Cambridge Dictionary - Aim = To point or direct a weapon towards someone or something that you want to hit
I believe the act of aiming starts when you first look at the target. Your brain will evaluate the distance. Then you position your arm, you focus, draw back in line with the target, check alignment, release and follow-through. Some shooters will hesitate at an anchor point and others will have an active release. It's all part of the aiming sequence (directing shot). The more you do it the less you have to consciously think about it.
When shooting at close distances (<20 yds) I always prefer to consciously aim but often find myself changing to a subconscious aiming style. Instead of bouncing my visual focus from frame to target, I find myself focusing only on target with my peripheral vision on the frame. When shooting at longer distances (>20 yds) I always seem to shoot a bit slower and use the frame as a conscious index point on the target. I pause at anchor for long shots but often use a pull-through (active) release for shorter distance shots. My aiming starts when I see the target and ends when the follow-through is completed. Actually, it ends when the shot hits and I no longer think about the feedback from where the ball hits. If I make a hit then my brain registers the shot as good and will try to repeat. If it's a miss then my brain will help me change something for the next shot in an attempt to make a hit.
If you shoot with your eyes open then you see the frame and bands. When I started driving cars I was nervous and would look at the center-line and the dotted line on my right. My eyes would bounce between the lines and also at the front fenders while I consciously aimed the vehicle between the lines. At the same time I had to watch the vehicles in front, beside me, the road signs/lights, etc. As I became an experienced driver I no longer had to consciously look at lines. My peripheral vision takes care of that. I won't say that I don't see the lines because I know it automatically happens as long as my eyes are open.