Ten, ten, one.
First, visualize your dream life ten years from now.
Then, narrow your vision down to ten dreams that, if they came true, would make your vision a reality.
Finally, focus on just one goal to work on right now that will move you closer to your dream life.
Rachel Hollis introduces her trademarked “10, 10, 1” formula for success in Girl, Stop Apologizing as Behavior #2, “Choose One Dream and Go All In.” And while I certainly don’t have the luxury to focus on just one goal at a time (rant ready and waiting for the comments section if it comes up!), I am fully on board with using the powerful practice of visualization to manifest the life of my dreams.
Below are three tips (and a free worksheet!) to help you visualize your dream life in powerful detail.
Why should we bother to visualize our dream life?
It can be really easy for some people to tune out talk of visualization because they see it as a silly, new age practice made famous by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret. But I think visualization makes sense on both levels, for mystics as well as diehard pragmatists. Here’s what I mean.
Visualization for mystics
The practice of visualization is often tied to the law of attraction, which simply states that we attract what we think about. So, if we consciously and intensely visualize what we want (whether it’s a hot date, a promotion, or a perfect parking spot at the mall), we attract it to us. How exactly? Well, when we visualize our dreams in as vivid detail as we can, we essentially trick our brains into thinking we already have whatever it is we are visualizing. So, our brain then triggers the positive emotions that would naturally accompany these achievements. These positive emotions emit high frequencies into the universe that attract more of the same into your life, causing your visualizations to manifest.
The Secret actually puts it in a really simple way that I love: With your visualization, you essentially place an order with the universe, like you do off a menu at a restaurant. Place your order, believe confidently that you will receive it, and you will.
Visualization for pragmatists
Not convinced? Here’s a less mystical way of putting it if you’re a skeptic. Visualizing your goals in immense detail causes you to get laser focused about what you want. You work smarter and harder and stay true to your values and priorities. Because you are clear about your life’s direction, you adopt a more positive, confident attitude that allows you to notice more opportunities to help you achieve your goal than you would if you were grumpy and depressed and complaining about your life instead.
The law of attraction works on both levels, so I say pick whichever explanation resonates more with you as you visualize your dream life.
3 tips for visualizing your dream life
I’m particularly excited about this week’s post because you can take powerful action after reading it whether you’re caught up on reading Girl, Stop Apologizing or not. So, if you like it, please share it with others who may benefit from it!
Now, here are three helpful tips to aid your visualization process.
Visualization Tip #1: Go big or go home.
The visualization exercise in Rachel’s “10, 10, 1” process is to visualize your absolute best life ten years from now. In Rachel’s own words, “Envision the most magnificent possible future version of yourself.” Dream big because there are no limits! So I don’t want to hear you saying things like, “Well, I live in a modest two-bedroom home close to my work because my morning commute would be a killer otherwise and my salary is never going to buy me a mansion.”
GIRL, IN TEN YEARS I HAVE A LIVE-IN HOUSEKEEPER, CHEF, DRIVER, PERSONAL TRAINER, AND PERSONAL ASSISTANT.
Oh yeah, I also have a groundskeeper because a character on an episode of Murder, She Wrote had a groundskeeper once and ever since then I’ve thought, “I need a groundskeeper, and, obviously, grounds that need keeping in the first place!”
Please note that there’s nothing wrong with a two-bedroom house or a daily commute or a dream life in which a financial fortune plays no role. What’s wrong in the particular example above is that it sounds like the visualizer is limiting herself to a two-bedroom house based on current circumstances. Those circumstances and limitations do not exist in your dream life.
For the record, in ten years I’m also best friends with Reese Witherspoon.
So yeah. Go big or go home with this visualization.
Visualization Tip #2: Use the present tense.
Again, the power of visualization comes from the fact that the vivid picture you create in your mind’s eye tricks your brain into thinking you are already living this wonderful life. To help this process along, you want to make sure you are using the present tense when you are writing out or thinking to yourself as you visualize.
So, for example, you want to say, “I am a best-selling author of YA novels” because you want to manifest actually being that thing. If you constantly think to yourself, “I will be a best-selling author of YA novels,” all you are going to manifest is a constant state of waiting and hoping. No bueno.
Visualization Tip #3: Put ego aside and visualize with your heart.
In your heart of hearts, if all of your deepest and most honest dreams came true, what kind of life would you be living ten years from now? That is the question we are answering. To do this, we need to put aside ego and pride and expectations and pressures.
I’ll use myself as an example of this since I already revealed how badly my ego has led me astray in the past. My tenth grade English teacher assigned a visualization poster project at the beginning of the year. On track to receive “Most Likely to Succeed” my senior year, I knew I wanted to be impressive to others.
My so-called dream life included me in a power suit working late in the fancy corner office of a Manhattan skyscraper, having a secretary bring me dinner to my desk because I was a hot shot attorney and had a case in court the next day. When I was finally too exhausted to think, a driver in a town car was waiting to escort me home to a fancy but stark Manhattan apartment where I gently kicked off my high heels and slipped into bed. Alone. In the dark. Because what is family? Or self-care? I am a career woman!
A Cornell or Princeton sweatshirt adorned some corner of the poster too.
I stuck with this vision because I got major kudos for it! And it worked. It landed me six figures in debt for a degree from a top 20 law school that I was slaving away to pay off at a litigation job I hated.
The point? Visualize authentically. Honestly. True to your heart. Visualize as if everybody supported you. As if money were no object. With the assurance that everything will magically work out according to your plan. Because your vision for your life, whether you create it consciously or not, is what you work toward. So if your vision is not aligned with your true values, you can guess how happy you’ll be when it comes true.
A bit overwhelmed? Download this free worksheet!
Rachel includes a lot of great questions in the Behavior #2 chapter to help you visualize your dream life. But if you’re like me, you may have gotten overwhelmed at all the possibility!
So, I created a free worksheet for you to download to help with your visualization. It guides you through imagining every aspect of your perfect life ten years from now, including your lifestyle, relationships, and purpose.
Just click on the link below to download your free visualization worksheet now!
I hope you have a blast filling out your worksheet! Please let me know how it goes and what you think about Rachel’s “10, 10, 1” plan. After all, visualization is just the first part.
Want to keep reading?
If you missed them, check out our previous discussions on Excuses 4-6 and Excuses 7-9 from Girl, Stop Apologizing.