Do you feel excited while listing your goals and then you start imagining the future? For the first days, you feel motivated, and then weeks later, you forget that feeling of happiness. Instead, you feel stuck and unfulfilled. Don’t be so hard on yourself, this is normal and this happens to a lot of people. You got too excited that you forgot to do the first steps to achieve goals, which are to know your why, and then you visualize it.
I know that sometimes, it is easier to jump ahead without thinking about it. For example, spontaneous trips are so fun until we run out of something. What if we get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no food and water? I know that I am exaggerating but it can happen!
Spontaneity is okay when it is just for a short period of time. But, when it is about reaching a goal that can affect our lives, it is essential for us to undergo every step to achieve our goals.
The First Step to Achieve your Goals is to Self-Reflect.
Self-reflection sounds like it really needs to be a heavy stuff. You know, those reflection essays we had to submit, and we should include our childhood traumas or else, it won’t get an A+ or get featured?
Well, yes those are self-reflections, and it is important to reflect on those. But it doesn’t have to be like that all the time. A simple pause will do!
Self-reflection is, as the word implies, like looking at ourselves in the mirror. But we should look past the physical. Here, we think introspectively about ourselves: our experience, thoughts, and values. With this, we’ll know the drive behind our actions – our “whys”.
Importance of Self-Reflection.
Reflecting can be hard especially when we have some demons we want to stay buried inside. But, self-reflection has so many benefits that it might tame those demons. Also, it can really help us achieve our goals.
It is important to practice self-reflection to:
1. Know more about ourselves.
A lot of times, our greatest enemy is ourselves. We are the ones who hinder our growth or sabotage ourselves. There are many reasons why we do this and we should know why.
“Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.” – Sun Tzu.
Aside from knowing our bad sides, we also should reflect on what is good in us (don’t be so negative, of course, there is good in us). This can change our perspective of ourselves and others.
By knowing more about ourselves, we will be able to understand what is happening within. And this can help us accept and love ourselves more. Also, this encourages us to really ponder on what we want to achieve, if what we’re going to do is good for us.
2. Be more intentional.
There are some who live every day without any sense of purpose. So, they wander around with no destination in mind. And oftentimes, they get lost.
At some point, we experienced this. And it was liberating at first but when there are so many places to go to, it can be overwhelming.
It is even stressful to choose where to eat lunch with your friends, how much more when life offers so many places?
Through reflecting, we can live with intentions. If we know our why, we know where we are going. We know our priorities and we stick to it. By knowing our whys, we can focus and commit to what we want to achieve.
3. Learn and understand more what is happening.
There are so many things that are happening with us and around us. And the most common human instinct is to deal with them using our emotions which is not the best response all the time.
By constantly practicing self-reflection, we will be able to control our emotions and think first before doing anything. With this, we learn and understand more about what is happening around us. And we will know what is the best action in a situation.
Aside from taking action in current situations, self-reflection can help us learn and understand our experiences and this can affect our future. As a result, we will know which actions hinder us from achieving our goals, and what to do about it.
How to Practice Self-Reflection.
There are so many ways to look within ourselves. And obviously, there is no wrong way to do it. What matters is that we know which way works for us.
1. Talk to yourself.
his is the most common one and we don’t need anything. Just ourselves and maybe a notebook and a pen. We can do this by talking to a mirror, meditating, or writing.
It can be hard at first especially when you have no idea what to reflect on. There are tons of resources online such as journal prompts and mobile apps that can guide us to self-reflect.
2. Talk to a friend.
There are people who are not yet ready to be alone in their thoughts. And self-reflection can bring out something that we don’t want to show up.
So, what we can do is talk to a friend. And talk about life, aspirations, goals and worries. It is nice to talk about these to someone who we know will listen and understand us. Aside from listening, a friend can also ask questions which can direct us to reflect more!
3. Talk to a professional.
Sometimes, a friend can’t be enough or we are just shy to talk about these with a friend. There are also instances that we can’t understand ourselves.
This is why there are professionals that can get us out of the maze! They are outside so they can see the whole maze, which is our messy thoughts.
The Second Step to Achieve your Goal is to Visualize.
After self-reflection, we celebrate! Yay, one step closer to the goal. Another exciting thing is the next step: visualization.
There are a lot who skip or don’t know how to do this step. Sounds weird, right? How can this be possible when It is just thinking about the future.
What happens is that a lot of people daydream, not visualize. Yes, you might be daydreaming and you are just doing it to procrastinate, waste your time, or feel good for a little while.
There is a difference between these two. In daydreaming, we can do it in random moments, and most of the time, we forget about it. While visualizing is done with intentions and we do it consciously with a desired outcome.
Aside from this, daydreaming has little to no effect on our decisions in life. On the other hand, visualization is an important practice that we can use in designing our lives and achieving our dreams.
Importance of visualization.
Visualization is a powerful focusing tool that is used by a lot of successful people: from athletes to public figures. The power of visualization heavily affects our mindset towards our goal.
Many swear to the power of visualization and its benefits because it does the following:
1. Motivates and builds our confidence.
There are instances where we are about to do something, and it is nerve-wracking. We start to think of all the awful things that can happen, like slipping in front of everyone, ripping our pants, and all those crazy what-ifs. This doesn’t help us at all! (No, it does not prepare us for worst-case scenarios)
By practicing visualization, we shift our mindset to the possible good outcomes. Instead of thinking of all those awful things, we visualize that everything goes well. We are hired on the spot during interviews or that the audience loves our speech, etc.
See, if we think like this, it boosts our confidence. As a result, we become motivated to push through!
2. Programs our brains to take chances.
If we tell ourselves that we can achieve our goal, and we become confident about it, there is no space for fear of risk. Instead, we use every possible way to achieve our goals.
The power of visualization is that it rewires our brains to see every opportunity and take chances.
For example, a favorite shop of yours is going on a big sale, and this rarely happens. And you have this item you’ve been eyeing for a long time but it is a limited one. So, what you do is camp outside the store and maybe push others (please, don’t do this) so that you can surely get that so-precious item. Also, you get creative on how to get it. You don’t care how but you make sure that you own it.
3. Track our progress.
Visualizing is not just imagining the success part. It should also include every step towards reaching the top. If we just go straight to the end-point, it is daydreaming.
Visualization does not only focus on the future, it actually helps us to be more present. By visualizing every step, we immersed ourselves in the present. We think about what we have to do now so that we can surely get to our desired destination.
By doing this, we can check which step we are already in, or what’s our progress. This is not something to be dreadful of, like thinking how far we are from our dream. Actually, this makes us appreciate and celebrate those small steps forward.
How to practice visualization.
There are many visualization exercises and techniques but our main focus, for now, is to concentrate on what we want, which we identified through self-reflection. And remember it.
1. Picture your success.
For every goal we want to achieve, let’s picture ourselves finally achieving it. This is not a simple “oh yey I got it.” Include every detail to it.
What are you wearing? What is the vibe? Are there any people with you? What do you feel about finally doing it? Include every sense, and feel it.
Aside from this, visualize backward, from reaching the goal to the present. And think about how far we’ve come through. Aside from getting us excited, this process can also mentally prepare us for the journey.
2. Create a vision board.
Here, we can put anything: pictures, quotes, song lyrics, a letter. It really doesn’t matter how we do this. The important thing is that this board reminds you of the success in the future, and it can actually motivate you!
Remember that we should feel what we are supposed to feel when we achieve our goals while looking at our vision board. Not hating ourselves for not being there yet. For example, others want to lose weight, and they put pictures of supermodels. Every time they look at their vision board, it makes them feel worse.
A goal should make us love ourselves more. If it doesn’t then maybe it is not us who want that goal for ourselves.
3. Practice positive affirmations.
We do this by saying a positive phrase over and over again. But by doing it with visualization, what we affirm is our success regarding our goal. We say it like we’ve achieved it already!
We can also do this by writing affirmations in our journal. And then we make sure that we see these writings every day.
For example, you want to be a millionaire by the end of the year. Put “I am a millionaire” in a sticky note, and stick it to the wall of your bathroom, kitchen, office, bedroom. Everywhere.
Let’s Get this Bread!
For those who don’t know, let’s get this bread means “Let’s work hard and be successful!” We say this to encourage our friends and motivate them! We can also say this to ourselves.
Now that we know the first steps to achieve goals, we are now ready to get that bread!
Just remember that because these are the first steps, we tend to forget doing them after. Consistent practice of self-reflection and visualization can greatly impact our lives, and the effects are long-lasting.
Also, know that we are the ones who define our success. Don’t get pressured by others.
Share in the comment section your goals and how you see yourself in the future. Let’s start claiming it now!
Always rooting for you,
Meredith Blaise ♡
You may want to read these: