Visualize Your Goals
Successful accomplishment of any goal can be accomplished much more successfully if you can find a way to picture or visualize it.
Think about this for a minute with me. Why are New Year’s Resolutions so popular? Because we take such great care to put into context and reason why we need to achieve this grand vision and goal for ourselves. You take a time out from the world to truly think about beating yourself in to shape. What do I want to be in the new year? Who do I want to be? What do I want others to know me for? You take this incredible time out from life to be present and use mindfulness to visualize what you want to achieve and put yourself on the other end of that finish line of success. Then BAMM, your off like you just got shot out of a cannon hell bent on accomplishing the goal, determined to not let anything get in the way.
Then something happens along the way. Your competing life priorities get in the way and you begin to not live in the present daily of that goal. Your visualization becomes clouded with other stuff. Pretty soon, your part of that statistic of failure that all the others fall into with best intentions only to be derailed from it because you cannot live in the presence of that goal. When we lose that visualization of the goal itself we can all but forget about getting close to achieving it. You become the 72% that don’t achieve their resolution instead of the 8% that do. It’s hard work and life will get in the way. Why else do only 8% of the people that set out to achieve a New Year’s Resolution make it?
Here’s some tried and true methods to help you stay in the presence and continue to practice staying within visual eye sight of your goals you want to achieve. They may seem simple, but they work and they keep you mindful and present.
1) The one thing. Simplify and focus your distractions by constantly filtering those choices along the way to fall under no more than 3 lenses. If you can get it moved under one thing, that’s even more powerful and you increase your success rate tremendously. Most of the time competing priorities shove what we think are dozens of things we need to accomplish in our face. Some of these things we think we need to make a priority to even reach the goal. Instead, if we really stop and think through it, take those 12 things and break them down into 6, then 3, and then down to 1–2, those 1 or 2 things for the focus and next steps end up solving all 12 we came up with in the first place. Kill 12 birds with one stone they say, or something like that. If it is not simple, it will not work. Simplify and focus down to one thing.
2) Mindfulness. There is to much in our lives. We have more information at our finger tips that ever before with search engines galore and the internet of things. We are constantly connected and pelted with more information than we need or our minds can effectively catalogue or handle. Normal daily distractions even have been proven to put off self-improvement. These overloads takes us off our path to that finish line. Just taking 10 minutes a day and practicing slow, intentional breathing focuses you. It takes you out of the busy bustle of the day and forces you to listen to something we do automatically and slow it down. It makes you present. When you’re present you’ll begin to notice and pick up things around you that you may have previously missed due to the distractions. Take yourself out of the game, pause, and learn to take some deep breaths when you feel lost. Listen to your own self talk and get back to visualizing your goal.
3) Journaling. There are some incredible journaling apps out there for every operating system or platform you can think of. Journaling for many is so incredibly hard, because again like point 2 above, we are so entrenched in information we feel we can’t possibly take 15 minutes a day to write our thoughts down on paper or that it’s even necessary. We make up in our mind that journaling something in itself is a time waster, to slow down and reflect is a time waster. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to just keep writing whatever came to mind for 15 minutes. I struggled to filter my thoughts and just get them down coherently on the page. However, as I began to write more about my journey it helped me to pause, be present, and really articulate things that helped me keep the visual prize in front of me I needed see or wanted to accomplish. It was a great moment outside of myself to really listen to my self talk. And if you can write it physically versus type it into a app, that’s even better. A simple start, write your 10 most negative thoughts from the day and then spend time trying to change a few words around to make it positive. It’s proven that writing in a journal increases memory capacity and improves cognitive thinking which you will need to achieve to create the strength it takes to keep visualizing that end game or make it to the end.
Our biggest adversary to achieving our goals is ourselves. Whether we say we can or can’t we are right.
Here’s a couple of books to get you started if you’ve got the time to read and learn.
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
What to Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Hemlmstetter
Happy visualizing and be present.