Visualizing a healthier and happier self

In your effort to achieve your own personal goals for healthy living one key element to success is developing the power to visualize your goals.

The idea behind visualizing your goals is that if you clearly and powerfully “see” your desired result, you are more likely to achieve it.

The Power of Visualizing Your Goals
If want to increase the likelihood of reaching your goals and dreams, visualization is where it all begins. By having the ability to visualize your goals you do a few important things:
   It teaches your brain to recognize what resources it will need to help you succeed in reaching your goals.
   It creates an inner motivation to strive for your goals and dreams
   It promotes positive thinking, which will help you to stay on track to be successful in the long run.

How To Visualize Your Goals
To begin visualizing your goals, you need to find a quiet place where you can sit, uninterrupted. Get comfortable and let your mind and imagination go to work.

Let’s imagine you have a goal to lose 20 pounds. When you visualize reaching this goal, see yourself in your mind, 20 pounds lighter. See your clothes fitting better. See yourself eating healthy foods and enjoying their freshness and flavor. See yourself going through your day with more energy and able to participate more fully in activities that are vigorous and fun. In other words envision your life as though you have already reached your goal.  And then in your daily life, if you find yourself craving a burger or a pizza, or feel like skipping a work out to rest on the sofa simply find that image saved in your mind of the healthier happier version of yourself and it will give you the strength to make decisions that will lead to the outcome you desire.

Visualization And Professional Athletes
My husband is a nationally ranked competitive shooter and he spends as much or more time visualizing than he does actually shooting. I think all top athletes use visualization to better their performance. Arguably the greatest golfer in the world, Jack Nicklaus once said,
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First I “see” where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s a sort of fade out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
There is also a scientific study that was conducted on a few athletes that were looking to improve their free throws in basketball. They were divided into three groups:
   Group 1: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day
   Group 2: They only visualized making shots every day
   Group 3: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day and before going to bed they visualized making perfect shots.
The results of the study were amazing:
   Group 1 (only took shots): Improved free throw shooting by 7%
   Group 2 (only visualized making shots): Improved free throw shooting by 10%
   Group 3 (took shots and visualized making shots): Improved free throw shooting by 32%
(* and no you cannot count visualizing yourself walking for an hour for exercise points LOL)

As you know I have purposefully titled our journey together as a healthy living challenge NOT A DIET. I hope that along with weight loss goals you have a goal to bless your overall health by forging healthy habits to keep for your lifetime. So as you visualize your end goal I hope that is more than a number on a scale. I hope rather that it is a vision of yourself at a healthy weight, vibrant and full of energy, participating in life with health and gusto. So as you may have guessed your challenge for the week is to focus with deeper intensity on your end goal. Visualize in great detail what your are planning to achieve. You may want to write it down.  And for every day you spend a few minutes focusing on this end goal and visualizing yourself in great detail enjoying being there you earn the daily bonus points.

Also for those of you that do have losing weight as part of your personal health goal these are a few sites that are kind of fun to play with and may help you more clearly visualize yourself at your desired ideal body weight. (Note you may want to ask your doctor what he would set as your ideal body weight- that’s the number I am trying to get to because for me it’s more about health than fashion)

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