Visualization

Five Techniques To Visualize Your Goals and Dreams in Under 5 Minutes

 
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“Can you do a Tour Jete?” The ballet instructor asked me during rehearsal. 

This year I decided to pursue my life-long dream of singing on stage and landed a part in a musical. 

I would FINALLY sing in front of a crowd. (Woohoo!)

Then I learned my character would have a ballet solo. (Uh Oh!) With no previous ballet experience, I shuddered at the idea of imitating a real dancer... in front of a very real crowd. 

“Toor-che-tay?” I asked. 

The dance assistant made a motion with her hands that showed what my feet should do in the air.

“Oh! A little scissors jump!” I responded as my mind flashed back to an episode of Dance Moms (yes, the lifetime show + my guilty pleasure).

My routine came right after an epic audience participation bit that always resulted in a standing ovation. My heart beat faster as the audience answered the each additional question. 

Right before the final question was answered, I’d sit down, close my eyes, take a deep breath and imagine myself as my favorite ballet dancer - Maddie Zeigler. 

In my mind, I had her grace and her bright smile that captivated the audience making each move look effortless. 

“I am a ballerina,” I told myself. 

And it was as if that little exercise negated the fact that I’m a data science nerd who plugs away at a computer for 8 hours a day. I only had a few weeks of ballet training...on YouTube. 

But for the next 3 minutes, I transformed myself into a singing Maddie Zeigler.

That exercise is called visualization. 

What is Visualization?

Visualization is transforming information into images. In goal setting, you visualize the outcome of your goals. You create a mental image of what it would look and feel like to have achieved your goals. You can also visualize the entire process of working towards your goal.


When Should You Use Visualization?

You can use visualization to enhance your goals as soon as you have a clear goal that you care deeply about and are motivated to reach. (Just saying you want a million dollars doesn’t really get you a million dollars.)

Why Should You Use Visualization?

Visualization is a goal enhancer. If you can feel yourself reaching success before it ever becomes real, you can solidify it in your mind. It will keep you motivated to keep pursuing your goals as you imagine what your achieved goal would look it. How it would impact your life. What it would feel like.

How To Use Visualization To Reach Your Goals

Music Visualization

In music visualization, you choose a song that tells a story of the way you want to feel in your life. This technique is perfect for people who are emotionally moved by hearing music. 

I am a sucker for a good song. (Seriously, I will drop everything I’m doing to sing along with amazing vocals.) 

How to do it: 

  1. Choose a song that fits the way you want to feel. (Side note: I recommend choosing a new song each year.)

  2. Listen to the song once per day. 

  3. As you listen to your song, imagine yourself taking small steps towards accomplishing your goal.

Pro: Music can bring you a feeling throughout your body, energize and motivate you. 

Con: A song will rarely spell out your goal exactly as you imagine yourself living it. Thus, this technique better used for a feeling you want to achieve rather than a physical goal.

Estimated time: 3 minutes 


Meditate with Your Vision Board

I’m a huge vision board fan and seriously refuse to start any year without a vision board so this is my favorite vision board exercise. 

Side note: If you don’t know how to build a vision board, I’ve written in detail about that here

How to do it: 

  1. Take a slow and quiet look at your vision board. 

  2. Think about why you chose each image and quote. What feeling, item, actions did you want in your life when you created the board?

  3. Answer the question: What’s one thing I can do today to get closer to these images. 

Pro: Your vision board will speak directly to your specific goals, your life, and is tailored to your design preferences. 

Con: You can only look at your vision board after you’ve created it, which takes more time. (However, the time invested in the beginning is worth it!)

Estimated time: 3-5 minutes 


Journaling

Writing your thoughts in a journal helps to get your ideas out of your head and onto a piece of paper. You can use journaling to write about anything you want: gratitude, goals, things that happened during your day, or random things that pop into your head. 

How to do it: 

  1. Sit down in a quiet, comfortable chair with tea. (Yes, this is serious. You’ll be surprised at the zen-like state you fall into once you rest your soul.)

  2. Write your goals down in your journal and expand on your goals as much as you’d like. 

  3. Visualize your end goal and the journey to get there by answering the following questions: What actions are you taking towards your goals? What is the next step? Is there anyone you should reach out to for help? What does your life look like once you’ve accomplished your goal?

Pro: Journaling is a personal experience. You can be honest with how you feel about your goals and your journey without fear of outside judgement.

Con: It’s easy to lose track of time while journaling. You can journal for five minutes or twenty, depending on what’s on your mind that day. (Pro tip: Set an alarm for five minutes to keep you on track!)

Estimated time: 5+ minutes 

Dream Jar

A dream jar is exactly like it sounds. Putting your wildest dreams in a jar. 

How to do it: 

  1. Write down things you want to accomplish on small slips of paper. 

  2. Place the slips of paper into a mason jar.

  3. Pick out one goal and imagine yourself working towards that goal each day (week, month or quarter is OK, too).

Pro: If you’re multi-passionate, the dream jar can accommodate ALL of your grand goals.

Con: You can place an infinite number of goals into this, which can lead to visualizing several goals at once. I am a huge advocate for setting one large goal and putting all of your energy in one direction. 

Estimated time: 1-3 minutes 

Repeat Your Affirmation

In order to convince others, you must first convince yourself. Affirmations are statements that help you reinforce your end goal in your mind. 

In my story, I would repeat “I am a ballerina.” This is a very simple affirmation. Even though I’m not professionally trained (unless you count YouTube), I am a woman, in ballet shoes, dancing, in front of a crowd. 

I. AM. A. BALLERINA.

How to do it: 

  1. First create your affirmation or choose the affirmation you’ll use. 

  2. When times get rough, repeat your affirmation out loud.

  3. Place your affirmation on sticky notes in places where you’ll see them every day.

Pro: You don’t need any materials for this quick activity. 

Con: I haven’t found any!

Estimated time: <1 minutes 

Related Content: 10 Quotes to Inspire a Kick Ass Day

Take Action

Because having the techniques isn’t the same thing as using them :) 

  1. Choose one technique from the list above. Although many of the ideas may sound interesting, I want to caution you against trying several things at once. That will only delay your ability to complete any one technique. Imagine wondering every day “should I meditate or listen to my song or journal?” It’ll lead to more mental exhaustion and increase the likelihood that you give up on visualizing  before you see any benefits. 

  2. Follow the steps to give it a try. Here is where most people get tripped up. They read about all of the tips, but that’s where the exploration ends. (But you’re a true goal-getter :) so I know you’ll give it a real shot. 

  3. Live as if you’re the best at your goal. Visualizing myself as a ballerina would not on its own enable me to do a tour jete. I had to take beginner ballet classes. I spent hours moving across the floor, learning to turn, point my toes, jump and trust myself to land beautifully. Maddie Zeigler practiced for hours a day. That’s what allows her to achieve those turns. If I want to move like Maddie, I must act like Maddie. (And you’ll have to do the same with your goals.)


I used visualization to become a ballerina for 5 shows, 5 Tour Jetes, 3 standing ovations. 4 people even asked me “Are you a real ballerina?” My heart melted hearing that question.

Visualization is one of many tools in your manifestation toolbox. You have to do the work to reach your goals, but this technique calms your soul when you feel unsure or gives you a confidence boost right before you bare your soul in front of an audience :) 

You are the architect of your dreams and the more clarity you have around what success looks like, the greater ability you have to achieve it. 

Did any of these sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments which method you’re going to try. 


Ready To Accomplish Your Greatest Goals? 

  1. Start planning out your largest goals with the FREE Goal Planning Worksheet.

  2. Take a FREE personal development class on CreativeLive

  3. Do you struggle with finishing the goals you start? Get clarity on your goals and the strategies to reach them with the ebook Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams.

Ready To Create Your Five Year Vision?

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About Chantl

Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.