“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” Brian Tracy
I grew up in a time when we used maps to find our way from one place to another. When you were planning a trip you pulled out the map to mark your starting point and traced the streets and highways to the ending point and then measured the distance to figure out how long it would take to get there. My dad loved to study maps! If we were planning a trip he would pull out the map and research the various routes and stops along the way. Before the invention of the GPS, Google Maps, Waze and the like you would map your route and head to the highway! If you encountered a detour or roadblock you would take the nearest exit and consult the map to make a new plan!
The GPS is an incredible invention that simultaneously tells us where we are, where we are going, what’s the best way to get there, and how long it will take. We are equipped with our own navigation system- our brain! Our own internal GPS is always telling us where we are headed and indicating via our emotions if we are on the right path!
We are always headed somewhere. Seth Godin says “If you hesitate to map out your future, to make a big plan or to set a goal, you’ve just gone ahead and mapped your future anyway.” So, where are you headed? What does your health, fitness, or wellness look like? What are you passionate about? What gives you energy? When do you feel most alive? Taking the time to answer these questions is helpful in creating a roadmap to your future self and practicing The Four Seeds of Self-Care is a necessity in optimizing brain health thereby enabling your own internal GPS to work!
Taking the time to create a compelling vision for health and wellness helps you stay focused on what you value and enables you to take the steps to get there. You cannot get there on motivation alone. A clear vision of what you want will help you navigate the obstacles that you will most certainly encounter along the way!
Developing a health and wellness vision can be fun! These days we spend so much time focused on being productive that we don’t often allow ourselves the time to let our minds wander and use our imagination. You can breathe life into your own wellness vision by taking the time to close your eyes and picture yourself in one to two years, or three to five years. Where are you? What does your life look like? How do you feel? What behaviors are you consistently practicing?
When you can articulate this vision write it down making affirmative statements. For example: “I am a strong, confident, financially independent woman. I educate others about the importance of self-care to empower them to find the strength within and use it to reach their highest potential. I am physically active and enjoy a good quality of life! I make time for playing, hiking, creating, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. I am grateful for all that I have. I volunteer and give back to my community.”
Once you have created your wellness vision it is time to develop an action plan to reach your vision. A life and health coach can partner with you to set realistic goals in areas that you are ready to make a change. This is key because often we are following someone else’s plan, which in the long term does not work! We are all individuals and we all are wired to be autonomous. A coach will meet you where you are and help you set goals to make gradual changes, one step at a time.
And when you encounter detours or roadblocks that inevitably come with life, you will be able to adjust. Whether it's losing a job, moving, getting married, having a baby, going back to school, getting divorced, losing a loved one, retiring, or experiencing a global pandemic, we are able to course-correct and persist! Change in life is the only constant.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.” Socrates
When we feel depleted, exhausted, distracted, overwhelmed, and our minds are overrun with negative emotions we become frantic and have a hard time controlling our internal navigation system. This is when we can turn to our practice of self-care to reset!
I have depended on my self-care routine to get me through these last two months by shortening my to-do list and taking more time to BE STILL (this is not an easy one!) and get enough rest. I have also made sure to eat more fruits and veggies to fuel my brain for optimal health. Nature is my sanctuary, so I have spent plenty of time outside going for walks, hikes, and just sitting in the backyard listening to the birds. It hasn't always been easy to make the right choices and I have caught myself mindlessly reaching for food when I'm not REALLY hungry or hitting the snooze button and lying in bed for another hour!
My own self-care practice and health and wellness vision has been a work in progress and not without challenges! Like Rachel and I always say, “I know because I know, not because I know better!” As I deepen my practices and revisit my wellness vision I am reminded of what is important to me and where I am headed. I am also able to give myself more grace and compassion. And during this difficult time what could be more important?
With Love & Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel