Do you ever imagine what your life will be like a year from now or in five or even ten years? Do you think about what you’ll be doing, with whom, what you’ll look like and how you’ll feel? What about what you’d like to be doing, who you’d like to be doing it with, what you’d like to look like and how you’d like to feel? And, to take it one step further, consider why all those things appeal to you? These may seem like strange questions coming from someone who promotes mindfulness vigorously. But even the most mindfully aware person can plan for their future. We tend to think of planning in financial terms but shouldn’t we also be thinking in health terms? Creating a health vision can impact your life both now and in the future.

At the beginning of a health and wellbeing coaching relationship, coaches ask clients to envision their future, healthiest selves. This comprehensive vision of optimal health or wellness is meant to consider all aspects of a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health, taking into account what they value. Clients are asked to imagine themselves several months or years in the future and to describe what that picture looks like. This image launches the work and is referenced and remembered throughout.

The Magic of a Health Vision

The visioning stage transcends coaching. If you really want to change something about your life, you need to know what you’re working toward and why. Most of us have changes we want or need to make. Maybe we want to develop a meditation and/or mindfulness practice, enhance our nutrition, lose weight, engage in exercise regularly, rearrange our physical environment, change a job, set boundaries, increase our confidence, leave a relationship, start a relationship, improve our sleep habits, change the way we speak to ourselves, or work on the way we speak to others. Maybe our most recent doctor’s visit and lab results were alarming and we need to act now before health issues become bigger problems.

We want to make the changes that will improve our health and quality of life. The changes are important, yet there’s too much information out there and it’s overwhelming. Or maybe we just keep finding ourselves scrolling through our phones. We feel stuck. Stuck, by the way, is not lazy. It’s merely and truly stuck. We know what we need to do, we know it’s important and we want to do it. But we just can’t seem to get started or keep going. We’re not lazy.

Visioning is a key motivator for change that helps get us started and stay on track. The vision is both catalyst and anchor. It helps us get unstuck. Your vision is personal to you. It’s based entirely on what you want for yourself.

My vision includes energy and flexibility so that if I’m fortunate enough to have grandchildren at some point, I’ll be able to comfortably get down on the ground with them (and get back up). One action step I’ve undertaken to achieve this goal is to walk for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week. On the days when I really don’t feel like walking, I try to focus on the vision. Present me doesn’t want to walk but future, healthy me needs it. I’m doing it for both of us. When we’re struggling with getting change underway or sustaining it, we might consider what that future health vision looks like if we don’t make the change. 

Visioning does not require creating a vision board, unless that’s your thing. Like everything else in the field of wellness, it’s personal. But make no mistake, it’s effective. All it really takes is some time set aside, answering questions like these:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What does a state of optimal health look like to you?
  • What activities do you want to be able to do?
  • How will you feel once you’ve reached optimal health?
  • How will this impact your life?
  • How does your healthiest future self act, feel, and look?
  • What does this health vision make possible for you?

I urge you to take the time to write your vision out. Put it in a journal, write it on the Notes app on your phone, or put it on a post-it note. It’s up to you. Memorializing your health vision in writing gives you something tangible to look at when you’re lacking motivation. It’s a helpful reminder of what you want for yourself and motivation to keep doing whatever it is you’ve set out to do. You’re worth it!

Thinking and Trying

Something to think about: “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” — Henry Kissinger

And a bonus to think about: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Something to try: See above. Time to create an optimal health vision for yourself. What do you want for yourself, what do you want to be able to do, how would you like to live, how do you want to feel? Once you set a health vision for yourself, you can figure out what action steps you need to take to get there.

Coaching Can Help

A coach can help you create your health vision as well as the goals and action steps that will turn vision into reality. Schedule a free discovery call with me and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.

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  1. WAS walking 30+ minutes per day for a long time–lost a lot of weight–but over the past year, asthma, a bad muscle pull in my right leg, and then gout (yay, me) rendered me more or less immobile, and now I’ve gained back almost all of the weight that I lost. I finally feel a LITTLE bit better recently, so I’m planning on returning to the gym next week. Sigh……………..

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