The Power of Goal Visualization

by | Feb 17, 2022 | Leadership Coaching, Personal Development

Here we are in winter 2022. You have the entire year ahead of you. What do you want to do?

It could be achieving a professional or a personal goal, like earning your Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) certification, or getting more exercise and running a 5K/3.1-mile race.

Whether it’s a professional or a personal goal, you can increase your chance of success through using mental imagery. Mental imagery or visualization of future events is a powerful tool. But you need to imagine the specific steps needed to achieve your goal. It’s not enough to just imagine you achieving it.

What steps will you take to achieve your goal?

Mental imagery of those steps has been shown to increase motivation by helping you develop goal-directed behaviors. You imagine what your success will look like and how you’ll achieve it, and you begin to expect success. This boosts the likelihood that you’ll achieve your goal.

Focus on the images of specific actions you will take to achieve your goal. Then, mentally move forward into the future.

Let’s say your goal for 2022 is to exercise more and get healthier. You might decide to train for a 5K/3.1-mile race.

Imagine yourself lacing up your running shoes. You begin to walk, and over the first two weeks, you gradually walk farther. The third week, you begin to run for sixty seconds, then walk for several minutes, then run another sixty seconds. You alternate this pace during each session. 

You gradually build up the number of minutes you can run, from sixty seconds to ninety seconds, to two minutes. You repeat this running/walking cycle during your exercise session.

What other decisions will you make? What actions have you taken? Will you run in your neighborhood, on the Elizabeth River Trail, or on a treadmill? What time of day will you run?

Visualize your success

Now, continue going forward in time … until you are one month into the future. You are significantly closer to achieving your goal! Now you can run for five or ten minutes at a time. You are starting to feel the benefits of your hard work. What is this like? How does it feel to be closer to your goal? 

Go forward in time until you reach six months from now. You have fully accomplished your goal! You have achieved success and run in your first 5K. Visualize yourself finishing the 5K race. Where are you, and what are you doing? How does it feel to reach your goal? What emotions are tied to this achievement? 

Look back on your journey. When you started, you could barely run at all. Look back on the process of achieving this goal and all your hard work. You woke up early to get your running in before the day got busy. Or maybe you ran at the end of the workday to blow off some stress. What were the little things you did daily to achieve success? 

How did you manage difficult thoughts and emotional obstacles? What coping strategies did you use? How did you keep yourself motivated when life got busy, the weather was rainy, cold, or hot, or you felt tired? How did you stay motivated to keep moving forward?

Is there anything you learned from this visualization? How can you apply those thoughts as you work toward your goal in 2022?

Ready to achieve your big goal this year?

I’ve created a goal worksheet to help you achieve your goals. You can download it for free. 

To explore more about goal visualization and how you can achieve your big goal this year, email me. I’d love to chat with you!