Visualizing, Creating and Reassessing Your Goals
You have already taken time out of your busy schedule to create space in your mind for your goals to form. In the previous article you learned how walking meditations can help lay the groundwork for goal-setting. Now, it is time for your big 1-hour date with yourself. You have found the perfect place, whether it is your favorite spot in the house, a nice park bench with a view or wherever you feel comfortable. Now, step-by-step, you can visualize and create your goals.
Find a comfortable seat where you aren’t going to be bothered.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and, using the visualization exercise below, think about everything you imagine for yourself during the coming days and weeks…
- What time do you wake up? Do you rise naturally or to an alarm clock?
- What does the room feel like when you wake up? Is there anyone sleeping with you—partner/pets/kids?
- What is the temperature like each day?
- How many hours a day do you work?
- Do you enjoy your work?
- Are you excited about the day ahead?
- Do you have morning rituals? Nighttime rituals? (Reading, meditation, gratitude practice, prayer, etc)
- What are you eating each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)? How much do you make your food a priority? Where does your food come from?
- What clothes are you wearing on a regular basis?
- What shoes do you wear? Do you even wear shoes?
- What kind of bike are you riding?
- How do you feel when you go to bed at night? (Exhausted, accomplished, energized, fulfilled)
- How often do you drive your car? Ride your bike? Run? Swim? Lift? Do yoga? Meditate? Spend time building relationships with others? Socializing?
- How do you spend your downtime? Do you take naps?
Essentially, think about your everyday. If there is contrast between your weekdays and weekends, capture that in your mind. If you travel here and there, capture that too. What’s regularly on your schedule versus special occasions? What do you say yes to? What do you say no to? What lights you up?
After the 15 minutes is up, get out a journal, pad of paper or computer and write down everything you can remember from the visualization exercise.
Write the following bold titles. For each section, set a timer for 5 minutes.
1 year from now I will….
(Start the timer and fill in everything that excites you about the year ahead.)
6 months from now I will….
(Start the timer and fill in everything that excites you about the next six months.)
1 month from now I will…
(Start the timer and fill in everything that excites you about the month ahead.)
1 week from now I will…..
(Start the timer and fill in everything that excites you about this week.)
Review what you have written down and notice what you can control and what you cannot control. For example, you cannot control the weather. You cannot control how much time and energy your competition puts into training. You cannot control if a race or event is canceled. And, you certainly cannot control how you place at a race. You can control how you approach each day, the time you put into your own mental health and your dedication to strengthening and conditioning your body.
Here is an example of achievable goals for a person who wants to get started training (everyone’s goals are different):
- 1 year from now I will be prepared to complete my first 100-mile road cycling event.
- 6 months from now I will have ridden a metric century indoors or outdoors and upped my indoor or outdoor cycling time to three 2 hour sessions per week. I will have continued my meditation, yoga, and strength training practice and will be seeing gains on the bike.
- 1 month from now I will have upped my indoor or outdoor cycling time to three 1-1.5 hour sessions per week, continued my daily meditation practice, and incorporated yoga and strength training into my schedule twice per week.
- 1 week from now I will have gotten on my trainer for at least two 30 minute indoor cycling rides and incorporated meditation into my daily routine.
After meditating, you should have created enough space in your mind to forget about what everyone else is doing and think about what you truly want, what will make you happy and what will allow you to be the best version of yourself. By visualizing yourself and where you want to be in the coming year, you have taken the first step to making it happen. Maybe where you visualize yourself being is different from what others are up to, and that is totally okay. You could be on your way to achieving big things because of it!
Now start to put into action your goals for this week! It might be hiring a virtual coach or finding a training plan you can download from the internet. Maybe you realized you really need a new bike, new shoes, or a new indoor trainer because that’s what you need to get excited about your new goals. Whatever it is, start to move in that direction!
Sticking to your goals requires constantly reassessing how you are feeling. Check back in with your visualization exercise regularly to make sure you are on track. You might find you have a new zest for life and training!
Need help to stay on track? Check out our next article for tips on how to stick to your plan!