Like you I usually think in words 24/7. It doesn't help that I am a software developer for my job, which usually leads to me thinking in words all day while at work, and it is very hard to "turn off" after work.
Even though I am ever so slowly making progress, I will let you know what works for me:
I usually sit up, sometimes recline in my recliner (though this might lead to sleep).
I focus on the feeling of my breath and the feeling of my stomach going up and down.
I use this timer (http://gymboss.com) to vibrate for 1 second ever 60 seconds for 20 times.
This gives me a friendly reminder every minute so that I can see if I was drifting off in thought or was staying on task. If you get something like this, you can set it to vibrate every 30 seconds and slowly work up to vibrating every 3-5 minutes, then you know you made progress.
I meditate at night before going to sleep and try to also meditate in the morning before work.
Get up earlier before school/work and meditate. I am not a morning person, so this is the hardest for me, but it may be your only shot to have peace and quiet in the beginning without your family being loud.
Mindset - think of it as exercise. If you are fat and want to get in shape, you don't do a marathon training session and then get mad that you only lost a pound. What you do is be consistent with a reasonable time (20 minutes 1-2 times a day is reasonable for starters) and don't look for miracles to happen in the first week, the same way you won't expect to drop 20 pounds the first week of exercise. Notice the small gains and be happy with them (the gymboss timer helps for this).
I don't do the visualizing, because it seems to lead me to stray thoughts faster, so I focus on the feeling of my breath. If you want to keep with the visualizing, remember to not force it. Imagine yourself eating some food you really like, like pizza or a hamburger or something. Notice how easy that way? Visualize the soccer ball in the same way - don't try to force yourself to see it, just see it as an idea that may or may not manifest 100% visually, the same way you imagined yourself eating pizza.
Hope that helps. If I am wrong on the visualization tips, someone correct me.