Treasure Mapping

Visualizing Your Goal for Greater Achievement

Make a picture of what you want.

© iStockphoto/heidijpix

When you want to achieve something really badly, have you ever tried closing your eyes and imagining yourself "there"? You touch it, feel it and see it clearly. You scan every detail in your mind's eye.

This is a powerful and important technique for motivating yourself and building the self-confidence needed to achieve your goals. Yet when you open your eyes, the vivid image starts to fade, and it can take real concentration to recreate your visualization each time you want some inspiration.

What if you could keep hold of that vivid image and refer to it when ever you need a little motivation, or a reminder of what you are working towards? Treasure mapping is a simple tool to help you do just that. Visualization itself is a very powerful technique. And Treasure Mapping can be the icing on the visualization cake!

It’s a very simple but effective idea: Treasure Mapping involves creating a physical representation or collage of what you want to achieve. It acts as a constant reminder and representation of your goals. And so it intensifies the effects of visualization, which acts on your subconscious mind to motivate and encourage you towards achieving those goals.

Let’s say you have the ambition to get fitter and run a marathon: Your “treasure map” could include pictures of runners, people crossing the marathon finishing line, and athletes training hard; perhaps it could also include pictures of the foods that you need to eat (and those you need to avoid).

If you are a salesperson with the ambition to beat sales records in your company, your treasure map could include a representation of the sales chart you hope to achieve, pictures of people signing deals with customers, pictures of your product standing proud; and perhaps a picture of someone receiving a prize.

Using the Tool

Your treasure map will represent how you visualize the achievement of your goals and your journey toward that achievement.

The first step towards creating your treasure map is to clarify your goals and then visualize what will happen, or what you will have, once you have achieved the goal. (For further help on clarifying your goals, please refer to Mind Tools article on goal setting  .

Once you are clear about what you want to achieve, write it down in detail and start to visualize your achievement: Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What will I see when I have achieved my goal?
  • What will I have? What will I be?
  • How will I celebrate the achievement?
  • How will other people see me and what I have achieved?

Now enjoy collecting images that represent this visualization and arrange these images on paper as a collage. These image of the ultimate achievement go in the most prominent position of you treasure map – at the top or in the middle.

The next step is to visualize the journey towards achieving the goals. What will you have to do? What will you have to stop doing to achieve your goals? There may be important milestones or necessary sacrifices to achieving your goals. Visualize these too, and find images that represent them. Now arrange these on the collage too.

Finally, paste the pictures of your goals, your journey towards them, and sacrifices on your collage. Make sure you arrange them in a way that helps imprint upon you the desire to achieve your goals.

Hang your chart in a prominent place so that you see it daily: There it will help motivate and inspire you towards achieving your goals.

Key Points

Treasure mapping helps bring you goals to life and gives you a clear image of what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.

First clarify you goals and what you need to do to achieve them. Then visualize these. Choose images to represent how you see your achievement and make a collage; and use this as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter, or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!

Add this article to My Learning Plan

Comments (4)
  • Lalit wrote Over a month ago
    It's a great concept.
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    We use a similar technique with clients in therapy - using positive pictures to depict what a negative emotion can be turned into, such as anger turning into inner peace or bitterness turning into serenity. I just love the term "treasure mapping" - if you have a map to a destination it's hard not to reach it unless you're not into the journey!!

    Kind regards
  • mariarosa wrote Over a month ago
    Close your eyes and think about a juicy green lime or lemon. What are your feelings? has your mouth started to water yet? Visualization is indeed a very powerful tool and sometimes we discard these types of exercises because we consider them silly or to "leisurely". Set time apart, move away from your desk, go to a lovely place with your magazines, photos, etc. and try it. You might learn a lot of new things about yourself and your goals and be pleasantly surprised. Try it, it is great.
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    This is a great tool to fire up the imagination and help you move towards your goal. It's great to have a clearly defined goal written out, yet having pictures to represent you achieving your goal can be a powerful incentive to keep you going, to keep you taking action and to draw you forward until you achieve what you want to achieve.

    So, get out those magazines, cut out those pictures and develop your own map of what you want to achieve and what you will gain when you gain there.


Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Your Score
Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.

Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.

Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.