Capturing the Wellness Vision
We all know that our eating habits are inexorably tied to each aspect of our lifestyle. Here I want to talk in more detail about an important step in the coaching process, the vision of success, or the wellness vision. This is simply what you see when you imagine yourself achieving your goals and living your healthiest life. Its your destination point, your true reason for making changes to your lifestyle. The idea is that you “capture” this vision and purposefully create a physical, symbolic reminder, such as a vision board. Going through this process will help clarify what you really want, set appropriate, relevant steps (goals), remind yourself of them on a regular basis, and ultimately empower you to succeed. In this blog I’ll talk about when you should do this as well as some ideas and guidance on how to determine your wellness vision.
Describe the change
So you’ve decided its time to make a change. You’re not sure exactly what that looks like though you are sure of some things that you want to be different. Perhaps you:
- want to be in better “shape”, you hate that you get winded climbing a couple flights of stairs, or that you can’t run like you did back in the day;
- you want to “look” better. You feel like people are judging you poorly by your appearance, you don’t want to be overweight;
- feel unhealthy, you take too many medications;
- worry too much about what foods you should be eating, or what to order when eating out, and/or if what your eating is “right” for you.
Any of these are a good start but as a Nutrition Coach, I would say none qualify as a true destination point. There isn’t enough detail. What does healthy look like? What does being in “better shape” look like? How many flights of stairs should you be able to climb before you feel winded? How many medications are okay? What are the “right” foods? In order to set reasonable goals you need to be able to describe what the end point looks like.
An easy step, ask “what if..”
Here is the first step, take some time to write down what you’d like to see different. Be as specific as you can. If you are having trouble being specific, try asking yourself “what if?”.
- What if you could run better?
- What if your weight improves?
- What if you feel healthier or feel better about what you are wearing?
- What if you felt healthy? What if you didn’t take as many medications?
- What if you could just eat what you wanted without worry?
Now follow up with one or more of these
Try to imagine yourself moving and eating better. What would you then do that you are not doing now? Picture it in your mind. What are you doing? How do you feel? Where are you? Capture these images and thoughts and add them to your description.
Make it real
Collect objects that remind you of these images or are actually part of them. For example, a fishing pole or an Indiana Jones type fedora. How about a pair of hiking boots, a travel journal or leather carrying case (what does that smell like?). What about a piece of art you’ll place in the guestroom because you’ll be hosting people frequently. Another example, a smaller pair of pants?. Find things that bring to mind the things you are doing, the places you intend to visit, or even tools you’ll be using on this journey. Place them where you will see them, next to your computer perhaps, in your bedroom, your car, on that small table by the door that you pass by everyday.
Write a letter
This letter is to yourself. Imagine the future version of you, after you have made the changes you want and put it into words to the present you. You can even mail it if you want (mail it to yourself), how much fun is it to get something in the mailbox that isn’t a bill or advertisement? Put the letter where you’ll see it, again, a reminder for you. This is what you are working for.
Board it up
Collect pictures (real or digital) paste them onto a board and place it where you will see it. These pictures can be from magazines, newspapers, advertisements, junk mail, they could even be old photos. Cut out quotes or write down a poem or a segment of a song that speaks to you. Add these to your board. Again, put it where you will see it. This is your reminder on what you are working towards.
This is not a necessary step but it could be helpful. Sometimes we forget stuff. Friends and family, people who know you well, may remember something you did with them that fits perfectly into your vision. They could remind you of things you said or conversations you’ve had with them that can provide more detail to your vision. Maybe they can just support your idea.
Earlier I wrote about making an effective step-wise nutrition plan. One of the important traits of an effective plan was to be able to describe what success looks like, to have a destination point. In this post I describe some ideas on how to accomplish that. Write down what you want to change, ask “what if?”, envision it, make it real, write a letter, board it up, are all ideas to help you capture and describe your wellness vision. You do not have to do all of them, they are simply ideas to help you go about the process. Try one that makes the most sense. Set aside time to do this, make an appointment, a thirty minute time slot in your schedule and honor it.
Once you get it started your wellness vision can be tweaked and adjusted but give it a good start. Defining your destination point is a critical step in making permanent changes to your lifestyle. Do it early on, before you start setting goals, and do have fun with it. Making permanent changes in your lifestyle and eating habits will take longer than you think, its best to know where your going and make the trip enjoyable.
Please let me know if you found any of these helpful!
Ready to make a change in your diet/eating habits? Better yet, ready to improve your life? Check out my remote, holistic, Nutrition Coaching program!
Published by mattktraining
I am currently the Owner of my soloprenuerial company Matt K Training. Through my fitness and nutrition programs I help adults develop skills and practices that help them eat, move, and recover well. Over the past 20 years, in various roles such as a Personal trainer, Exercise Physiologist, Clinical Researcher, and Health Coach I have helped hundreds of adults reach their health and physical performance goals. When not working, I enjoy active pursuits such as playing right field for the Charlton Giants (in a 38+ competitive baseball league), playing tennis, hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing. I also enjoy indoor activities such as playing strategy board games, reading and discussing science fiction literature, dabbling with my guitar, finding creative ways to eat oatmeal, and being a good dad.