I was reading a blog post this evening about forming useful habits and building them into your routine. Item 6 was to write down your goals, and item 7 was to visualise yourself succeeding at these goals.
While I don’t disagree on the value of having tangible, written goals which form an explicit statement of intent, I’ve experienced a different way of visualising goal achievement which I have found to be more helpful. One of the several books or websites I’ve read (I can’t actually remember which one – possibly Dan Kennedy or Jeffrey Gitomer) or listened to said that rather than visualising yourself succeeding in your goals and crossing the finish line, visualise yourself working hard to achieve your goals. See yourself doing the hard stuff, doing it with determination, and not giving up.
This I have found very, very useful, especially with running. I combine some visualisation pre-run of me running slowly but surely through the kilometres I’ve planned to run that day, followed by some during-run visualisation of me having a lovely warm shower afterwards and me carrying round a smug “I’ve done exercise” glow for the rest of the day.
The key to this is that in visualising yourself at the end with success, you bypass the journey it takes to get there. As well as acknowledging that what you want to achieve won’t just fall into your lap, I find there is also an aspect of enjoying or appreciating the journey it takes to get there. It’s rare that I visualise myself running through cold, raining, wet streets (although that’s what it was mainly like in November), and more often the not, the sun is shining in my mind.
All I have to do now is get back to the running & exercising, and ideally visualise myself remembering to take more tissues with me when I run.