Visualization is a great way to focus the mind and mentally prepare yourself to tackle the day in a more positive state. It is also an amazingly useful tool to help achieve your goals for the day, month, year, and beyond. There are so many different projects and goals to be worked towards aside from 9-5 assignments, such as goals for your family, goals for your travels, or goals for your overall future. However, these goals can sometimes take the back burner while you handle what's directly in front of you. The good news is, even just 5 minutes of visualization enables you to make space for your goals both personally and professionally. In fact, it's been scientifically proven to work.
“This holistic experience allows us to connect emotionally to our goals and our process in reach them. When we invest the time to visualize, in detail, we become more emotionally connected to our wished-for goals" - Psychologist Barbara Nussbaum
Thinking about process rather than outcome means that we can start to see the possibilities as well as the obstacles that will help or hinder the end results. Beginning a new practice, whether it be cooking, reading, playing an instrument or meditation can be difficult to fit into an already cluttered schedule. However, too many people mistakingly think that you have to drastically alter your life's routine in order to implement change, or that you have to reach your goal the next day. This is simply asking too much of yourself. The key is to start small and repeat the habit daily to see the progress. When we visualize our idea of success we hardwire our brains to make choices in our daily lives that bring us within reach of these goals.
Almost two-thirds of small business owners believe that visualizing goals helps them map and develop their business plans.
Your Challenge: Set a timer for five minutes today. Visualize your best day while meditatively breathing.
How It Works:
Step 1. From the moment you wake up visualize your best day.
Step 2. Allow your mind and body to explore their deepest desires.
Step 3. Set a timer for five minutes.
Step 4. Free yourself of all distractions.
Step 5. Breath deeply in and out. Concentrate on your breathe.
Step 6. In this time think only of one goal and its ideal success.
Step 7. After 5 minutes has expired you will have a better grip on how to make this goal a reality.
Step 8. GO with all your heart and keep visualizing every day.
This is a facet of mindfulness, meditation, and positive psychology. One of the most interesting studies in the last few years, carried out at Yale University, found that mindfulness and meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts. Since mind-wandering is typically associated with being less happy and worrying about the past and future, it’s the goal for many people to dial it down.
By visualizing our personal goals, we can focus on them more, and then they feel more real and more possible. We also become better at actually moving toward them. More studies show when the mind does start to wander, because of the new connections that form, meditators are better at snapping back out of it or better yet channeling the wandering mind to finding ways to make success a reality.
The feeling of inadequacy or stress that we sometimes feel when trying to tackle life and work is not permanent. Nothing is permanent, and by visualizing ourselves reaching success we develop a positive and forward-marching mindset that handles hardships and obstacles in a more productive way. Like a deep breath, failure is only temporary, and with a smooth exhale the feeling is gone and we are out of the forest.