How Creative Visualization Can Support Your Fitness Goals

How Creative Visualization Can Support Your Fitness Goals

For years, the world’s most elite athletes and biggest celebrities have been using creative visualization to help them conquer goals and accomplish physical feats once deemed impossible. But what exactly is creative visualization? And how can you use it to help you reach your fitness goals? 

Creative Visualization Explained

Creative visualization is the act of creating vivid and compelling images in your mind. It may be helpful to think of it like daydreaming in the sense that when you practice creative visualization, you are using your imagination to create a scenario that you want to happen in the future. 

Most of us do this all of the time without realizing it––we imagine how the meeting at work we have tomorrow will go, or what a second date will be like. Creative visualization is the act of making that imagination intentional, specific, and conscious as a way to “train” our brain and body to expect it to happen in the future. Kind of like a “mental rehearsal.”

Michael Phelps has long spoken of the power of creative visualization in helping him win 28 Olympic medals. And celebrities like Oprah and Drake credit the technique for helping them create their wealth and success. In a Rolling Stone interview, Drake shared that back in 2007 (when he was still unsigned and relatively unknown), he fell in love with a specific pool he found on Google and made it the desktop on his computer. In 2012, he purchased the home with the pool for $8 million dollars.

The Difference Between Creative Visualization and Manifestation

Manifestation is the physical realization of your thoughts whereas creative visualization is the imagination of a future situation. When you manifest something, it becomes part of your current physical reality. When you creatively visualize something, it hasn’t actually happened yet. 

When the brain is in a subconscious state it can’t decipher the difference between what is a vivid imagination and what is actually happening, which is why creative visualization can be such a powerful manifesting tool, especially when invoked as you are falling asleep or when you are waking up. 

Using Creative Visualization To Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Now that you have an understanding of how this practice works, let’s break down how you can use it to help you reach your fitness goals. 

Be Specific
Get clear and detailed about your goals because your imaginary story will come to life in the details, just like it does in a novel or film. If, for example, you want to form a habit of working out in the morning three days a week, you could imagine yourself waking up in the morning and seeing a specific time on your alarm clock, then getting out of bed and putting on your black t-shirt with white stripes, and drinking a glass of water in the kitchen before starting your Pilates workout. Create a visual image so specific that if you shared it with someone else, they’d be able to re-create it exactly the way you see it in your mind. 

Incorporate All Your Senses 
As you create clear pictures in your mind of what you want to happen, make them even stronger by incorporating other senses like smell, taste, and sound. The goal is to make the imagery in your mind so strong that you feel as though your imagination is actually happening to you. It can also be extremely powerful to locate where and how the emotions are transpiring in your physical body as you do this. 

Like anything, the more you practice creative visualization the easier and more effective it will become. The best times to practice creative visualization are during the 7-8 minutes before you fall asleep and the 7-8 minutes right after you wake up, as this is when your brain is in its most subconscious state while still awake. 

Use a Vision Board
Making a vision board, or a collage of images that represent your goals and dreams, can be a powerful way to strengthen your creative visualization practice because it serves as a way to turn your imaginations into tangible pictures your brain can physically see. It’s important to see your vision board several times a day, so make sure to hang it up in a heavily trafficked area of your home, or set it as a background on your computer or phone. 


Do you have experience using creative visualization to help you reach your fitness goals? What was your experience like? We'd love to know in the comments below👇

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