Future Self Visualization: In 3 Easy Steps

Tim Ferriss calls it lifestyle design. Oprah calls it living your best life. Regardless of what you call it, you can (and you deserve to) decide what your future life will look like and live it. It all starts with visualizing your best life and taking full responsibility for making it happen.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day busyness of life. After all there are bills to pay, kids to care for, and jobs to do. But if all you focus on is the day-to-day you will likely soon find yourself feeling stagnant and bored.

Have you noticed that the most successful people seem to have a clear vision of where they want to go? It’s not a luxury or a special talent they have – you can do it too. You can absolutely go after everything you want in this life and there is no time like now to start!

Why Do Future Self Visualization?

Visualizing your future self gives you a destination to work towards. You can decide what you really want and what an ideal life will look like for you. It’s the opposite of the Go Wherever Life Take Me approach. You will be actively deciding how your future looks.

The best part? While you *must* take intentional actions and steps to get where you’re going, you’ll have a helper working behind the scenes. Your subconscious mind is making connections, finding paths to get you to there even faster and in ways your conscious mind can’t yet understand. Even while you sleep.

Today, I’ll teach you an easy three step process for future self visualization. To start, go to a quiet room, sit in a comfortable chair, put some quiet music on if you like, and grab a pen and paper. Let’s do it!

Chair for future self visualization

1. Express Gratitude For Your Present

Take a minute before we get to visualizing your future self to think about your life now. What do you love about your current life? Are there things in your life that bring you joy and make you happy? What have you accomplished so far? Where have you been fearless or done something hard? Who have you helped? Have you had any failures, mis-steps or situations that encouraged growth and resilience in you?

Show gratitude for each person, opportunity, experience, and material possession. Most of us are incredibly lucky and it’s important to recognize and respect all the good things in our lives. Even seemingly bad things that teach you a lesson or give you growth can be recognized.

Every small luxury, every happy moment, every lesson you’ve learned, and every gift and ability you currently have are things to be thankful for.

2. Release All Expectations

We live in a world that puts so many expectations on every one of us. From an early age, we’re told by parents, teachers, coaches and others how we’re supposed to behave, who we’re supposed to be friends with, what a good job looks like, and what a good life looks like.

Let those go. We are focused on developing a vision that you love and want to pursue. It doesn’t matter for these next few minutes what anyone else’s dream for you is or has ever been. It doesn’t matter who expects what of you.

Say it out loud.

“I am not here to please others. The special gifts and abilities that I have are important and are uniquely mine. I am worthy of chasing my own dreams. I release all expectations put on me by society, well meaning family and friends, and by myself.”

Take a deep breath. Exhale and release of all these expectations for the next few minutes. Let’s dive in to your future self visualization.

3. Visualize your Future Self

Now it’s time to ask yourself: What is it I really want, down deep in my soul? What is it I want my life to look like in 10 years? You can pick any future period here, but 10 years is enough time to change your whole like or accomplish nearly anything.

Spend zero time thinking about how you will get there, how much work it will take or whether it is even possible. Think big – if someone else has done it, you can do it too. If someone else hasn’t done it, maybe you will be the trailblazer.

Now, close your eyes and start to picture your ideal life, in detail, 10 years in the future. Feel what it feels like. Look around you and notice every detail of what you see, smell, hear and feel.

Areas to consider:

  • Where are you? What city do you live in? What’s your home look like? Do you own or rent? What’s the view from your home? Is it organized and clutter free?
  • What work are you doing? How are you using your unique gifts to impact others? Do you have a dream job?
  • What’s your financial status? What’s your income? Are you debt free? Have you established a passive income source or an investment portfolio?
  • What do you look like? Is your body strong and healthy? Are you sleeping enough and eating healthy foods?
  • Do you practice mindfulness or other healthy ways to reduce stress and bring clarity to life?
  • What does your faith look like? Are you regularly attending a church?
  • What does your family look like? Do you have a partner? Kids? Pets?
  • What do you do with your free time? Where have you traveled?
  • How do you connect with others? Who are your friends and what do you do together? How do you support each other?
  • How do you feel? Are you at peace? Do you feel confident? Is your anxiety a thing of the past? Are you energetic and happy?
  • How do you support your community? Do you volunteer or mentor others? Do you tithe or support important organizations financially? How do you help others?

Really imagine yourself in that place. Feel how good it feels to be there and to have accomplished so much. Ask yourself if you can dream even bigger in any area – find places you are limiting your vision and go even bigger. Remember, in 10 years you can change nearly anything.

Using your pen and paper, write everything down that you see. Draw pictures of it if that suits you. Spend some time immersed in this beautiful vision you’ve created.

Woman on a boat

Take Action and Make it a Habit

You did it! You accomplished your first future self visualization, and now it’s time to make it a reality.

Repetition is powerful, so pick a day every week and spend 5 minutes reading what you wrote down about your future self. Immerse yourself in this vision and the wonderful feelings associated with it.

Write down action steps you will take to move just a little bit closer to this future vision. Devlop an action step to be completed in the next 24 hours, one to do in the next week, and one to do in the next month. This will help you quickly get started while also developing some longer term steps and goals.

Do this full exercise once every every six months. You’ll be able to take inventory of what you’ve accomplished in that time and see how your actions are moving you closer to your future vision. Your vision will change over time too – maybe you’ll realize you can go ever further than you ever imagined.

Final note: Don’t let anyone talk you out of this vision for yourself. There will be plenty of people who tell you that going after a dream is unrealistic, wasting time or selfish. Bottom line: who cares what they think. This is about you and living the life you were made to fearlessly live.

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