In the quest to get to your goals you may have heard of numerous techniques and strategies that claim to help guide you to your goals. Goal-making purists are likely to point you to S.M.A.R.T. goals while more recent trends may point you to the world of manifestation and super attractors. Both techniques can help individuals to attain their goals but there is a common thread amongst both of them.
To set any goal you need to have an idea of what your goal looks like, what it will take to get to that goal, and where you need to start. Both manifestation and S.M.A.R.T. goals require you to have a good understanding of everything your goal encompasses and what it looks like.
Visualization techniques have been popularized in recent years but they play an important role in reaching your goals.
Whether you are an avid planner or believe in manifestation, visualizations can allow you an easier time reaching your goals. Below is a closer look at the parts of your goal you can visualize as well as specific techniques you can utilize.
To have a solid goal, you need to have an idea of what the final product will look like. If you are going to put forth immense effort towards something it only makes sense that you should know exactly what that will look like. Visualization can help with this and can help you to refine your goal into something meaningful to work toward.
Visualizing your goal, how it will feel, and what it will provide you in the future are all great ways to reinforce a sense of motivation to allow you to follow through with your goals.
Below is a breakdown of some visualization techniques to help you refine your goal and build a sense of motivation.
Initial visualization of success
One of the most powerful visualization techniques is to imagine yourself completing your goal. Even if you are just brainstorming a goal, this form of visualization can help in the goal-making process.
If you are just starting out with visualization a good place to start is to think about where you would like to be in a year’s time. That can be as simple as progressing in your career, or as ambitious as finishing your first marathon.
Asking yourself questions such as what would you like to have, feel, or even look like are good places to start.
With a general sense of where you want to be in a year’s time, you can refine your visualization to a specific aspect of that future you. Taking time to really craft and refine the future you want for yourself is a great way to start making actionable changes within your life and create strong goals.
Visualize your path to success
With a clear end goal in mind, you need to work backward to figure out how you will attain that goal.
Let’s say your goal is that you want to run a marathon at the end of the year. Working backward from this goal you should think of the things you will need to accomplish such as completing your first half-marathon, getting in shape, eating healthy, and training.
Visualizing the process can help to make the goal seem more doable and achievable in addition to helping to create a game plan.
When visualizing your path to success you will most likely envision the rewarding aspects of the process, but it is also important to visualize the aspects of working toward your goal that may be difficult. By working through the process mentally you can better prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
All too often goals are set and people begin to falter on making progress toward their goals.
A notorious example of such goals is new year’s resolutions when people have the best intentions for a “new year new me” only to completely abandon their goals and go back to living a very similar life that they were before. According to U.S. News, this appears to be the case for approximately 80% of people who set a new year’s resolution.
Faltered goals can be a part of goal making as sometimes priorities change, but more often than not goals are not reached due to a diminished level of motivation. Initially being excited about a new prospect of a goal can help to motivate you, but over time this same sense of drive and motivation can diminish.
Visualization can be a great tool to utilize to keep you motivated and remind yourself of what you are working towards. Visualization repetition is a technique where you visualize your success on a consistent basis. Doing so can dig you out of a slump and help to give you the push to get through whatever it is that you are working for.
Visualization repetition is closely related to manifestation in that you are constantly reminded of your goal. All too often people can forget and lose sight of their goals. Both manifestation and visualization repetition can help you to see the bigger picture and understand where all of your hard work is going.
Visualization serves its purpose in planning but at the same time, it is important to ensure that you tackle your goals with a plan. Planning for a goal is about setting realistic expectations for yourself and managing your time effectively to meet your goals. Planning your goals effectively allows you to work towards them in a more productive and systematic way.
Back to the marathon example, it is difficult to have a goal of running a marathon in a year if you go at it without a plan. You need to ensure that you are progressing in a linear manner and are doing a sufficient amount of training and endurance work, taking your diet seriously, and taking supplements that may support better energy levels.
Below is a closer look at some planning techniques that can help you get closer to attaining your goals.
Write it out
Any good plan tends to be written out and this concept also can apply to planning out your goals. While short-term goals can be fairly easy to plan, more complex and long-term goals can require more thought and intention.
Writing out your plans is a great way to not only visualize the process but ensure you keep track of the things you need to do. An example may be that you want to get all A’s for the semester. The best way to attain that goal is to plan out your study sessions and ensure you have the time set aside to study to get good grades.
Writing out the plan for goals can allow you to not only stay on track, but it can also be rewarding to check off the things you have completed to give you a renewed sense of accomplishment and progress toward your ultimate goal.
Break up your goal into milestones
Many goals that people have for themselves tend to be large and ambitious. There is nothing wrong with ambitious goals but they can be trickier to navigate since they are so far out, and it can seem like the small steps you take on a daily basis toward that goal are barely making an impact.
Wanting to become a doctor, trying to get a better physical physique, and even wanting to have financial independence are all long-term goals. With these goals, it is important to create milestones in the planning process.
With the example of wanting to become a doctor, these milestones could be completing your undergraduate, getting a good score on your entrance exam, getting accepted into medical school, and taking your board exams.
Nearly any large goal can have smaller milestones created and these milestones can help you to stay motivated and engaged knowing that the actions you do on a daily basis are making noticeable impacts on each milestone.
Planning how you will start
Often times the hardest part of planning toward a goal is to decide where you should start. Many people try and accomplish as much as they can when they first set a goal but this can be an unsustainable approach to some goals.
A better approach is to start small and slowly work yourself up to working more towards your goal. The initial excitement can tempt you to work more toward your goal, but channeling that excitement into actually following through in the long run can be better utilization of this motivation.
A perfect example of this is having a goal of bench pressing your body weight. Rather than starting right off the bat trying to lift your bodyweight you would utilize lighter weights and focus on getting a good technique and form before progressing to heavier weights. This concept applies to many goals and oftentimes the slow and steady progression towards a goal are the ones that succeed and are worthwhile.
In summary, visualization is a powerful tool when it comes to your goals. Visualization can be utilized in the process of goal creation, planning, and execution. Utilizing visualization throughout the process can help your goals have an easier time sticking.
Pairing visualization with proper planning provides you with the best shot at attaining and living your dreams and goals.