Do you remember when you were little? You could be anything when you grew up. The sky was the limit.

An astronaut? No problem.

President? Of course!

But then as you got older, you started doubting yourself. You realized it’s hard to become an astronaut or the president.

So you shrunk your dreams to something you thought was possible: Get a good job and raise a family.

But now you’ve found the writer’s life, and you’re starting to dream again. It’s time to find out how to use your imagination to achieve your goals.

Envision Your Future

You’ve probably heard about Paul Hollingshead, who went from working at a Publix supermarket stocking shelves to earning over $300,000 a year.

Or Jennifer Stevens, who has traveled the world — and gotten paid to do it — as a travel writer.

Or Joshua Boswell, who had to borrow $50 from his brother to get the first installment of AWAI’s The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, but just a short time later, is now making a six-figure income, is out of debt, takes long family vacations, and works from home.

You want that life too. You want to wake up in the morning, write a few pages, and take the rest of the day to go to the beach, spend time with your family, or see a movie.

You CAN have that life. But first you need to get clear on what you really want. You need to set goals and know what you’re working for.

Otherwise, it’s too easy to come home from a long day of work and think, “The writer’s life can wait. I’ve had a hard day.”

I know, because I’ve been there.

I procrastinated because it’s hard to work all day and then work on your own business. But here’s what got me through, kept me focused, and eventually helped me succeed: Envisioning my future every day and BELIEVING that what I want out of my life will happen.

How to Use Your Imagination to Achieve Your Goals

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said, “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.”

But many of us let our imaginations go to sleep when we reached adulthood. We settle. Fortunately, you can turn all that around by waking your imagination back up to achieve your goals. Here are three ways you can do that:

1. Create Vision Boards

Joshua Boswell, who is my favorite copywriter when it comes to faith and believing in yourself, says, “You will never reach success in your life if you don’t define it. Not just because you don’t know where you’re going, but because without a clear vision of what you want, you’ll never have the motivation to get off your rump and do the right things.”

The first step to creating a vision board that will keep you motivated is figuring out what you want.

This may take some time, so I encourage you to get a notebook. Keep it with you all week. Then spend the week thinking about what you truly want.

More time with your family? Write it down.

Hope to visit Australia someday? Write it down.

Want to get out of debt? Write it down.

By the end of the week, you should have a lot of things written down that you’d like to achieve someday. Some might be right around the corner, like quitting your job. Others, like picking up and moving to Africa, might be a little further away. That’s okay — the point is that you’re learning to dream again.

Once you have a good-sized list and you can’t possibly come up with any other ideas, start making your vision board. Find pictures in magazines that represent your goals or find them online and print them. Then grab a poster board, markers, and glue and get creative.

2. Set Up a Work Area You’re Excited to Use

Your office or workspace is yours, so why shouldn’t it reflect that? You have no boss telling you how it should look or co-workers you have to share it with.

Put up pictures and decorations. Get a few plants. Make it an enjoyable area you want to spend time in.

I invested in a new desk I love, a variety of office supplies that are fun to use, and an entire wall painted with white board paint.

I figure the cost of starting a writing business is so inexpensive, it’s okay to spend a little on things that will make it more enjoyable.

Also, get a few things that will make the time sitting in front of the computer more comfortable. I went from a track pad to a wireless mouse and got a wrist pad to keep aches and pains at bay.

If you can’t afford all the things you want right now, put a picture of them on your wall or computer — or draw out your office the way you imagine it will look soon. This gives you something else to work toward.

3. Reward Yourself

Rewards are important for keeping your motivation up and moving toward your goals.

I remember when my husband and I first got married, one of our goals was to pay off debt. We created a reward system, and every time we paid off a credit card or student loan, we did something fun. We paid off our debt remarkably fast and had a ton of fun doing it.

Your path to the writer’s life can be like that too.

Just give yourself a specified reward every time you reach a big achievement, and know what that reward will be while you’re working toward the goal.

Big achievements might be choosing your niche, getting your website online, landing your first client, landing a client over $3,000, and so on.

Spend some time this week deciding what you need to accomplish over the next year to meet your goals. Then, set up rewards you wouldn’t typically do and ones that can be given anytime. They’ll be more motivating to work towards, and you’ll be less likely to let yourself slip up.

One of the biggest benefits of the writer’s life is the ability to have fun and get paid to do it. Why not make it as much fun as possible by envisioning your future, truly enjoying your work area, and rewarding yourself for a job well-done? By using your imagination, you’re much more likely to achieve your goals.