Have you ever thought about what you want your retirement to look like? Not just generically, but in vivid detail? If you haven’t, I urge you to consider going through this exercise as you are determining your financial goals. Visualization is used mainly by athletes as they prepare for competition, so that they can get as close to the experience as possible before the competition starts.
This was witnessed across the world recently as American skier Lindsey Vonn’s visualization routine was caught on camera before her Olympic race. If you watch the video of her, you can see just how deeply in tune she is with the course she is about to go down at 60+ miles per hour. Why is she doing this? So that she is as prepared mentally for her race as she possibly can be. She is going through each turn by memory over and over, so that when she faces it in real life, she doesn’t find any surprises. Vonn once said it herself - “I always visualize the run before I do it. By the time I get to the starting gate, I’ve run that race 100 times already in my head, picturing how I’ll take the turns.”
In my personal experience, this is how I prepared for golf tournaments while competing through high school and college. Before each round, I would take about 10-15 minutes to close my eyes and visualize each hole and shot I was bound to face in the coming hours of competition. This way, I was prepared mentally for the challenges the day would throw at me. When a challenge did arise, I had already experienced it in my mind and was much more confident in my ability to overcome it.
As for your retirement or other financial goals, visualizing your success is equally important. What’s the point in saving your hard earned dollars for the future if you don’t know what it’s for? By establishing goals and visualizing that future experience, you will feel in real time what lies ahead.
To get started with visualization, write down your goals in great detail. Then once your specific goals are established, write how achieving those goals will make you feel. What will your day be like, from morning until evening, when you are in retirement? What challenges are you bound to face? Write down everything from how the coffee will taste, to what car you will be driving, to the clothes you will be wearing on the golf course.
Once you have this written down, spend another 10 minutes or so visualizing what you have just written down, and truly feel the experience. This way, you will be crystal clear on your goals and how you will feel when you do achieve them. Visualization is a wonderful way to improve clarity, your behaviors, and push you towards your audacious goals.
Achieving your financial goals is just the starting gate, be prepared for what’s coming at you next by visualizing success.