A wellness vision is a compelling statement of who you are and what emotional, mental and physical health supporting behaviors you want to do consistently. It’s seeing your future self as if all of the life goals you’ve set for yourself are successfully accomplished. It’s visualizing where and how you’d be if all your current dreams came true; you’ve reached your best self.
Visions have enormous power to drive us toward that which we aspire. They lay the tracks for a course our brain can traverse to realize our potential. Studies have shown that when we create a vision, it becomes a spotlight toward that which we desire, rather than a flood light that sends us aimlessly wondering. And when we share and frequently review our vision of our positive future self, we’re even more likely to make choices with our long term interests in mind rather than shortsighted ones.
I didn’t make a vision ten years ago when I went through my divorce but I wonder now what I would have included? Because I was primarily concerned with surviving at that time, it probably wouldn’t have been too lofty. Ten years later I’ve learned the value of visions and have recently created a two year vision statement. There’s no rule or limit on your vision’s timeline, it can be 6 months, 1 year, or whatever date drops you in the time of life you’re thinking about.
Creating a vision is the foundation for planning. It provides the energy and motivation to move forward and even beyond obstacles that life drops in our laps. Your personal vision identifies what you want, rather than what you don’t want. It’s difficult to see and feel the absence of something; in contrast, it’s difficult to ignore and resist the presence of something. This holds true for every area of life. Take wellness for example, it isn’t the absence of disease or the opposite of illness, rather it’s the presence of wellbeing. Consider, for example, the following descriptions of wellness taken from the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wellness (2002):
To create your own vision, begin by imagining yourself at some future point of your choice; What is your life like? Who are you? When are you? What do you look like? How do you feel? Who is in your life? What are you doing?
It may help to consider things such as your:
Values - Who do you want to be?
Outcomes - What results do you want to achieve?
Behaviors - What activities do you want to do consistently?
Motivators - Why does this matter to you right now?
Strengths - What strengths, talents, and abilities can you utilize?
Challenges - What are the potential obstacles that threaten to thwart your efforts?
Strategies - What strategies my be effective in helping to overcome your barriers?
Support - What support structures and people can you call on when challenges arise?
Look over your answers to the above questions and notice the elements that make up your vision. Do you incorporate family, health and fitness? Or perhaps vocation, self observation and wellbeing? Or all of these? What best experiences have you had in life so far in regard to your valued elements? What connections can you make about times you were achieving a desired goal and ways you can leverage the strengths and strategies you used then with your new vision?
Visions are best written in the present tense, as if they are already happening. As with athletic training, visualization is experienced by the brain exactly as actually doing the activity, so get specific and see it! When you’re ready to write your vision, describe exactly what you see; it can be written in story form, bullet points, or in a mind map - the point is that it’s in your words and in real time.
Once you have a clear picture of your vision and have written it down, it’s time to share it! Find a trusted friend, partner, sibling, or coach to declare your future self with. And don’t forget to review it often and make changes as you evolve!
When will you take the time to create your future?
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian