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Complete Your Dissertation! Envisioning the End

It's amazing. One of my Dissertation Structures coaching clients, Terry, just completed her Dissertation Structures after several long years. It's out of her hands and she's getting ready to graduate...finally.

Funny, it was only 4 weeks ago that she was nearly ready to throw in the towel. She was at the home stretch but the process was weighing heavily on her shoulders. "What more do these people want from me? How many more changes? I don't want to read through this thing ever again!"

She didn't sound like herself. That's when we had to stop and take a moment to reconnect with the all-important vision. It is easy to get bogged down with the details of the process when you don't keep in mind the end result in full techo-color vibrancy.

When I work with clients, I take them through several visioning processes. One that I like to start with is my 5 step Dissertation Structures visioning process:

(1) See it: Close your eyes. Look at your goal square in the face. What does it look like when it's finished? When you look around, who do you see? Where do you picture yourself? Get specific. I often encourage my clients to put together a vision board that keeps these pictures in the forefront of their minds. What images remind you of your goal? What lies beyond once that goal is achieved?

(2) Sense it: While this might take some practice, try to let go and simply focus on your goal. What will it feel like to achieve your goal? What do you hear around you? What does victory taste like and smell like? The more visceral you can make your goal, the more driven you will be to achieve it.

(3) Say it: We are often caught using the future tense when talking about the completion of our dissertation. "I will finish it" might sound good to you but it doesn't put you in action. In fact, that kind of language can invite procrastination. Who says when the "I will" will actually take place? When speaking to about your goal, say it as if it is happening right now; "I am finishing my dissertation by December," "I am a graduate of XYZ University."

(4) Believe it: Sometimes we feel as if we are lying to ourselves. Do I really think I'll finish? That kind of goal-robbing gremlin needs to be put to rest. If you don't really believe that you'll be able to succeed, you probably won't. When you have unwavering commitment and conviction in your goal, nothing can stop you. Be sure to put any voices of doubt to bed so that you can concentrate on taking action and making things happen.

(5) Achieve it: This is an active process. Achieving your goal means sticking to your plan, crossing off your "to-dos" and charging forward. Are you closer to accomplishing your goal than you were yesterday? If so, you are in the process of achieving your goal. And of course, once you check off the last item on your list, the final part of achieving your goal is celebrating your success!

Where are you in the visioning process? Have you set your goals and intentions? Have you created your plan for Dissertation Structures? Once you established where you're going, the path is clear. Now all you have to do is follow it!

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