What you think is you become. It’s a saying that we’ve heard many times before, but how often do we practice it in our own lives?

I used to believe that success was a result of actions alone. I thought that if I put in the work and did what was required, I would get there. The truth is, envisioning the desired end goal is just as important to the process. Here’s why.

What is Visualization?

Visualization is the practice of using thoughts and mental imagery to achieve specific outcomes. It’s about creating space for abundance, designing the life you want, and manifesting your reality. Even science agrees: mental practices, like visualization, positively impact confidence, motivation, and the ability to perform, all of which are key to achieving the results you want.

Visualizing is not the same as fantasizing, wishing, and hoping. Instead, it is about picturing yourself at the finish line, whatever that may be for you. It is a very individualized and personal image of your success, versus comparison or admiration of others’ success. It is meant to be a permanent part of your daily routine that becomes more and more effective with repetition.

The beauty of visualization is that it goes hand in hand with living a conscious and intentional life. Once you have a clear picture of where you are headed, you are then better prepared to take the steps needed to get there. You start to become hyper-aware of what decisions you have to make to reach your goal, and everything that doesn’t move you in that direction starts to falls to the wayside.

How to Use Visualization Daily

There are three ways that you can use visualization to move you closer to your desired destination:

1. Visualize Your Ideal State of 'Being' and Feeling'

The focus here is on you as person—who you want to become and how you want to feel. Meditation and affirmations, or creative expressions like writing and drawing, are powerful tools to use here. They will all help you identify desired feelings and ingrain them into your subconscious.

2. Visualize the End Goal

Think vision boards and sites like Pinterest. These help to provide visual reminders of where you want to be and what you want to have in one, five, or even 10 years. They also provide the daily inspiration and motivation needed to keep you moving toward your vision.

3. Visualize Your To-Do List

Often we find ourselves so buried in day-to-day tasks that we neglect to connect the dots between those tasks and the bigger picture. Visualization makes that connection possible.Tools like whiteboards and post-it notes can be used to visualize how all the pieces of the puzzle go together.

This article originally appeared on Coming Om.

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