You'll have heard the advice.
We're supposed to create a vivid mental image of our goals. Picture getting the promotion, being called on stage to receive the award or taking possession of the new house or car. The more vivid the better, they say. 'Imagine how it will feel on the day. Imagine the smiles of your family and friends.'
That's pop psychology. It sounds plausible, but it will do more harm than good. There's a much more effective way to achieve your goals.
When I was 12 my teacher wrote in my report, 'Inclined to procrastinate'.
The next day she asked, 'Do you know what procrastinate means?'
'Did you look it up?'
'I meant to', I said, 'I didn't get around to it.'
There's a simple cure if you are inclined to procrastinate. (I'm indebted to Professor Robert Cialdini for this one. He mentions it in his latest book Pre-suasion.)