Have you ever turned down an invite or a challenge and said something like “I could never see myself doing that!”?
Do you see people around you achieving amazing things, and wonder how they were able to take the plunge to start trying in the first place? If you’re having trouble reaching your goals, there’s a strategy you need to get familiar with: creative visualisation.
What is creative visualisation?
Creative visualisation is a concept that’s been around for some time in various forms. For example, in some religions, it’s common to include a picture or token of the goal in a prayer ritual. While in what can most politely be termed ‘new age’ philosophy, it’s thought that thinking frequently and intensely about the item or the situation in question will help it to ‘manifest’.
For most people though, it’s a matter of brief, simple meditation. If you’re having trouble being motivated by numbers on a page, try forming a mental picture of what those numbers mean to you. For example, you might have a savings target for home improvements. But can you visualise the small details of your new kitchen or bathroom – what taps and handles you might choose, the colour of the grout, the type of appliances? Can you imagine making memories entertaining friends and family in your outdoor area?
One popular technique that can be fun in and of itself is creating what’s known as a vision board. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. Take a piece of cardboard or a cork board and start attaching pictures that represent your goal, or aspects of it. You can add to your board over time as your goal becomes clearer and closer.
Why does it work?
Some psychologists and neuroscientists believe that visualisation works because it reinforces the same neural pathways you need to actually go out and do the thing. In other words, if you can imagine it, it’ll be easier to do it. ‘Mental rehearsal’ is something that’s been studied in many situations, from professional sports to physical rehabilitation. For example, one study found that people could actually get stronger by imagining themselves doing hand exercises, in as little as 12 weeks.i
If you make your own vision board, it can also serve as a simple reminder of the tasks you need to complete to reach your goals. Coming home at the end of a long tiring day, it can be hard to resist ordering takeaway or cancelling a commitment. But it’s a smidge easier when the first thing you see is a picture of what’ll happen when you keep up your discipline.
The end is in sight…
When you’re pushing towards a financial goal, creative visualisation can help you stay inspired, maintain habits, and stay in touch with what motivates you. But it takes solid planning to make those final connections that take your goal from dream to reality. That’s where we come in. If you want to get started or feel like you’re making progress with your financial goals, but you want to step it up a notch, get in touch with us today.
Tips for getting it right
- If you’re having trouble picturing exactly what you want, look for general inspiration – online, in books and magazines, or in real life.
- Practice creative visualisation regularly – not just as a once-off.
- Try to involve as many senses as possible. Imagine the sights, but also the smells, sounds and textures associated with your goal.
- Re-evaluate if you need to. If you find that imagining something no longer makes you as happy or excited as it once did, don’t be afraid to revise your plan.