Visual Cues Matter
Positive thinking, affirmations and visualization are not new ideas when it comes to achieving goals or improving performance. People have been using these methods and writing about them for over a century, probably longer. While some sneer at these “new age” ideas, there is power in the practice of them. For me, visual cues matter.
Image Credit: Ree Klein
I have long believed in using these techniques and while I don’t always practice all of them, I do keep visual cues (reminders) around me to keep me focused on my goal: financial freedom. I have done various things over the years but one consistent reminder for me has been a set of coasters I made eight or nine years ago. That was a few years after I set up my initial 10-year plan.
I looked at these every day because they were strategically placed where I spent the most time: desk, coffee table and, yep, the bathroom!
You might be one of those people who think all of this is malarkey but I strongly believe that these coasters, among other things, have played a role in getting me to my overall goal before the 10 years was up.
Visual Cues to Consider
I love my coasters, but there are many ways you can create your own visual cues to help remind you of your goals and to keep you focused:
- Vision board – On posterboard, corkboard or even on the fridge, put up images or words that reflect your goals, where you want to live, how you want to live, etc. Here’s a post that gives a more detailed description.
- Magnets – Make your own magnets with words that inspire you to stay focused on your financial goals. Here’s a link to a post that has instructions for how to make your magnets. If you don’t want to make your own, you can buy a set from me. I hand make them with the hope of helping you achieve your financial goals. Click here to check them out.
- Coasters – While I sandblasted mine, you can make your own coasters. Here’s a link to a post with instructions on how to do it.
- Key fob – Make a key fob that you can attach to your key ring, wallet zipper tab, purse or anything you see regularly. Here’s a link to a post with instructions on how to make a stamped version.
- Cash Envelope System – using a cash envelope system is a great way to make your goals visual. You can use paper envelopes, but here are some issues with them. I offer my own version of this system that I call Prosperity Pouches. You can click here to check them out.
I’m sure there are many other creative things you can make that will serve as reminders to keep your eye on the prize. I’d love to hear your ideas, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a Comment below.
How to Write an Affirmation
Call it what you want, but the point of an affirmation is to read a statement the reflects your goal in the present tense…as if it were already true. Look at the photos of my coasters for an example of what I mean. Below are six keys to writing affirmations as excerpted from Danea Horn’s Creative Affirmations site.
- Keep it in present tense. Like I mentioned above, you need to write the statement as if it were already true.
- Use your voice. Write it like you’d say it, it makes it easier to believe.
- Keep it short. Make it a statement you can easily remember and repeat to yourself often.
- Make it believable. If the statement is so outlandish that you can’t believe it, dial it down to something you can see as becoming a reality.
- Be literal. If you believe in the power of affirmations like I do, you must be literal for it to work. Instead of saying “I have a lot of money,” it’s better to say “I have $1m in investments.” See the difference?
- Keep it positive. The theory is that your mind puts into action what it hears/sees. So, it’s most effective to say “I make good financial choices” rather than “I try to make good financial choices.”
Try it, What Could be the Harm?
Whether you believe in these techniques or not, what could be the harm in giving it a try? I am certain I stayed more focused on my goal as a result of seeing my coasters every day, several times a day.
If you are worried that people will make fun of you, they probably will. Here’s a joke one of my friends played on me one night. When I wasn’t looking he went around the house and modified my coasters. Here’s what I found…
It was a funny joke and we all laughed. The point is that you have to be willing to let people know what you value, what you’re committed to and that you’ll do anything within reason to achieve your goals. So they poke fun at you, who cares?
Remember, by making your intentions known, you’ll achieve your goals faster AND serve as a role model for others. Be brave and be known for what you want. You’ll be surprised at how people will rally to support you, even if it comes in the form of teasing!
- Part I: Why You Should Have a 10-year Plan
- Part II: Setting 10-year Plan Goals
- Part III: Charting Your 10-year Plan Progress
- Prosperity Products
What do You do to Stay Focused on Your Goals?
I’ve listed just a few ideas above, I’m sure you know of others. Please share what’s worked for you in the Comments. I look forward to hearing from you!