“See things as you would have them be instead of as they are.” –Robert Collier
There’s a reason Pinterest has such a big appeal among fitness trainers. (http://pinterest.com/chrisfreytag/) Inspirational images of fit and strong bodies motivate people to exercise. Viewing strong bodies of athletes and fitness trainers make people say, I want to look like that too. Just like the success weight loss stories with before and after pictures make people say, Wow, look at how different she (he) looks. I can do that too. Yet visualization goes beyond inspiration. Visualization is actually a powerful tool that can help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.
Start with a crystal clear picture of what you want with a vision statement. When you have goals, you have a destination. Without goals, people tend to be more aimless. It works the same for visualization. You have to be able to see the goal in order to get into the mindset to achieve it. Write a vision statement so you can get your brain working in the direction of where you want your body to go. Just like companies have mission statements that set goals and direction, you can create a vision statement. Answer these questions: What is your ultimate fitness goal? What does that look like? You’re the CEO of your life after all—shouldn’t you know where you are headed?
Create your picture. Once you have your vision statement, you can begin to picture it in your mind. Maybe you have an image of you that you love and you want to look like that picture again. Pull out that picture and put it in a place where you can see it every day. You will have a constant visual reminder of your goal and seeing that picture you love will remind you of how good you felt in that picture and those emotions will help motivate you to achieve it again.
Create a fitness vision board. Even though I love Pinterest, go all out and create a physical fitness vision board that you look at several times a day. For instance, put it in our bathroom or closet wall and you will see it often. You can use regular paper and attach photos of you that show off your athletic prowess or you can use images of other fit bodies that motivate you. Clip out fitness images in different settings—working out, dressed up, on vacation—any type of images that motivate you and remind you of all the benefits of keeping your body in shape. You can use a bulletin board, whiteboard, paper with sheet protectors that you put into a three-ring binder or an album. Be creative. Find some empowering quotes to add to your pictures. It can look like a fitness collage or have one simple image—whatever appeals to you. Every time you look at your fitness vision board it will remind you of how you want to see yourself and how you want to live.
Support your vision with affirmations. Even if there are a few fitness goals you haven’t achieved yet, write out your affirmations as if you have already achieved those things. Your affirmations should describe your ideal scenario—even if you aren’t there yet. The point is to get you in the mindset—to visualize and feel—where you are headed. For example: I am fit. I love to exercise. I am at my goal weight. I am strong and my endurance increases daily. My flexibility has improved tremendously. Exercise gives me more energy. You get the gist. Read your list daily!
Change your vision board as your goals change. Goals change as you change. As you reach certain goals, you will set new goals. As you do, refine your vision statement and your vision board. Keep recommitting to the process by shifting your vision accordingly.
Imprint goals on your mind with pictures. Then take action! Your future view determines the future YOU. Make your future happen by picturing it first.
“Repetitiveness of vision combined with your associated emotions will develop your power to visualize and take action to achieve your goals.” –John Assaraf