Creating a wellness vision to keep you motivated and help you achieve your goals
Why do so many resolutions fail? It is often not for lack of motivation or enthusiasm. Most of us are incredibly motivated at the start, but after a few weeks this motivation slowly ebbs away, and it gets more and more difficult to stick to the desired healthy habits.
This doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, or that you are unable to change. However, it can be a sign that your why isn’t strong or clear enough. If you don’t have a crystal-clear idea of why you’re making a certain change, it’s hard to motivate yourself in the moments that get the most difficult. This is why creating a wellness vision can help you achieve your goals long term.
What is a wellness vision?
A wellness vision is your desired end goal, a clear image of what you want to achieve by focusing on your health and wellbeing. It is a description of your ideal place to be when your health and wellbeing are optimised. A wellness vision is positive, well thought out and often verbalised in the present tense, as if it is already achieved. It mainly involves your health, but it also includes the bigger picture and what is impacted by your improved health, such as work, relationships, and family.
Here is an example of a wellness vision: “I am fit, lean and physically active every day. I sleep well at night and wake up full of energy, which stays high throughout the day. My gut health is optimal, and I can eat without digestive complaints. I have moved out of the city and live in a beautiful natural area, with my husband and my children. I am a better mum because I have more energy, which makes for more and better-quality family time. I have found a better work-life balance, where my evenings and weekends are free for leisure time, during which I do not think about work. I feel present, content, and grateful”.
How does it work?
Creating a wellness vision helps you to achieve your goals on multiple levels:
It helps create intrinsic motivation, the most powerful kind of motivation.
There are multiple kinds of motivation, but for the context of this article, they can be classified in two main types: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation means a behaviour is driven by external circumstances, such as receiving a reward, avoiding punishment, or getting praise from others. Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is doing something because you want to, because you enjoy it, value it, or find it rewarding, regardless of the external factors. Research shows that intrinsic motivation is more powerful when it comes to facilitating long term behaviour change.
It harnesses the power of visualisation
When creating a wellness vision, you are visualising the outcome that you want for yourself. Visualisation is picturing in your mind (with upmost detail) an outcome that you want to happen. It is a powerful tool that was previously used for optimising performance in competitive sports but has now gained popularity as a self-help technique. It has been shown to reduce stress, optimise performance, improve focus, and boost confidence. Research has also shown that people are more likely to achieve their goals when they use visualisation techniques.
It will help you clarify your short – and long-term health goals
When you have clearly defined your why and where you want to be, it helps you carefully choose the changes that will get you closer to that outcome. Take the example wellness vision above. This person places a lot of value on being a better parent. If she did not have this clarity, she might think that hitting a certain goal weight, or a certain body shape would make her happy. Even though this might seem compelling to her at first, as this goal is not connected to her strongest values and deepest desires, it will eventually lose its appeal and it will be harder to stick to the related behaviours. When contemplating a change or new behaviour, asking yourself the question ‘will this get me closer to my wellness vision?’ will help you decide whether you are on the right path.
How to create a wellness vision
Creating a compelling wellness vision means discovering what deeply matters to you. It’s about peeling back the layers and getting through to what is truly important. This might not be immediately obvious, but with the right questions you will get there. Questions that are open ended and allow you to explore all aspects of the vision. You can do this exercise by yourself, or it can be helpful to do this with another person, such as a health coach (who are well trained in this type of questioning) or a good friend/ partner who you trust.
A few questions that can help you on your way to your wellness vision:
- When my health is optimal, what would my life look like?
- What would my day to day look like?
- What would be different from now?
- How am I feeling?
- How does my body feel?
- Who am I spending time with?
- Why is this important to me?
Make sure you are in a calm, relaxed state of mind, and find a place that is quiet and distraction free. This type of deep thinking requires plenty of time and mental space. Don’t be alarmed when the answers do not immediately come to you. Sometimes these questions need to sit in your subconscious for a while before you get to the gold.
Some final tips for getting the most out of your wellness vision:
- Focus on what you do want, not what you don’t want (e.g. ‘I want to be full of energy’ vs ‘I don’t want to wake up tired anymore’).
- Make it yours. This is your vision, and it represents what you want, not what anyone else wants for you. There is no right or wrong, as long as it’s true to you.
- Write down a statement in the present tense (as per the example above), so you can refer back to it later.
Would you like to know more about health and wellness visions? Or would you like some help creating yours? A health coach can help you sift through the layers and discover what truly matters to you and create a vision that resonates and excites you.
To find out more about health coaching, please read 3 unique ways you can benefit from working with a health coach or get in touch using the form below.
This article was written by Health Coach Isabelle.
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