Are My Thoughts Really That Powerful? How to Visualize Your Goals Into Reality
Updated: Mar 25
There's this thing I used to do when I was in school, right before I started studying or before I took an exam. I'd close my eyes, rub my temples and repeat at least three times, "My mind is an open vessel, capable of holding all knowledge and information. I can do anything I put my mind to." Then I'd visualize the teacher handing me back my test with a good grade. Corny, I know, but you know what, it worked. Ok, most of the time, it worked. I still had to do my part and study after all, but somehow doing this made me feel empowered and infused with positivity. It became my ritual, and if I didn't do it, I was sure that I was doomed to fail.
Later, when I was in graduate school, studying, working, caring for a young baby and trying to juggle it all, it was this routine, mantra and positive visualization that got me through many long nights studying. Now, I had a lot of help from family, but there were still days when I wondered if I'd make it.
Especially on those nights when my husband was at work, and I was left to cradle a crying or sick baby in one hand and a textbook in the other, I would often pause to close my eyes and envision myself opening them and suddenly being at graduation. I'd be sitting there in my cap and gown thinking to myself, I can't believe I'm finally here." When graduation day actually arrived, I closed my tear-filled eyes in disbelief because I couldn't believe that I really had done it.
Thoughts are powerful. Words maybe even more so. When I look back at my life, the years where I made the most significant gains or fulfilled most if not all of my goals were the ones where I carefully made a list of everything I wanted or wanted to accomplish. The years I didn’t (and those are few) are definitely not noteworthy.
There’s something about writing your dreams or goals down that somehow makes them tangible, attainable even if at that moment they seem far out of your reach. When you put your goals on paper, it’s like planting seeds or sending them out there into the universe to let it be known that these are the things you want and deserve.
My lists have always been very specific. If it was a car that I wanted, I was sure to put the make and model. I’d even go as far as to say that it had to be functional and reliable. You may laugh, but my mother always said that you get what you ask for. The year I got my first car, I simply wrote, “I want a car.” Well, I got a car alright, and I also spent about $1,000 in repairs that year. From then on, I learned my lesson. Be specific in what you want.
Making a written list of goals or even creating a vision board with cut-out pictures representing my goals and dreams always gives me focus and drive. It can be my long-term goals, or it can just be what I’d like to accomplish within a year. No matter how big or small the goal, writing it down organizes my thoughts and encourages me to approach each day with purpose. Every once in a while, I look at my list or vision board to see what I’ve accomplished and what I still need to work on, and I make adjustments. What a feeling it is when I review my list at the end of the year and find that I’ve either completed my goals or I am so much closer to attaining them than I was the year before.
What happens, though, when at the end of the year, the goals you’ve accomplished still leave you feeling unfulfilled?
There comes a time when you look back and take stock of your life. I’ve noticed that each year it seems my goals have been less significant than years before. But why?
In rebooting my life, I’ve made it my mission to write down those goals that, for the longest time, I either forgot about or just thought were so far-fetched that they were out of my reach. But why did I forget them? Because pursuing them made me feel selfish, and with a family, how could I be? Why were they so far-fetched that I felt they were out of my reach? Because with each passing year, I felt my age would be an issue?
Well, who cares? Really, who the hell cares? Being a wife and mother or just having a family doesn’t suddenly strip away your identity and the dreams you have. It took me a while to learn this. Age is just a number on a page. When I look back 10 years ago at all the things I could have accomplished from then until now, I truly want to scream. The only thing that stopped me then was me. I was literally my own worst enemy.
Thoughts are so powerful.
Now I use the same positive visualization that worked for me for all those years while I was in school. I close my eyes and envision exactly where I want to be, where I deserve to be, and when I open my eyes...
I. AM. THERE.