Now See This: Visualizing Your Way to Success.

Goals, no matter how committed we are to achieving them, can be abstract concepts we struggle to wrap our arms around. Even if you know the steps involved in setting can’t-miss goals, it can be difficult to stay motivated as you press forward. Creating a visual or tactile version of your plans can help keep your eyes trained on the prize. The question, though, is what should that look like? There’s not one right answer other than this: the proper method is whichever one you best connect with. Try one of these 4 on for size.

Mind Map

Developed by Tony Buzan in the 1960s, a mind map is a visual representation that connects information to one central idea. On a blank sheet of paper, draw or write your goal in the center. Ideas related to that center will branch out all around it. It may be steps on how to reach you goal; or it may be skills you need to master before you achieve it. It may even be a web of benefits you’ll experience by reaching your goal. It could be all the above. Use different colors for each branch and let your imagination go. Build small branches off each main shoot as you drill down in detail. The goal is to visualize interconnected concepts as they relate to the central theme.

Vision Board

There are several different ways we process information. Some of us are auditory learners. Some are tactile. Some are visual. If you’re a visual thinker, a vision board can be a great way to put a finger on where you’re headed. Grab a stack of old magazines and a poster board or cork board. As you flip through the pages of each publication, keep an eye out for images and quotes that best represent your goals. There is no right or wrong. This is about what each image says to you and how it represents your visual concept of your goals. Tack the clippings to your board and hang the finished piece where you can see it.

Put it on Pinterest

Technology can be a wonderful tool. Use Pinterest to create an online mind map or vision board. Pin quotes that resonate. Pin articles that inspire you or offer you how-to plans. Pin images that represent your goals. Keep your plans on one board or create several of them.

Spreadsheet, Timelines and Check List

If you’re more of a linear thinker, a spreadsheet, timeline, or checklist might be a better tool for you. Map out your plan of attack, including target dates and milestone markers. Check in with your tracking sheet at regular intervals, whether you keep it on the computer or print a hard copy to reference. Cross out line items as you achieve them. Seeing progress will help propel you forward! Consider adding a notes column to your document and jot down information about any challenges you’ve surmounted or how you’ve had to amend your plans.