How to Make Visualization Actually Work for You

Why Vision Boards Might Backfire and What to Do Instead

Make visualization work for you, Friday Fix

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 59

Many well-intentioned people say things like, “Just picture how happy you’ll be when you land that job,” or “Imagine how great you’ll feel when you reach your goal weight!” On the surface, that advice seems to make sense. “Keep your eyes on the prize” and you’ll stay motivated to get there.

But, visualizing yourself achieving the things you want might not be the most effective. Putting something up on your vision board could possibly reduce your chances of success.

That’s not to say visualization can’t be a great tool. It can. But only if you use it the right way.

Whether your goal is to run a 10K or you want to buy a house on the ocean, there are some visualization techniques that can help you make it happen.

So on today’s Friday Fix, I share the research-backed strategies for visualization that can help you perform better so you can increase the chances that you’ll reach your goals—without using a vision board.

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Links and Resources

1 Source
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kappes HB, Oettingen G. Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2011;47(4):719-729. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.02.003

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.