In this series of six articles we’re going to look far into the future, using visualisation tools to build a strong vision of success. We’ll describe positive visualisation techniques using Neuro Linguistic Programming and Affirmations to help make change seem more manageable. We’ll also look at how focusing on the negative can help you experience stronger emotions about a poor health habit so you can realise that the new, healthy habit is preferable.
When you take the time to deeply visualise your goals, you help yourself in a variety of ways. You supercharge your RAS, bolstering your brain with the exact impression of your desires and using all your senses to bring your goal to life. You allow yourself to experience strong emotions about your goal. You pay attention to ways in which those around you support your goal and finally you start to believe that you can make this change happen. These are all important steps in the stages of change model to encourage us in our efforts.
These kinds of visualisation techniques are used by many therapists and personal development experts, each having a slightly different method. By the end of this chapter you will have a detailed and strong picture of how life will feel once you have been successful in your habit change.
Clarify your goals with the perfect day trick
There are many methods to help choose a habit to change, a goal to achieve or a behaviour to manage. Perhaps you have one specific goal in mind or a particular lifestyle to focus on. It will be easier to shed light on this aim when you see it in the broader context of the life you want to experience. This is called visualisation. The use of guided imagery or visualisation is revered by sports psychologists, many of whom recommend mentally rehearsing training sessions and competitions to increase their athletes’ chances of success. It is also used by Cognitive Behavioural Therapists to reduce anxiety in their patients, is recommended as a relaxation tool for chronic health problems, a self help tool for entrepreneurs and as a clinical aid to alleviate stress and depression. Here’s how to visualise your goal.
Think of the one big goal you're aiming for, the end result of your desired change. Now, relax and picture the perfect day when this goal has been achieved. Start early and imagine the story of this day. What you will do, who you will be with, what will be different from now, how you will feel, what you will see, hear, smell, feel, taste. Picture what clothes you will wear, what the weather will be like, even what others will say or think of you. Make this perfect day as rich and vibrant as you can in your mind and fill it with small details which demonstrate how far you’ve come. Imagine yourself moving through this day as if you were already living it. Imagine yourself moving through this day as if you were already living it.
Mentally complete your full day from dawn until dusk or beyond, appreciating how much easier and enjoyable this new life can be. Picture yourself having effortlessly completed all the changes required to live this new life and savour the end result of your endeavours.
Make this intense, deep and exciting imagery your new goal and aim to grow into it a little more every day.