The Only Way To Achieve Your Goals: Visualize It

2018 has come to us all, will it be just another year or will it be a “HERO” year – as Codybanks always put it. My answer to you will be – It depends! It depends!! It depends!!! Using the words of young Moustafa(zero) in Grand Budapest Hotel.

How you adjust your sail – desiring a great 2018 is not enough, confessing all the “2018 my year of blah blah blah …” will also not make you have 2018 to remember for good. Another route must be followed to give you that year in which you surpassed your best self!

In Aristotle writing over 2,000 years ago, he described the process of achieving our goals this way: “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”

In life and work, success begins with a goal. It could be losing weight, making more money, or starting your own business. Big or small, goals give us purpose and sometimes an obsession and, like a compass, keep us headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, many will remain stuck at the goal stage. We start out with good intentions and perhaps a plan, but then we can’t seem to make it happen – we are stuck and stagnated!

There are countless reasons that this occurs — busyness, impatience, fear and negative social pressures are some of the usual culprits according to Executive coach, Frank Niles, PhD — so how do we respond to these challenges and move in the direction of our goal?

1. Seeing is Achieving
2. Why Should You Visualize Your Goals?

Seeing is Achieving

Sports legends like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tiger Woods and pitcher Roy Halladay have also used visualization to improve their performance and achieve their personal best. Former NBA great Jerry West is a great example of how this works. Known for hitting shots at the buzzer, he acquired the nickname “Mr Clutch.” When asked what accounted for his ability to make the big shots, West explained that he had rehearsed making those same shots countless times in his mind.

Some compare Visualization with confessing your goals, I will say they complement one another – saying it, helps seeing it.

Before we can believe in a goal, we first must have an idea of what it looks like. To paraphrase the old adage: we must see it before we can believe it.

How To See Your Goals

According to Frank Niles, visualization is simply a technique for creating a mental image of a future event. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it. Through visualization, we catch a glimpse of what is, in the words of one writer, our “preferred future.” When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.

Take athletes, for example. Studies show that visualization increases athletic performance by improving motivation, coordination and concentration. It also aids in relaxation and helps reduce fear and anxiety. In the words of one researcher, “visualization helps the athlete just do it and do it with confidence, poise, and perfection.”

Why Should You Visualize(See) Your Goals?

According to research using brain imagery, visualization works because of neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway — clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviours — that primes our body to act in a way consistent with what we imagined. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.

Remember, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from visualization.


Your intention or goal for 2018 might not be to build a house, it might be something different. However, you can use the same principles to achieve any goal — create a vivid mental picture of yourself succeeding, envision what you must do during each step of the process and, like a runner pushing through “the wall,” use positive mental imagery to stay focused and motivated when you experience obstacles or setbacks.

Final Note,

“Seeing” your goals does not guarantee success. It also does not replace hard work and practice and toil. But when combined with diligent effort (and, I would add, a strong support network), it is a powerful way to achieve positive, behavioural change and create the life you desire in 2018.

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