When it comes to visualization, many people tend to have a vague feeling and think of it as one of those new-age fads. But actually visualization has been scientifically studied and proven to be working for many years. Psychologists have been using visual imagery as a way to help people enhance performance at skill-based activities, create desired emotional states, and achieve life goals.
Compared to our usual goal achieving efforts, there is very little cost in taking advantage of visualization to help us reach goals. All we need is to do is collect some inspiring pictures or images and then a little quiet time to make use of this method.
There are three kinds of visual imagery you can use for your visualization sessions. They are based on outcome, process and reason. According to research, to get the most benefit, it is best to use a combination of them all. Here is a brief description what each kind of visualization pictures you can use.
The outcome based pictures you want to use should describe what your goal will look like when it’s accomplished. The more details the better.
For example, if you want to buy a home, find a dream home picture as close as possible to your ideal home. Or if you want to travel to somewhere, pick a most motivating or inspiring picture or one that’s most representative of the place you want to visit. The key here is that you should feel pulled by the visual and motivated to acquire or do it.
The process based pictures should show you the action steps you will be taking to reach your goal. Research has shown that athletes and pianists can improve their skills and performance by visualizing how they are actually doing their craft in their mind. You can do the same with your own goals.
For example, if you have a presentation to give, you can visualize every step you need to take, such as how you prepare for your speech, how you practice and rehearse, and finally how you give the speech on the final day.
For certain goals, it may not be very easy to define a clear visual imagery for its outcome. Also reaching the goal may contain too many steps or uncertainties to pick any one picture to represent the full process. In this case, you can still benefit from the visualization technique. You just need to find some pictures that best illustrate or describe why you want to accomplish the goal.
For example, perhaps you want to build a great business. The reasons for your goal could be because you want to give your family a comfortable life, help people in need, and leave a legacy. Then you can find pictures of a happy family sitting around in a nice house, and starving African children happily eating their meals, and a picture of your favorite charity.
Visualization is an efficient way to help us achieve our goals only if we invest time and commit to it. It may take a while to see results. The more we visualize what our goal looks like and what we need to do to accomplish it, the more likely we will reach that goal.
This post was originally published on GoalsOnTrack blog. It is written by Harry Che, creator of GoalsOnTrack software.