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“Visualize this thing you want. See it. Feel it. Believe in it. Make your visual blueprint and begin.”   – Robert Collier
As we quickly approach the beginning of yet another new year, I can’t help but think ahead to the goals I’m going to set on my annual goal-setting day, my birthday.   I love the process of visualizing the future and setting my goals.
Since I started this blog, I’ve had a lot of emails from readers asking me about my visualization posts.  Why visualize, and more importantly, how? 
Hang tight – today’s post is for you!

Why Visualize?

Even though I first learned about visualization about 12 years ago, it took me a couple years to actually try new ways of practising it. I remember my first vision board way back in 2008.  It felt so amazing to really think of my goals in pictures, instead of only words.
Here is why I visualize:
  •  Imagining the end result and achieving your goals helps you believe it’s possible
  •  While it sounds “fluffy”, it really puts you in the right mindset. This is especially true when you’re facing a huge challenge
  • Of course, we’re not in control of everything. Visualizing makes you feel that you have the most control possible, though. It makes you realize that the more you imagine yourself meeting your goals, the more likely you are to follow that path.

5 Ways To Learn To Visualize 

As much as visualization sounds great, people have often asked me how I visualize.  Well, at the risk of sounding “fluffy” (at least for Tip #1), I’m going to give you my honest answers!
Here are 5 ways to learn to visualize:

1. Close Your Eyes & See ItMotivational Mondays - Willpower & Vision

Take a minute and try this.  Whether you’re sitting or lying down, close your eyes.  Imagine exactly what you want.   

For example:

If you want your dream career and salary, picture yourself waking up in the morning, putting on an amazing outfit and going to work at your dream job. Use your five senses; what do you see, feel, hear, taste and smell?  

How do you feel at the end of the day?  Focus on the feeling.  Imagine it’s real.   Really feel it. As Rory Vaden says (and I talk about in my post on willpower),  “focus on what you’re trying to will”.




2. Make A Vision Board


Of course, learning to have the willpower to stick with your dreams is not an easy feat.  Vision boards can help, though!  Once you’ve done step 1 (imagining the future as if it were today), it’s time to get creative.

There are so many ways to make a vision board, whether you consider yourself a creative type or not.  Once, I saw a friend had made a small one to carry around on her keyring. I usually make giant posters, either digital or with magazine cutouts, like a collage.  Nutritionist Elizabeth Rider even has an example of a vision board made using a coaster!


3. Write Down Your Goals

Motivational Monday 79 Deadlines

While writing goals down is one of the best ways to make sure they get done, the most important part is setting a deadline.

When you set your goals (after visualizing what you want, of course), have a timeline in mind. Remember the  how is as important as the what.

If you want access to free goal setting sheets, don’t forget to check out my FREE printables library!  You can search the page for “goals” for all of them, or head to my trusty goal setting handout – the very first printable I created.


  Free Printables Library




4. Create The Environment

Personally, I believe that creating an environment conducive to achieving your goals (or the feelings you have when you visualize) is a key step.

There are two ways I do this:

Physical Environment

Create surroundings that inspire you.
One of the ways I did this myself was by changing little pieces of my apartment to make them feel more like me this past summer. Now, it’s a rented apartment, so there are limits to what I can do.
At first, I had had this idea that creating this environment after finishing my PhD, reaching that goal, would be a good way to “reward myself”. Then, I noticed that every time I mentioned this to someone, they suggested that I start now.  The I would feel better if I could be in an inspiring environment now.
Wow, did that ever work!

Attraction Items

If you’ve seen The Secret, you’ve seen the motivational speakers in the documentary actually place “attraction items” (for lack of a better expression) around them. For example, Jack Canfield sticks a $100 dollar bill (if I remember correctly) on his ceiling to visualize financial wealth.  People have been visualizing for years, but I do really like the idea of having items around you that inspire you.

For example:
I have a small, but great, example of exactly how I did this (without even meaning to!) Last May I decided to subscribe to Architectural Digest as a mini “splurge” each month.  The price of buying an apartment in Barcelona is shocking, but I wanted to visualize having a beautifully designed place, and flip through a magazine for old time’s sake. (Those magazines were always lying around my best friend’s house when I was a teen).
Just this morning, I met with All Around Labs, a company here in Barcelona a friend works at. I found out about them last week through coffee with a friend; a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. This happened without me mentioning architecture or houses at all.  It just so happens that she led me to this company that works with architects to re-design and renovate older apartments here in town. Their website is impressive, and now I’m visualizing working with them in the future! 

5. Tell the World About What Your Visualize

Well, this is a bit of an extension of my example from #4.  As soon as I heard about the architectural design company, I told my friend of my future plans and aspirations.
If you have a goal, put it out there. Tell everyone.  Not only does it help you truly visualize the goal, but it keeps you accountable. Also, who knows what opportunities you may bring by doing so?  (Trust me, this has brought me many a job offer in the past!). Don’t be afraid to shout out your goals from the rooftops 😉


Tips For When You Feel Stuck 

Well, you say, visualizing is a great idea, but I don’t know what I want.  Don’t worry! I’ve heard this so many times from readers and people I’ve met alike.

Here’s what we need to remember about being stuck:

  • It happens to everyone – Breathe:   Remember not to rush into your visualization or vision board project. Find a time where you have the time to breathe, think deeply, and create.  
  • Visualize – it’s the first step:  Even if you feel stuck, make a list of words about how you would LIKE to feel.  Even if you don’t know how, you may be able to manifest the feelings you want in your life. Over time, this may inspire new ideas that could set you on the path you’re dreaming of. 
  • Being stuck often leads us to our next adventure:  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve felt “stuck”, not sure if I was on the right path, or even how to complete a project I started. Sometimes, we’re so stuck we don’t know why we began a project.  The best advice I’ve gotten has been from any type of sports coach I’ve had – personal trainers, martial arts instructors, swim coaches, etc….breathe.  Looking back on all the times I’ve been stuck, I realize that being able to visualize the next adventure works wonders.
What are you visualizing now? What does your vision board look like? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Please share! 🙂
Have a lovely and productive week!
P.S. Photography fans, the photo for today’s post  (and poster!) is one I took in Italy in 2016.


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