A goal without a plan is just a wish.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
If you've tried traditional goal setting, including visualisation of your desired future, but it hasn't been effective, you might have been going about it the wrong way...
There's a key element that makes all the difference - between feeling great and motivated in pursuing your goal vs running out of steam, having to "push yourself" all the time, or giving up altogether.
If you've done goal visualisation before, you know it involves dedicating some time to imagine the future that you wish to have happen, and most importantly, that you're working towards.
Visualising our outcomes (and the road to them) is something that's been proven to work. It can determine how well we do with the goal, and especially how we experience the journey.
A lot of manifesting practices suggest that we should focus all our attention (visualising power) onto our outcomes - as if we have them already, being there in our desired future.
And while this sounds appealing and can work for some, research has shown that for a lot of people (and especially those leaning towards pessimism) this is counter-productive and can actually reduce motivation.
Evidence from neuroscience speaks to the fact that if we focus solely on the outcome, we sooner lose steam, especially when the journey gets tough.
The key is in FOCUSING ON THE PROCESS instead.
This means focusing our attention (and creative power) on the bulk of the journey we’re on - which isn’t the final destination, but the path to getting there.
When we engage with the process in this way, finding meaning and value in each of our steps, in the now, we boost our motivation AND resilience to setbacks. We literally get a release of dopamine when we do this, a neurochemical that makes us feel we're on the right track and should keep moving forward.
I certainly accomplished my greatest things this way. Focusing on how I was going about my goal, reminding myself of the value of the journey beyond achieving the outcome - who I was becoming through this process, connecting to my values, and keeping my attention on the step in front of me.
In this picture, the outcome became almost irrelevant (which took off the pressure) and amazingly enough, the results have taken care of themselves!
We can use visualisation in the same way to boost our goal achievement and personal growth in the process.
Sure, you can visualise how wonderful it will be once you achieve your goal, and how it will positively impact your life. Notice what you see, hear and feel when you're in that desired future and connect with that you.
But be sure to devote a bigger portion of the time spent visualising to imagining the journey…
What steps did you take on your way to your fantastic goal?
What milestones have you reached on the way, what did your day to day look like?
And also, imagine how you felt going through the process, how did you deal with internal obstacles, any emotional setbacks, what strategies and coping tools did you use so you made it to your goal in a good condition?
Visualising these details, the *path* to your great shiny goals, is going to be so much more motivating and strengthening, than focusing on your end goal alone. In fact, it may just be the difference between achieving your goal with joy and struggling towards it in pain. ✨
If you want to use visualisation to help you achieve your goals, I've made an audio to guide you through the process.
What are your thoughts on visualising your desired outcomes?
Wishing you well,