Goal-directed visualisation is the regular use of the imagination in a way that can help people fulfil their goals by engaging in purposeful thinking about the desired outcome (Belchamber, 2021).
In fact, it was shown in previous studies that individuals who are able to visualise their goal are more likely to achieve them over time compared to those who lack the ability to do so. This can be seen across topics and a variety of goals; for instance, visualising ownership of a desired product can help transform the expectations into the product acquisition (Balducci & Richins, 2021) or sticking to our resolutions.
It has been proven that practicing mental stimulations can help us change our behaviour and therefore achieve our goals. There are two types of such mental stimulations that can influence our success. The first one is outcome stimulation which involves imaging the achievement of a behavioural outcome, such as reducing alcohol consumption or changing eating habits. The second one is process stimulation which involves practicing the behavioural steps required to fulfil our goal, for example engaging in sticking to a diet plan or restricting alcohol intake (Belchamber, 2021). These two mental stimulations combined can bring you closer to achieving your goal!
So, now we’ve touched on the theoretical knowledge, here are some simple steps you can follow to implement and benefit from the power of visualisation in your own life.
Decide what you want and picture the scene of owning/achieving it
Start visualising one of your goals and focus on the details while doing so. The more specific you can be the better the visualisation will work. Picture the scene as you are accomplishing your goal. What does your dreamed self do, how do they talk to people, what is this person’s routine. Remember to also include all the emotions that ‘future you’ will experience, think about the excitement and satisfaction that is coming. Are you already excited to take steps to become that version of yourself?
Imagine each step that will bring you closer to your dream
Think about the steps that are relevant to achieve your desired outcome. Then visualise it! Focus your mind on these steps and again, be very detailed of what need to be done to have the desired outcome. Go through these thoughts repeatedly and include the emotions that are linked with these actions. Remember to focus only on what you want, not what you do not want. You want to feel relaxed and confident while thinking about your goals, not anxious and nervous.
Create an affirmation for every goal
While picturing your desired outcome it can be helpful to have strong affirmations along the dreamed images and feelings. These affirmations will help you change your perception and be used as a reminder that you’ve got it! For instance, every time you think about your goal or steps towards that outcome you can say to yourself: “I can do it”, “I am confident”, “I am enough”.
Start implementing steps towards your goal into your daily routine
Now you know the excitement that is waiting for you and you have your eyes on the prize. Visualising your goals and positive affirmations should be used as a motivational tool for you to start taking actions. You already know how to do it so now’s the time to put them into action.
Remember to be consistent. Regular visualisation can convince your brain that what you want is actually the truth. The more you visualise something, the higher the likelihood that it will be yours. Be patient, as the saying goes…Rome was not built in a day. Use visualisation as your super power and practice it anywhere at any time.
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