Preparing for New Year’s Resolutions, Part 5

Visualization is a key component of brain retraining. It has been observed that athletes who visualize performing their sports effectively experience improvements greater than those who do not. However, visualization by itself will never be enough.

Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich explains that wishing gets us nowhere. We have to move from wishing to desire, and in that desire we have to make plans to achieve our desires. When we are filled with desire for an outcome, the opportunities and mechanisms required for that outcome become clear to us.

That’s the focus of today’s meditation: moving from a clear vision to a set of goals required to achieve it.

Day 5: The Arrow’s Flight

Today, we’ll start our meditation out a bit differently. This borrows a bit from the meditative practices of the Eastern religions, but stick with me. I promise there’s a point to it all.

When you’ve sunk into your usual meditative state, visualize an archery target. Place it as close or far away in your mind’s eye as you want, but you must be able to clearly see the target. Now, think about how an arrow flies. See how it spins through the air as it approaches the target, flying straight and true wherever it has been aimed. When you understand how the arrow will fly, feel yourself draw back the bow. You take a deep breath, and then you simply let go of the arrow. You watch the arrow trace the path you have visualized until (THUNK) it lands dead center in the target.

If you want, see yourself hit the bull’s eye any number of times.

This is the same method we are using to make our resolutions. We have seen the target, and we have placed it before our eyes. The next few days will be spent visualizing how the arrow flies, so that when the time comes we can loose it easily and with confidence.

I will begin my meditation by seeing my fitness goal. I can see him hitting the gym, using a low-rep high-weight routine that I have researched and found effective in the past. I watch and feel as he does every exercise, with perfect form and determination set in his eyes. He sees his goal as he works, and this allows him to squeeze out that extra rep on every workout.

I will also see him preparing his meals. Because he knows that weight control happens in the kitchen, he rejects drinks and foods that will slow his development. He plans his meals in advance, picks up the items required to make these meals, and prepares them according to his plan. When he is disheartened by yet another plate of eggs (which does happen, even to the most egg-loving among us), he powers through because of the vision that he has set before him.

He knows how the arrow must fly to hit the target.

In the same way, I visualize how he achieves his social and intellectual goals. I see him cleaning his apartment in preparation for social events he has arranged to hold. I see him psyching himself up in the mirror before going out to meet new people. I see him reading and taking notes first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Because he knows how the arrow must fly, he is able to accomplish his goals.

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