How Visualization Has Made Me Slightly Better at Waking Up on Time (and Why Visualization isn't the End All, Be All for Success)

Not me, in case you were wondering.I suck at getting up on time.  Like, I'm super, super bad about hearing my alarm, shutting it off, and going back to sleep for an hour.  This bad little habit means that I'm routinely running around late or stressed about being late, or sometimes I am on time but arrive with a head of wet hair and hastily applied mascara.

Many of the successful people I know get up early.  They swear by the wee hours of the dawn, citing glorious anecdotes about hot coffee, chirping birds and productivity. 

I loathe these happy morning people.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to throw my 9 a.m. cuppa right in their happy, productive, successful faces.

But then I thought, "Maybe the way I wake up in the morning is dictating the way the rest of my day goes."

Profound, I know.

And then I read this fantastic article about visualization.  and I decided I'd give it a try.

Let me tell you, I feel like a complete idiot talking to myself like this...but it's working.  For the sake of transparency, would you like to hear the things I say to myself each night before bed?  OF COURSE YOU DO.

I wake up on time, refreshed and ready for the day's opportunities.

I eat nutritiously and put the best things in my body.

I enjoy being active and strive to get the best out of my body.

I know my strenths and work hard to achieve my goals and exceed my potential.

I avoid activities, commitments and relationships that drain me of energy, waste my time, and distract me from my goals.

Epic, right?  I have the hardest time not pulling a huge Wayne's World style "NOT!" after each statement and really believing that it's true, because at heart, I'm just a lazy, lazy bastard.  I'm too lazy to get up on time, too lazy to prepare the right kinds of foods (plus, pizza is delicious), too lazy to go to the gym, too lazy to work hard for my goals, and too lazy to not REALLY ENJOY being distracted.  I freakin' LOVE being distracted.

But I digress...

These visualizations are working...not because I'm saying them, but because I am acting on them as well.  Sure, those studies about "Oh, the people who visualized shooting three pointers had a higher percentage rate of made shots than those who didn't," are all well and good, but the bottom line is THEY WERE SHOOTING THREE POINTERS.  They were acting on their visualization.  In other words, they were making good on the promises to themselves. 

Because that's the way I look at these visualizations:  it's a little mental promise to myself.

It's not enough to SAY you're going to do something if you never do it.  I can say I'm going to get up on time all I want, but until I get my grumpy, coffee-deprived ass out of bed, it doesn't matter what I told myself the night before.  I can visualize completing my next big project, but until I turn off the TV and get going, my project will not get done.  And I can think all I want about moving up in the world, but until I network with the right people, get the training I need and put myself out there, WHO CARES?

No one.  No one cares about what you think in your head if you're not willing to back it up with your actions. 

This idea has been such a kick in the pants for me.  I've realized that I've been a dreamer for years without taking steps to get what I want.  And I feel like, in a lot of ways, I've wasted and squandered some very precious time.  That sucks.  But not all is lost.  I can still make good on my dreams and my promises to myself. I can get the things I want by employing visualization and action.

And dammit, at the very least, I will finally get up on time.