Have you ever created a vision board? According to a study from TD Bank, visualizing your goals helps you stay on track to achieving them. In fact, those who keep vision boards or some sort of photo or image in front of them are almost twice as confident they’ll achieve what they have pictured.

So, what makes a vision board so impactful? According to small-business advisor Marla Tabaka, when you create a vision board, you allow your brain to laser-focus on your goals. She says that the selective attention involved during visualization imprints important things on the part of the brain that filters out unnecessary information and focuses on relevant information. Since the brain is malleable and trainable, you can train it for success. Tabaka says visualization is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to do this.

Want to create your own vision board? We share Tabaka’s tips for developing and using one in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Identify your top core values as well as your vision. What’s most important to you? Once you list your most essential values, Tabaka says the next step is identifying a vision that incorporates them into the plan. What needs to happen to introduce these values into your life?

Find images that represent your vision. Think about images that reflect success (whatever that means to you). Tabaka says you can go through magazines or go online to find your images. Sites like pexels.com feature the work of talented photographers, which you can download for free.

Glue your images to a poster board. Tabaka likes to use a foam core board for sturdiness. She says you can arrange your images in any fashion. Try to avoid adding words as a vision board is about feeding the brain visuals.

Spend two to 10 minutes a day with your vision board. Tabaka says that, like exercise, if you don’t do it, it won’t work, so keep your board accessible. The first thing in the morning and last thing at night are ideal times to work with your vision board. If you look at your images before going to sleep, they will dominate your dreams and pattern your thoughts by embedding the images into your psyche. This gives your brain the information it needs to filter out impertinent information and allow in the information most relevant to your success.

Feel your vision. According to Tabaka, this is the most important part of any visualization. Our feelings send strong signals to our subconscious mind, which in turn informs the brain of what we want. Your subconscious does not know the difference between “bad” or “good” emotions—it only knows the intensity of them. Allow your images to generate intensely wonderful feelings, such as joy, excitement or happiness. Tabaka recommends holding onto those feelings for at least 20 to 30 seconds at a time.

Visualize yourself doing the work. Not only is it important to visualize the success, but also the steps it takes to get there, notes Tabaka. The brain sees little difference between a powerfully imagined vision and the actual experience of the vision coming to fruition.

Use visuals of your vision board. You won’t always have your vision board with you, but if you close your eyes, you can visualize the images it holds. Highly kinesthetic people can generate the same, strong emotions with or without their vision board.

The familiar adage is true: A picture is worth a thousand words. Consider your goals for 2020 and create a vision board to help you stay focused on them.

Source: Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions of dollars. She has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and startup ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.