Goals, goals, goals. Everyone’s always talking about setting goals. Yes, they’re key to personal growth. But, before you set goals, it’s important to first create a personal wellness vision statement.
What is a Wellness Vision Statement, You Ask?
It’s simple. Goals provide stepping stones to get you somewhere. For fitness goals, they’re usually designed to help you reach a place of wellness. But, what is wellness? How do you know when you’ve reached the fanciful world of wellness? It can mean many different things to many different people.
If you have high blood sugar in the range of prediabetes, wellness may mean optimizing your eating and activity patterns to bring your blood sugar levels back to a normal range. If you’re a busy professional with a family, wellness may mean finding a time efficient exercise program that keeps you active, while also allowing you to make time for your relationships.
So, how can you place stepping stones (goals) until you know where you’re going? Yeah, those goals might get you somewhere. They might get you moving forward. But, for the best results, you need to know where you’re going. To do that, you must ask the most important question of all.
Do you know what wellness means for you?
Envisioning Your Optimal Wellness
I want you to start out by imagining the healthiest version of yourself. Think about the You that you want to be in the future. How is your health? What do you look like? How do you feel?
The more details you can create here, the better. That’s because as you add detail, the image becomes more compelling and motivating. Therefore, you’ll be more likely to reach for it, and set stepping stone goals to get there.
Be bold in defining what you want, and who you are. This is not the time to get discouraged and edit yourself thinking “but I can’t do that”, or “how will I do that?”. If you notice those feelings coming up, just acknowledge them, and then move along. You don’t have to have all the answers right now, you just need to have a picture of your desired destination.
An Example Wellness Vision Statement
Here’s an example of a wellness vision statement I wrote.
I feel strong and mobile. I can move with grace and speed, without pain in the activities I pursue. I regularly exercise and feel energized everyday to challenge my mind and body. At 40 years old, I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. I listen to my body and take action to treat pain as injuries present themselves. I feel healthy and present to the people I love. I take care of my body and health, to prevent the stress and worry of those around me, as well as myself. My cholesterol is within safe ranges, and my blood pressure is less than 120/80. I eat balanced meals that make me satisfied, and am capable of listening to my satiety cues. I may be getting older, but my body feels, and looks stronger, than ever before.
This is just a start. You can write more, or less. But I encourage you to create something that feels exciting to you. It might also make you nervous, but that’s a sign that you’re on the right track. It just means you’re excited. And, who wouldn’t be excited? This is where you get to create your own super hero out of yourself.
Tips for Creating a Wellness Vision Statement
Use Present Tense – This will make your statement feel more real when you read it. It puts you in the drivers seat, and helps you internalize your vision.
Ask Yourself Questions – Questions work great for etching out the details. So, ask yourself how you’ll feel in this vision of wellness. How will you look, move, act? How will this vision effect those around you, and the other things you value in life? Ask these questions, and incorporate those answers into your vision. This makes it real.
Share Your Vision – Just writing a vision statement can be anxiety inducing. It makes you face what you want. So, of course sharing it can also be scary. But, when you have people you trust, it can also be empowering. They might ask questions that give you more clarity, and they can support you on your quest. Accountability and support are not to be underestimated.
Stay Positive – It’s often easy to write about what we don’t want. But flip this urge upside down. Instead of “I don’t overeat”, make it “I’m aware of my satiety cues and eat healthy meal portions”.
What to Do With Your Wellness Vision Statement
Okay, so you’ve written your personal vision statement. Now what?
You can just tuck it away in a notebook somewhere, right? You’ve done the work, so now you just sit back and wait for the magic to happen. Mana will soon fall from the sky, your blood pressure will lower, and fat will melt from your sides.
To get the most use out of your vision statement, there are two things that need to happen:
- It needs to resonate with you and represent your desires.
- It needs to become ingrained in your brain.
That means it’s important to revisit and revise it often.
At first punch, you’ll likely have a vision statement that represents you fairly well. But, think of this as a living, breathing document. Feel free to make changes so that it better represents what YOU want, and how YOU define wellness.
As you review it, you’ll begin to believe more in your wellness vision and seek ways to make it a reality. As you edit it to better detail YOUR wants, you’ll feel more compelled to move forward.
Should You Write Your Vision Statement Out by Hand?
People often say that it’s powerful to write things out by hand. I’m not going to disagree with them. I’m no expert in that subject. But, I think you should do what works best for you, and makes things the easiest. Forget about the ideal, and just get it done.
Personally, I prefer using an electronic medium, because is feels less permanent. I can edit it without making a mess of paper, or rewriting the whole thing. So, I keep my wellness vision statement in a Google Doc. I can easily revisit it wherever I’m at, and I can continually make edits.
I add, I delete, and I reword sentences so that it resonates with ME.
So pick the medium that works best for you, so that you can create a vision statement that works for you.
Okay, if you haven’t written your wellness vision statement. Do that first. Seriously, don’t ignore it, or put it off. We’re all procrastinators. But this doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be long. Just write something down to get yourself started.
Then, once you’ve done that, it’s time to set some goals. But, that’s for the next blog post.