practical, and even in some fun, ways. And, you’ll know why visualization is so important.
It’s simple really. If you want to improve the chances of achieving your goal, and if you want to achieve it faster, then you need to visualize your success. I could give you tons of technical reasons why this is true, but for now, this should be reason enough: You are more likely to get your goals (and get them faster) with visualization.
With that in mind, here are five specific ways you can visualize your goals individually or as a group (if it’s a group goal).
Apply the as-if principle.
This is partly about how you write the goal, stating it in present tense as if it has already occurred (i.e. “On February 15, 2011 I weigh xxx pounds”). It goes beyond that too. By writing the goal in that way, and thinking about it that way (more on that in a minute), you are actually helping your subconscious brain implant an image of you successfully completing the goal in your mind.
Make it (literally) visual.
You’ve probably heard if you want a new car to put a picture of that car where you can see it. That’s a good start. Better: if the picture is of the exact model in the perfect color with you in the driver’s seat. Best: if that picture was taken in your drive way (any dealer will happily help you make that happen). If you have team goals have a specific picture of what success is and post or place it where everyone can see it.
Do a complete mental rehearsal.
World class performers in all realms do this – because it works. And you can too. Close your eyes and image everything you will be seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing and tasting when you have achieved your goal. The more vivid you can make it and the more sensory details you include, the more it will help you implant the vision in your mind. While this might seem a bit challenging at first, with practice you will find it both fun and valuable.
Write a story.
When compared to the complete mental rehearsal, the idea of a story might seem easier. The best answer? Do both! Write your story like a journalist would describe the results of your successful goal attainment. Write it with quotes from you and others. Like any great story remember to include the facts and details of your success.
Review, remind and re-energize.
This is the turbo charger for the other four. Doing each (or all) of the other four strategies is great. But doing them once will have limited value.
- Every time you review or re-read your “as-if” goals you are further implanting that vision (reread them often).
- When you have the pictures, place them where you can see them often – a digital image on your phone or computer, on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, etc.
- Once you have created your mental rehearsal, replay it in the theater of your mind often – for your most prized goals, do it every day. Making this a habit is an incredibly powerful strategy.
- Once you have written the story, read it again. And again. And again. Make it more vivid like a good editor would. Read it until you can almost recite it.
These strategies may seem strange or unusual. The reality is that they are unusual to most people – but not to the most effective goal achievers. If you want to achieve more – faster, these five strategies will help you.
Open your eyes and look at the bright future you can create!