What will it feel like? For many of us, optimal health or our individual “peak state” has always been a far off dream.
It’s been a dream that has been at our side for years – since high school, marriage, postpregnancy or after competitive sports. We’ve set our sights on the New Year with the hope and desire that this will be the year we will achieve our resolution of living a healthy life and achieving optimal wellness. We’ve come close to reaching our goals, but inevitably, something always comes up, pulling our attention and motivation in another direction. Slowly, our old, unhealthy habits come back and before we know it, our health has once again become next year’s New Year’s resolution.
Sound familiar? You can’t be blamed for harboring self-doubt and fear with so many past attempts and subsequent failures. But what if you’re failing because of that self-doubt and those negative things you are saying to yourself?
Let’s deviate from the realms of weight loss for just one moment and dive into some of the most successful athletes and common characteristics they share; what do they all seem to have in common? They exude confidence! They do not let self-doubt take up a millimeter of space in their mind. They know they can achieve success. Whether it’s an Olympic athlete, a world-renowned surgeon, a lawyer, a musician or a dancer, they all tell themselves the same story that they will be successful. How can individuals with such varied skill sets have this same characteristic? One word: visualization.
Manifesting success, hypnosis, positive psychology, affirmations, visualization; it can be labeled in several different ways but the outcome and intention behind it are the same. The goal is to:
1) Mentally rehearse the outcome we wish to achieve,
2) Create for ourselves the story of what we “want” to happen as if it’s already a reality, and
3) Celebrate the fact that we have already achieved success in whatever that “goal” might be.
Instead of wasting hours of precious brain space and spending time doubting our abilities, let’s mentally support ourselves for success. We can break through our mental (and even physical) plateau by putting our hopes and desires into action.
Start simple and spend 10 minutes every day answering these questions as if you are already at your optimal weight/peak health state and maintaining it effortlessly:
Physical – How do I physically look? Environment – How do I interact in my social settings?Task – How do daily activities feel different?Timing – What do I look and feel like a year from now having already achieved my goal?Learning – What have I learned that has allowed me to continue my success? Emotion – What emotions do I encounter at this optimal weight/peak state?Perspective – What is my perspective of myself?Once you start practicing this every day, start plugging in new situations for you to visualize. Plug in travels, vacations, birthdays, holidays, celebrations, social settings, stressful situations and emotional situations into this model. Once you feel like you’ve prepared yourself for a particular situation, then visualize a different situation and what success within it will look and feel like. Practice makes progress. The more you practice, visualize and prepare for these new situations, the more confident you will feel. The more time you spend telling yourself that you are successful, the less time you will have to doubt yourself and diminish your goals and confidence.
They said it best in “Field of Dreams” – “Build it and they will come.” Build your goals, plan your success and be confident that, no matter how long it takes, it will come. Or even better? Be confident within every cell of your being that it is already here.
Ashley Lucas has a doctorate in sports nutrition and chronic disease. She is also a registered dietitian nutritionist. She is the founder and owner of PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition, offering weight management and wellness services in the Four Corners. She can be reached at 764-4133.