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5 Steps to Visualize a Goal

By Melissa Verplank, CMG

Reaching your goals, especially if they are lofty, is always easier said than done. It does not matter whether they are personal goals. Career goals. Health goals. Financial goals. Or goals in any other area in your life. Achieving goals is hard work. It takes planning, focus and action.

What if I told you there’s a shortcut when it comes to achieving goals?

What is it?


Personally, I’ve used this technique repeatedly to achieve my goals. I first started hearing about it in the mid-1980s. Since then, I’ve used it for both large and small goals in all areas of my life with great success.

The first thing you must ask yourself; “What does it look like when it’s done right?”

Today it’s easier than ever to find examples of what something SHOULD look like. You just need to know what you’re looking for. Regardless of whether you’re using the Internet or more conventional means, you need to have a foundation of knowledge to be able to filter out between the good and the bad.

When it comes to pet grooming and business, these are the areas that I gravitate to to find inspiration.

  • Quality images from the Internet and social media
  • Videos featuring talented and established educators
  • Articles written by leading authorities
  • Magazines
  • Online training
  • Books on any area of focus
  • Dog and cat shows
  • Workshops and clinics
  • Grooming competitions
  • Groups and organizations
  • Mentors and coaches
  • Success stories and personal journeys

One of the biggest things when it comes to personal self-improvement, is the need to know what it looks like when it’s done right. You need to get that image firmly etched in your mind.

Then you must be brutally honest with yourself.

Where is YOUR current skill set? You can’t improve what you don’t know about yourself. Take stock of where you’re currently at. Be open. Be humble. Be honest with yourself. Utilizing visualization can be a huge shortcut to achieving your goals.

Here are 5 steps I’ve used repeatedly to make it work for me. Maybe it will work for you as well.

#1) Visualize the Goal

What will it look like when it’s done successfully? Is it doing six, eight or even 10 dogs a day with ease? Creating a beautiful scissor finish? Achieving a financial goal? Mastering a particular haircut? Communicating with your clients or staff? Envisioning the outcome will give you a clearer idea of the direction you need to go to succeed.

#2) Visualize the Steps

It’s important to visualize the process. Break it down. Reverse engineer it. Imagine all the steps it will take to achieve your goal. Let’s say you wanted to increase your productivity when grooming. Your struggling with getting six dogs a day done easily. Start off by timing yourself. Know how long it currently takes you to do the following: Check in a client. Prep the dog for the tub. Bathe the dog. Dry the dog. Finish the dog. Check the pet out. Break it down step-by-step. Then, work on improving only one or two areas at a time.

#3) Visualize the Details

Just as the steps are important, being able to envision the details within each step will be critical to achieving your overall goal. If you’re looking to master a haircut on a particular breed, there are many details you will need to focus on to accomplish the task. What does the dog look like when done correctly? Do you understand the breed standard and how to apply it? What techniques do you need to master? What tools will help you achieve superior results? What products will aid in getting the results you are looking for? Understanding the WHY and HOW of what you’re doing is always in the details. Visualize every single one of them.

#4) Create a Vision

The law of attraction states, you are drawn to images you think about most. Creating a visual reference guide can help cement those visions in your head. Create a vision board filled with what something SHOULD look like. Or maybe a notebook or even a journal. For many, keeping the images on your phone or table might work too.

Whatever technique you use, make sure you see it multiple times daily.

When I wanted to master the haircut on my poodle in the contest arena, this is what I did.

I collected pictures of beautiful trims on poodles. I had images of correct bone and muscle structure for the breed. I read the breed standard over and over again until I could clearly visualize it in my head. I took profile photos of my own dog when she was stacked properly while wet. I drew in the image of the haircut I wanted to do on her using those photos. I took photos of her finished. I studied and analyzed all these images. I went to clinics and workshops with her to study with the masters. I constantly visualized what the perfect trim SHOULD look like on her. Eventually, all my hard work paid off. I won the World Poodle Competition with my Miniature Poodle at Intergroom under Liz Paul as my judge.

#5) Visualize & Celebrate Mini Goals Along the Way

It’s easy to get distracted on the road to reaching your larger goals. Especially, if you don’t see instant success. This is where you’ll want to celebrate the mini wins along the way with each step. Therefore, it’s important to have your visual success path posted where you can see it easily. Celebrate the small wins. Each celebration brings you a little closer to your goal.

I guarantee, being able to visualize your goals will shortcut your success path journey. When you get visual clarity, it makes it easier to achieve whatever goal you set. It allows you to intensify your focus. And effective visualization helps you achieve any goal in the least amount of time possible.

Want to improve your grooming? The Paragon family of companies have a variety of solutions for you. Check out membership in Learn2GroomDogs.com, where you can find more than 1,000+ videos on every breed in the book. Or explore Paragon’s Distance Learning Program.

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