When people visualize anything, it makes it much more likely for them to make it a reality. They see the vision in their heads and then take steps to make it happen. It’s how Thomas Edison improved the lightbulb (he didn’t invent it as many believe). Edison did have a vision and stopped at nothing to see it through. Steve Jobs was another visionary, one who pictured how his products could help improve peoples’ lives.
Visualizing your goals carries through on this same concept. You paint a picture of what you would like accomplished by a certain period. When you have that picture, you can determine what is necessary to implement it.
Once you break down the steps to accomplish your goals, you can use other visualization tools to help you manage those steps. You may start out with a project management plan (using specialized software), or you may simply choose to keep track of your tasks in a spreadsheet. If it works for you, it is not wrong. Keep using whatever tool is working.
Many people also like to create a vision board. That is usually a corkboard where you place things which help you piece together a problem and help with possible solutions. As you come across other items for your vision board, you can choose where to put them and decide whether you need to remove something already on the board. Again, there are no rules here. If you understand the vision, it’s the right one for you.
Using a mind map is helpful to people when trying to brainstorm. You can use dedicated software, or you can just use sheets of paper. The concept is to start in the middle of the mindmap with a principal idea or task. Then, when you think of related items, you draw out from the central area a box or text with your new thoughts, etc. You continue this process out from the center linking ideas and thoughts with lines. It helps you to see the whole plan from a bird’s eye view and makes brainstorming easier. This concept doesn’t work for everyone. But, people who use them, swear by them.
You can incorporate all the concepts above or use only a few. You must experiment to see which ones resonate with you. It’s an iterative process. However, the key is not to get caught up in the process itself. Whatever means you use to visualize your goals, you need to make sure you track the progress. Otherwise, you are simply going through the motions, and you won’t accomplish much.