Contrary to popular belief, visualizing your goals isn’t “if you think it, it will happen magically”. So to clear up the confusion and get you in the right direction, I'm sharing 19 best visualization tips to help you achieve your self-growth lifestyle goals.
Visualization may sound woo-woo but it's a practical mental exercise you can use for tangible and powerful results.
These 19 tips can improve your mental imagery practice and help you envision all the steps necessary to accomplish your personal growth goals.
Where does visualization fit in with setting goals?
Achieving your goals involves these 5 steps:
- Defining your goal
- Action steps
- Adjust execution steps
- Reflect on what works or doesn't work
- doing all the above on repeat
Visualization fits neatly into goal setting because you can use it at any point in the 5 steps above. Envisioning your ability to fulfill goals is a practical addition to creating a framework to achieve personal growth goals.
What is visualization technique?
In other words, visualization is a technique that uses mental images to help you achieve results. With imagination you see yourself doing all the steps to accomplish one intention or purpose.
Another way to think of it: visualization is creative imagery, a technique that uses mental images to help you achieve goals or results.
Elite athletes, artists, musicians, and business leaders harness the power of visualizing achievements as if they've already happened. This is a crucial part of their success.
Most importantly, when used efficiently visualization helps you rehearse the action steps required to achieve results. My best tip... do it consistently.
For instance, I was inconsistent when I first started and of course it didn't work for me. With this in mind, I gave myself one week to practice at the same time every day on just one thing I wanted to change.
Getting into the groove of visualizing helped a lot with my real world results.
Now I sort through my goals list and get deliberate with my action steps quickly. I found a system that works for me. In fact, mental imagery gets me excited for my potential to achieve.
I think you'll find this strategy helpful too so keep reading to learn the benefits.
3 benefits of visualizing your goals
Given that it takes time to learn visualization exercises there are immediate benefits through practicing.
- Increased focus on creating actionable steps to do everything to get the goal done.
- Your brain can't tell the difference between imagination and reality so imagining successful results boosts the belief you can do it.
- Goal setting becomes clear and deliberate.
“If you can see it and believe it, its a lot easier to achieve it.” Oprah
Tips to visualize your goals efficiently
Choose a clear and measurable goal because it will help your mind create a strong mental picture. Remember that visualization is not a short-cut to avoid doing the work to reach goals. Nothing replaces planning and action. In other words, with any technique there’s proven ways that work and don’t work.
With this purpose in mind, its important to recognize that researchers have shown that dreaming about your outcomes actually takes away your motivation to achieve them. 1 Surprised?
To clarify, its important to be aware of this downside so you can take into account there's both an ineffective and effective way to practice visualization.
Visualizing goals is a practical action step moving the needle closer to making them happen. Don't waste time like I did - follow these 19 tips for visualizing your goals.
“The biggest asset in the world is your mindset.” Gary Vaynerchuk
19 important tips to visualize your goals
1. Positive space
Practice visualization from a positive space. Prepare by listening to relaxing music, or meditating for a few minutes to get your mind right.
2. Write it down
Obviously, action steps is part of setting goals so you should have a few ideas written down already. If you do not, write down the steps necessary to achieve the goals before you start any visualization session.
3. A quiet place
Always practice in a quiet place without distractions if possible. I have kids so I understand this may be near impossible for those of you with kids, too. It may be helpful to sit or lie down to focus solely on visualizing.
4. Practice gratitude
Make a gratitude list of all the things you're thankful for having in your life. This list is an equally powerful substitute in place of writing down steps. Gratitude serves a mindset boost if you're having trouble effectively "seeing" or feeling yourself accomplishing goals.
5. Visual imagery reminders
Create a vision board or dream board to enhance your experience outside of visualization exercises. Visual imagery reminders can help you keep your goals or action steps top of mind.
6. One goal
Set one goal to achieve during each session. Each time you do mental rehearsals you can choose what part of your goal to work on.
7. Mental movie
Imagine yourself doing all the action steps. Like it's a mini-movie with a beginning, middle and end with as much sensory detai as possible.
8. Theta state
Mental imagery during theta brainwave state offers the best results. I've explained theta state after tip #19.
9. Quality over quantity
Start with 10-minute sessions because quality is more important than quantity when it applies to your personal or professional goals.
10. See your success
Always include the successful completion of achieving your goal(s) in your imagery session. To clarify, don't do all this mental work without seeing yourself complete things successfully.
11. Use the senses
Visualize the sounds, smells, textures, and feel the emotions in your visual scenes.
12. Remember to feel
Feeling the emotions associated with a successful outcome is a key to changing your current state of mind into a success state of mind.
13. Trust the process
Changing your existing state of mind requires addressing all of the senses. How you feel matters just as much as what you see for your future self. The idea is to be open to achieving your goals. It may not always happen but the effort is an important process.
14. Visualize clearly
Starting out with blurred images is normal. The more you practice visualization the more your image quality will improve. Writing a vision statement, drawing a mind map and journaling can improve your sessions too.
15. A good habit
It's important to keep your goals top of mind. Practicing visualization helps motivate you to keep working and succeeding at your lifestyle goals.
16. Practice a lot
The more you practice the more your future potential becomes clear and achievable.
17. Expect results
Go into your sessions expecting to get results. Believe in your ability to use visualization as part of your overall goal building system. Oprah says, "If you can see it and believe it, its a lot easier to achieve it."
18. Use reminders
Flashcards are a great way to remind yourself of the goal(s) in between mental imagery sessions.
19. Part of a system
Visualization is just one part of many parts to help you accomplish lifestyle goals.
Bonus Tip #20: Give yourself space to also take a break. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is be present in the moment. Allowing yourself to enjoy the progress already made is a significant move because its motivation for achieving more results.
Listen friend, practicing mental imagery isn't just for elite athletes and business leaders. You can benefit from this technique too.
Give it try it after meditating, exercising or during a theta brainwave state. When done consistently you'll discover your own ability to influence the subconscious mind at its peak state.
In like fashion, learn about "9 Habits That Will Change Your Life" for healthy influences on achieving your goals.
Credits1. Kappes, H., & Oettingen, G. (2011). Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 719–729.