April 03, 2013
Many of us fall short of our goals because of one reason: We can’t actually see ourselves achieving them.[caption id="attachment_7649" align="alignleft" width="300"] It's time to start imagining yourself achieving your goals[/caption]
Sure, it’s nice to aspire to having toned abs one day or finishing a marathon in awesome time. But if we don’t actually envision our tummies trimmed or our feet crossing the finish line in victory, it’s likely we won’t give our best attempt to achieve them at all.
If you want to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, it’s time to start imagining yourself actively achieving them. Not only that — you have to picture the results of your hard work before you’ve even put the time in.
You’re not the only one who struggles with the mental image of actually achieving your goals. I’m right there with you, friend. For years, I’ve wanted so many things — to be more efficient with my time, to be the best version of myself emotionally, mentally and physically. But those wants never blossomed into anything because I didn’t have the confidence in myself that I’d actually make them into tangible accomplishments.
So I’ve changed my way of thinking. I give myself time to dream. I spend time imagining myself finishing a long run without stopping, lifting heavier weights and my biceps bulging in response and at least once a day, I lift up my shirt and tuck and tilt my tummy until I can actually imagine I have defined abs. Sound odd? Maybe. But does it work? Yep! I find myself eating differently now in response. The old Leah wants a sugary dessert after dinner. The new — and currently imaginary — Leah has abs and she's not risking them for anything!
The key is using as much detail as possible: I’m talking specific colors, sights, smells — whatever it takes for you to create the most vivid mental image possible. Just like thinking of your summer vacation gets you through the throes of winter, your positive self image, whatever that looks like, will help you tackle any mental or physical barrier you might encounter.
So here’s how you start: Say aloud to yourself the goal you’d like to achieve. I just said mine aloud: “I want to have defined abs by the end of this year.” There’s something powerful about speaking your ambition into the air. Suddenly, it’s no longer abstract. It’s a promise to yourself.
Next, be nice to yourself. No more negative thoughts about your progress and I’ll have absolutely none of your putting yourself down. Only love and positivity from here on out. Start adopting motivating language into your everyday thoughts. I just completed my first 5K last weekend — I’m fairly new to running — and at times, I literally had to mentally scream, “Keep going, Leah. Do not give up. You’ve got this. One step at a time. Just keep going. You’re almost finished.” It helped so much. Remember, your thoughts have a strong influence on your behavior.
Speak in definitive terms. Try replacing ifs with whens and “I will probably...” with “I will.” Again, it’s the positive language that will motivate you to keep going, to keep pushing toward that finish line.
So go on, start imagining what life is like with that goal achieved. Imagine yourself achieving your goal every single day. Then, put in the work.
We’d love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments section below!
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