TD Bank Editor


Want to Reach a Goal? Try Picturing It First

Published on 1.25.16

The New Year is a time for change and fresh starts. It’s also a time when customers turn to us for guidance on how to achieve their financial goals for the coming year.

Sadly, most of our resolutions don’t make it beyond January. So we decided to conduct a survey and determine how we can better help our customers stay focused and achieve their goals. It’s all part of our commitment to being the one and only Human Bank — delivering legendary service with a caring, personal touch.

“We believe banking should be about more than faceless transactions,” says Ryan Bailey, head of Consumer Deposits, Payments and Non-Real Estate Lending, TD Bank. “It should involve real human beings who listen to our customers’ needs, understand their challenges and work with them every step of the way to help them achieve their goals. The results of this survey will help us better understand and serve our customers.”

What we set out to learn

In our 2015 Fiscal Fit survey, we looked for connections between financial and physical health, and the results were enlightening. This year we wanted to learn more about the role visualization can play in goalsetting. Once again, the results didn’t disappoint.

Our findings

  • The majority visualize achievements. Eighty-six percent reported visualizing their goals, and it turns out, they believe it leads to successful achievement. People reported that visualizing goals inspires, instills confidence and helps them stay focused. And the majority (67 percent) felt that visualizing New Year’s resolutions improved their success rates.
  • Visualizing and budgeting are connected. People who visualize their goals believe they’re better at saving as a result. They also reported feeling less anxious about budgeting and more accomplished and happy as a result.
  • Millennials and Hispanics are the most visually driven. These groups reported the highest numbers (74 percent) when it came to capturing and sharing images of their achievements. Both groups also believed that their financial success was tied to visualization.
  • Small business owners use visualization techniques. The appeal of visualization wasn’t lost on small business owners. In fact, one in five small business owners used vision boards when starting out. And 76 percent reported that they’ve accomplished the business goals they set early on.

What does this mean to you?

Don’t worry…you don’t need to be on Instagram to prepare for the future. Visualization means different things to different people.

  • Charts and graphs can have a lot more impact than just words, and they can help you quickly understand your current status versus where you need to be. Take advantage of online calculators and tools that scope out your future for you.
  • Keep an image of a goal — whether it’s your dream house, the new car you’ve been eyeing or a favorite vacation destination – to help you stay focused. Keep it somewhere you check often — on your fridge, near your desk or on your phone. It might be just the reminder you need to skip that extra cup of coffee, bring your lunch or scale back on your entertainment budget to save for your next big goal.
  • Small business owners — use vision boards and incorporate more visuals when sharing ideas with partners or training new employees to share your vision. This is even more important when working with millennials who have grown up in a digital world.

The most important thing is to identify the type of visualization that will help you achieve your dreams.

“We are excited about the results of this survey, since it will help us help our customers achieve their financial goals,” said Bailey.