This month we’ve been focused on the topic of Goal-Setting to get you prepared for rocking your 2018. You heard about looking back on your 2017, how to make 2018 your best year ever, and goal-setting traps to avoid … and there’s more to come before the month is over! Today we’re talking Visualization.
In this post, I want to stress the importance of implementing, practicing, and maintaining good mental habits to support your goals every day. As a 2-time Ironman finisher, I continue to study and use these techniques both in my training and my work.
Our minds are flexible, pliable things. Our brain’s ability to simulate a scene – such as in a dream, or when our mind wanders – with all of our senses and emotions can have a deep impact. It is for this reason that the use of visualization, imagery, other senses, and emotions can make a huge impact on our behavior. Professional athletes have known this for a long time: they can set the stage for a great performance by having very clear plans and visualizations of how the activity is going to go. Take a look at how Michael Phelps does it.
“Great, Brad, but what does that have to do with my Creative Business Goals?” Fair question. The answer lies in the fact that the process of running a successful business also involves executing great, consistent performances along the way. Your ability to train your brain about what “success” means for your goals will go directly to achieving that success.
Daily, we want to visualize achieving our goals. It’s important to do this as precisely as possible including as many senses as we can. We want to visualize how we get past the hard parts. We want to visualize succeeding, whether that’s seeing a specific number in our bank account, seeing our new book on Amazon, or crossing the finish line of an Ironman. OK, you don’t have to do the last one 🙂
What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny. – Robin Sharma
Let’s do this
Sit with me for a minute. You may find different visualization techniques more appropriate for you: I use journaling and just plain imagining. Here are the things that you don’t want to miss when you do this:
- this needs to be a habit, perhaps part of your morning routine. It needs to happen 3-5 times per week
- like starting a meditation habit you might only take on 5 minutes per session to start. That might be all you need on an ongoing basis.
- write, draw, imagine in your mind the following:
- a clear picture of you achieving your goal … be specific, include color, specific place, time of day, weather, other people. Is there a desk? What’s on it? Are you looking at a computer seeing a communication that indicates success? What does it say?
- Do you hear sounds are around you?
- what do you smell?
- are you touching something? What does it feel like?
- how does your body feel? Tense?
- how are your emotions? Are you excited? Can you ramp up the emotions you are feeling? This is an effective way to “set” the visualization.
- journal a little about how that went
- repeat the process, except this time visualize something going wrong along the way. Many times people are derailed from achieving their goals because they weren’t prepared or couldn’t cope with the inevitable problems along the way. By visualizing ourselves dealing with failures we can accept and move past them with a lightness.
- maybe a big sale fell through
- maybe a key partner exited the scene
- visualize how you will deal with this issue, see yourself successfully moving past it, continuing on towards your bigger goals
Now here’s the hard part. Keep coming back to these visualizations as a habit. Continue to train your brain that these are the outcomes you want to focus on. Making it a habit will wear the grooves you want into your mind so that it becomes second nature to make decisions that support those outcomes. That’s the magic part!
Let me know in the comments what it is you see when you visualize your goals.