Picture yourself at the starting line of a marathon. As you wait for the race to begin, you find yourself contemplating the hours spent training in preparation for this moment. You are ready at the starting line for the sole purpose of crossing the finish line. In fact, you may have even imagined yourself finishing the race often during your training.
Putting the end goal, your purpose, at the forefront of your mind can motivate you to take necessary action to achieve the goal. Author, Stephen Covey, in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” explains the importance of “Beginning with the end in mind.”
In other words, use your imagination to picture what you want to become and determine the significance of that transformation for you personally. For instance, achieve a work promotion for yourself to grow professionally, not just because it looks good to others.
The Concept: Visualization
According to Merriam-Webster, visualization is “the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form.” It’s considered a technique to physically visualize and feel your desired achievements as if they are already happening.
The use of mental imagery, visualization, benefits us because visual experiences are the dominant sensory input for cognitive reasoning in everyday life, business, and science. According to research by the Philipps-University Marburg in Germany, visualization improves the quality of our decisions.
How and Why You Should Visualize
Simply write down your goals, add some drawings or diagrams, and imagine how you will feel when you achieve them. Be sure to measure the goals from time to time in a SMART way.
- Specific: be clear and concise with what you wish to accomplish.
- Measurable: quantify a desired result in order to measure progress. (eg. 20% raise)
- Attainable: be realistic with the outcome and the timeframe.
- Relevant: align a goal with your values, personally and/or professionally.
- Time-based: set priorities and deadlines for accomplishing the goal.
Does it feel weird to write “Get a promotion” down on a piece of paper and stare at it? The main idea of writing it is to tangibly set your mind on your goal. The One Personal Plan Page, created by the Growth Institute, is a resource that can help you to define your goals and the steps needed to reach them.
Have you ever read an email and immediately forgotten what it said? Is it the same when you are the one who wrote it?
The term “generation effect” describes the human tendency to recall more details about our creations than our perceptions. When you write a goal and the steps to achieve it, you experience the “generation effect” twice: once when you define the goal and again when you write it down.
Visualize — Financially
Creating a financial plan is as important as having a personal plan. Financial plans tend to provide support for the other goals in your life.
To create a financial plan, define what you want to achieve in terms of saving and investing. Write it down, and develop a path to follow in order to achieve long-term success. When rocky market conditions arise, you won’t be sailing adrift because you know your path and will stay on course.
Do you know any other ways visualization improves life? How do you use visualization for better investing or to thrive in your personal life? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me via Twitter. Should you need help in the aspect of financial growth, please visit my company’s website, LexION Capital.
Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City, serving everyone who feels left out by traditional “Wall Street”, including women and the families they love.