How do they do it? How do people who change unhealthy habits forever go on to live a lifestyle of wellness make it happen? What separates these lifestyle transformation success stories from the many who begin wellness programs with good intentions yet find themselves falling off the wagon time and time again? Some of us have tried to quit unhealthy habits or stick to a new healthy regimen but find ourselves on a circular track back to where we started, even though we have all the right tools and a sincere desire to change.
This is part one of a 7 part series to help you on your journey to a healthy mindset makeover. In this part, I want to take you through the 4 steps to create an image of who you want to be in the future.
1. Get Clarity
The first step is creating a clear picture in your mind of who you want to be and how you envision your new healthy lifestyle playing out in your daily life.
The more detailed you make your vision, the more likely it will come to fruition. Focus on how you want to feel about yourself, how you want others to see you, and what changes are necessary to have that new healthy lifestyle. It’s also essential to think about how this new lifestyle will impact your daily routine, social life, health, and diet. The clearer your picture of this new lifestyle is in your mind, the better your chance of achieving it.
Getting clarity about who you want to be is more than just setting goals. Setting goals tends to be about reaching a place or moment in time, like losing a certain number of inches or pounds. Once you reach that number, what happens next? It is easy to lose focus or believe that the journey is over and go back to your old ways.
Setting goals should be about a change in habits rather than a singular event. Goals can be as simple as drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, or walking around the block every day. When you focus on changing your habits, you can take small steps towards a healthier you. No matter how many times you fall off the wagon, the important thing is to keep going and remember that small changes over time equal noticeable results.
2. Put Your Vision on Paper
Once you have a vision of what you want to achieve, you need to put it in black and white, making your goals and intention more tangible and helps you stay focused on your vision. You can aid this description by creating a visual image — like a collage or specific people you emulate, but do this in addition to the written description, not instead of your written description.
Think about what you want to achieve in your life. Then, focus on the attributes that make up this vision of yourself. What do you want to accomplish? How will you be different?
Use descriptive phrases to describe your new self. This image should be realistic and positive. Focus on what you want to achieve, not what you want to lose. You should also make your vision personal to you — use the word “I” and describe your vision in the present tense as if you already have it.
For example: “I have control over my eating. I am making healthy choices, eating lots of green vegetables, and drinking a gallon of water every day. As a result, I have more energy, and I feel proud of myself.
This is a clear statement of a positive goal that you can achieve. Notice how it is specific, visual, and uses “I.”
Once you’ve written your vision down, put your vision somewhere that you will see every day. Make sure to read it out loud every morning when you first wake up and every night before you go to bed. This will remind you of your vision and help to keep you focused on what you want. The more often you read your vision aloud, the more you program your subconscious mind with this positive information. It’s also a good idea to share your goals with someone close to you so they can remind you when you get off track. This way, your paper doesn’t just collect dust on the shelf but actually serves as a tool for success.
3. Becoming Your Vision
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Once you have a clear picture of the type of person you’d like to be, start looking for them in your daily life. Take note of the people who live the lifestyle you seek to achieve. You will begin to see them everywhere because your brain is now switched on to who you want to become. Your subconscious only sees what your conscious mind has decided it wants to see, so you must make a point of focusing on the people around you who are already living the life you want.
The first person who needs to be aware of your vision is you. You need to know what you want before anyone else can help you get it. After you’ve got your vision clear, the next step is sharing it with someone you trust. Humans are social creatures at our core, so the act of sharing your vision will inspire others around you. But don’t underestimate the power of having an outside perspective on your dreams and goals. Sometimes that perspective comes in the form of support; other times, it can be more like tough love. Either way, having an objective party involved in your process will help keep you accountable for making progress toward your vision.
4. Reinforce The Image Daily
The fourth step is to reprogram your mind by replacing the old image with the new image through repetition, repetition, repetition.
First thing in the morning and again at night, read your description. This is a habit you will want to begin doing every day without fail until it becomes a part of who you are.
When you first learned to ride a bike, you had to think about everything you were doing. But now, it’s second nature. You don’t have to consciously remember how to ride a bike; you just do it. The same idea goes for developing new habits and breaking old ones; you want your vision to be an ingrained habit.
This is true of all habits. If you do something day after day, you are more likely to become a master at it. You are also more likely to experience success with it. The more you read your vision of the person you want to become, the more real you will make that person in your mind. This process works best when done consistently. Repetition is the key to success.
Remember that there is nothing that can stop you from creating your ideal life. You have already started the process by taking the time to write your vision down and post it where you can see it every day.
More details will come as you experience progress and see what you have made possible; add them to your vision. You are on a journey to become your vision.
This is the first step in making your transformation a reality. Stay tuned for the next steps!