What If? Visualize Your 12-Month Health Transformation
What if, in 12-months time, you,
- Achieved the body you always wanted?
- Improved your eating habits and followed a program with structure?
- Were able to stop or reduce medications that have made it difficult to lose weight?
- Found a way to be consistent with regular exercise, even with the limitations of your busy work schedule?
This part of the health transformation process can be difficult for some, myself included. I’m a visually dominant person so you’d think “imagining” better outcomes for my life would be easy. I would get attached to the outcome, the “final vision”, and if anywhere along the way I failed, that was it – game over.
The problem with vision boards
That was until I discovered the problem with “vision boards” and “holding onto a vision.”
When you create a vision of what you want (and in this case a 12-month health transformation is a BIG vision), the vision is NOT the solution. You can’t create a vision, keep thinking about it, or look at picture of your goals, and trust they will come true. Having a vision of better health is only one part of the process to create solutions you’ll take action on.
I want to make this process fun for you. Imagination and vision are powerful tools when used in conjunction with other strategies to achieve your goals. You may have heard people who suggest using vision boards and putting up pictures of what you want. Go ahead and do that if that helps – it’s one of the secrets to lifelong health and fitness. You just don’t want to be attached to the exact image in your vision and here’s why.
Have you ever seen or visited Mount Fuji?
It’s beyond beautiful and majestic, but notice how far back you need to be to see the entire mountain. That’s kind of what having a vision is like. You can’t create every single detail of your vision. Rather, it’s a general picture, something far off, like a landscape or a mountain.
When it comes to achieving your vision…
Your “best”possible outcome based on your vision might be to reach the peak of the mountain. That would be an outstanding achievement.
But your next two options are your “good” and your “better” options. “Good” might be achieving your goal of visiting Japan and taking a bus tour to see Mount Fuji. Your “better” goal might be reaching the foot of the mountain, or going part way up for a half-day hike.
The challenge with any mountain is this: you can only see all of it from a great distance. You can’t see the paths up the mountain from the distance needed to take it all in. Nor can you get a sense of the height of the mountain until you are near the base of it. You can’t see the crevices, the cracks, the obstacles in your way to reach the top.
You can only see the path once you are on the path
How you navigate the path and the choices you make along the way, will dictate whether you reach the top (your BEST outcome), or come close. Coming close is not failure. Coming close proves to yourself that you made it.
In other words, don’t get attached to the “exactness” of your vision. See it, feel it, and use your senses to create a strong enough desire, and to help in accomplishing your goal. Use your vision along with your WHY, HOW, and the WHAT you need to do, to take daily action towards reaching that “dream vision.”
Let’s do a vision exercise
What I want you to do now is find a comfortable place to do a vision exercise. Sit in a comfortable chair. Turn off all distractions, and preferably do this alone, or ask for privacy for 5-10 minutes.
All you need to do for this exercise is to close your eyes, listen to my voice, and think and imagine. You might be someone who imagines with pictures. Or you might associate with feelings, or with your inner voice to tell yourself your vision.
So close your eyes now. Take a few calming breathes and allow yourself to relax.
Imagine that you and I are sitting across from each other, and I say…
”It’s so good to see you 12-months later! Let me first say that you look fantastic! I’m so happy for you.
“You created a compelling vision for yourself when we first met a year ago. Sure you had some ups and downs, but you understood that this was a process. You were consistent. You took action. You learned from your mistakes, and most importantly you kept going forward.
“I want you to tell me what’s happened in this past year. In these last 12-months you’ve done some tremendous things. Most importantly, you achieved your health and fitness goals!
“How does it make you feel, now, having achieved your goals?
“How good does it feel having a healthier, stronger, and leaner body?
“How does it make you feel now that you’ve lost that excess body fat? Do you feel lighter, more energetic?
“What about your clothes? What clothes are you wearing? A new outfit, or a new suit? Something you haven’t put on in quite some time?
“How does your partner feel about you? Do you feel more sexy? Do you have your mojo back?
“When you see old friends who haven’t seen you in a while, what do they say? Perhaps, “Wow, look at you! You look fantastic! You’ve lost so much weight, you look so much happier!”
“Who are you with? Are you playing with your children more? Do you have more energy to be active, doing things you love? What new activities are you enjoying?
“What are you now enjoying that you hadn’t given yourself the permission to do in the past?
“What’s most important to you now, one year after committing to your health and your fitness transformation? What’s changed for you?”
You can open your eyes now. Take a moment to sit there and feel what you just experienced.
Record your vision
Now, don’t disconnect yet. I want you to remember what you imagined during this exercise.
Make a record of your vision. Write it out in your journal. Or make a selfie-video. Tell yourself the vision of where you are one year from now, having achieved your health and fitness goals.
Do that, now!
You don’t have to show your vision to anyone, it’s a record from today that can be a powerful tool. You can look at it if you find yourself struggling, or if you’ve gone off track.
There is one final post to conclude this series on the secret to lifelong healthy and fitness. In it I will explain how to take action using your WHY to achieve your health and fitness vision in 12-months time.