How vast is your imagination?
Have you ever tried sitting quietly in a corner of your room, perhaps on your bed, with your eyes closed, and you just imagine all the things that you want to achieve in life? Or have you experienced that moment when you realized that everything you were imagining before is within your reach now or you already have it now? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
Visualization is a practice where you condition your mind to look and focus on your goal and imagine that it’s already happening now. You imagine the feeling by involving your senses as if you just achieved your goal in the present moment.
Let’s say for example, your goal is to travel to a tropical island in summer. You imagine that you’re on the beach, sweat is dripping down your face because of the heat of the sun, yet you’re enjoying the breeze of the salty air, while sipping fresh coconut water. Then you see yourself taking a deep breath because you’re enjoying that moment.
However, visualization doesn't end in our minds. It’s not just about imagining and daydreaming. You have to make a plan. You also have to think about the steps that you need to take in order to make that vision a reality.
Goals don’t just sit there on a piece of paper to be forgotten. You have to take action.
So how does visualization work? It comes in several steps that I want to share with you based on my own experiences for the past several years.
1. Write down your goals
It’s important to write down your goals so you have a physical copy of what you want to achieve. You can do it on a piece of paper and post it near your workstation so you can always see it.
You can also make a vision board to have a clearer visualization of your goals.
Before writing your goals, set your intention on why you want them. Think about who you will become when you achieve those goals that you have in mind. It’s nice to embody it so it becomes part of your life.
Know your why’s.
Maybe you want to have the freedom of travelling without worrying about commuting daily and just be able to go wherever you want anytime. So your goal is to get your own car.
2. Visualize what you want to achieve
Spend some time, most probably in the morning when you wake up, to visualize how you see yourself in the future. It’s easier when you’re also practicing meditation so your mind is calm and you can keep your focus.
Simply close your eyes, breathe... and then start imagining the things you want to achieve in life. Make it clear and specific. If you want a new car, be specific with the make and model, and even the color. If you want to start a business, identify what kind of product or service you want to offer, where it would be located and your ideal customers or clients. It’s also necessary to give yourself a timeline when you want to achieve that goal.
Then try to feel in the present moment how you're going to feel when you actually achieved your goals.
How are you feeling? Do you feel excited or energized by just thinking about it?
Feel that happiness right now. You’ll notice a smile curving on your lips because that’s how it’s gonna feel once you achieve that goal.
3. Make a plan and divide your goal into smaller pieces
All goals can be achieved by taking action. When you have a bigger plan, make sure that you chunk it into smaller, achievable pieces. Big goals seem unrealistic because you will feel stuck on when and where to start, how much time does it need to take, how or what do you need to do to make it happen, and who will help you in your journey.
Let’s say, you want to become a famous musician. But you have some limiting beliefs like there’s a lot of other talented artists out there, you don’t have enough fans or followers who acknowledge your talent, you don’t know anyone in the music industry who could help you get started with your career. Now, you have this dilemma that maybe it’s not possible because it’s a big dream.
That’s why you need to make a plan and make that big goal into mini-goals. You can start with enhancing your talent and being proactive in showcasing that talent to others. You should know your niche. What kind of genre do you like to perform? Then start marketing your talent. Upload your videos on the internet. Get to know more people who are in the same industry as you. Reach out and don’t be scared to ask for advice or help. It may come slowly, but surely.
4. Track your progress
Just like working on your habits, tracking your progress to reach your goal is really helpful in giving motivation to keep on going. At first, you will feel like there’s no impact at all and that it doesn’t make any sense. But if you just keep on going, you will realize that all those baby steps you did are actually an ingredient to a more delicious outcome.
There’s a lot of goal or habit tracker templates that can be found online. Try something that will work for you. Doesn’t it feel good to be able to write a check mark beside an activity that you’re working on a daily basis? It feels fulfilling that you achieve something in a day.
5. Remind yourself that you’re doing better each day
While you’re in the process of working towards your goal, you might feel that there’s no change at all, and you’ll feel like giving up. That’s why you have to remind yourself that you’re doing better each day and that you are willing to become better. Maybe that will make you smile because you’ll realize that you’re actually doing better than yesterday or few weeks ago or the past months or years.
Imagine how you would feel in the next few months because you feel better each day. Then you will get excited to see that newer version of yourself. Just go with the flow and see where the positive energy is taking you. Do not resist it.
6. Keep on learning
Every single day, you learn something new. While you’re in the process of working towards your goals, use it as an opportunity as well to evaluate yourself. Are the actions you're taking valuable in your life? What are your takeaways from each step that you take?
Use this time to also check on how you’re feeling. What did you learn from the past few days or weeks or months? Is there something that you need to learn in order to take the next step? Then do it. Do not let anything stop you if you know that what you're doing makes you happy.
If you feel exhausted along the way, it's okay to slow down, take a step back and relax. It's totally fine. That doesn't make you less as a person.
7. Reward yourself
Giving yourself a reward doesn’t have to be luxurious. Sometimes, it’s also just a state of mind telling yourself “Yes, I made it!”. I mentioned tracking progress earlier because it’s an important tool to see when you could give yourself a reward. If your goal is to exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, then maybe you can reward yourself by taking a nice, long shower after working out. Or treat yourself with some nice food. It depends on what can make you happy or satisfied.
Learn how to celebrate little things.
If you’re just looking on the bigger wins all the time while taking smaller things for granted, you won’t feel satisfied with your life. Sometimes, you wouldn’t see that you already lost 1kg in one week because you’re only looking at losing 10kg. If you don’t see it, you feel that you’re not achieving anything at all. Then you’ll end up not going forward because of frustration, without realizing the fact that you can lose that 10kg in 10 weeks if you’re consistent with your actions.
8. Do not expect anything
It’s odd to say that you should not expect anything when you’re looking forward to achieving your goals. But this also helps in setting intentions and feelings. If you’re always expecting something but that doesn't happen, you’ll just feel disappointed with yourself or others.
I learned this one phrase from a popular YouTuber who always talks about the Law of Attraction. When you visualize things, just “set it and let it go”. Remind yourself that you should not be chasing something or someone. If it’s meant to be for you, you will get it. If not, then move on because greater things are waiting for you out there.
You don’t really let the idea go, but you just use the time in between to focus on improving yourself. When you want to manifest something, you also have to make sure that you are deserving to receive that blessing at the right time.
9. Be patient
It’s important to know that working on your goals is not a quick and easy journey. It takes time and effort to be able to achieve them. That’s why it’s necessary to practice patience. There will always come a time when you feel frustrated because you don’t see the progress you're expecting or you don’t know where your efforts are taking you.
Remind yourself to relax, take a deep breath and be patient. Things happen for a reason. Things will happen at the right time. It’s not a waiting game because you still need to work on making yourself better each day.
I always believe that there’s a perfect timing for everything. Whether something bad or good happened at this time, it’s because it’s meant to be that way. It tells us that there’s something better coming or there’s something we still need to work on.
10. Realize who you are now and be grateful
This is one of the best things that you can do every day. Look at where you are now and who you are now. Realize the things that you achieved for the past years. Pause for a moment and analyze yourself.
Remember those goals that you set 5-10 years ago, and you actually have them now? It feels so great! And this realization will go back to the step where you have to be patient. There are goals that take years in the making. But you know it’s worth it!
Practice gratitude every single day. By doing this, you're focusing your attention on the things that bring joy and positivity in your life. And you will eventually attract beautiful things that you’ll be grateful for.
Until now, I’m still practicing visualization because I think it's a powerful tool in achieving one’s goals. It takes time and effort to get there. All the things that I wanted didn’t happen in a blink of an eye. I worked hard in improving myself until I get to the point when I know I deserve to accept my reward.
I’ve been educating myself and getting to know myself better. I visualize my goals and I also try to see the person I’ll become when I achieve them. I remind myself to “go for it and just do it” so I have this energy to actually start working on those goals. I’m also always excited to say “Wow, these are the things that I have been visualizing before, and now I’m living that moment!”
There are times when you will feel that you're getting stuck. There will be moments when you don’t know where to go next. But this shouldn’t stop you. You're just taking a sweet break. Keep thriving. Keep going. What’s yours will be yours at the right time.