Having just returned from a break in the European winter over the Australian summer, I feel a little behind the eight ball with a month already crossed off the calendar. But actually, I think that’s kind of lucky. I avoided the trap of false new year promises which are often stated the minute the clock ticks over into the new year. I love that January is a time when many of us take a well-earned rest, spend time with family and friends and generally regroup. But it’s also a time when we can find ourselves making grand sweeping statements to all and sundry about what we would like to achieve in the new year and for the overwhelming majority of the population, these goals or resolutions are directly related to our health. So why then by February, are those plans for most just a fleeting memory? If you are contemplating making a change to your health and your life, are you clear about what you are trying to achieve? This is where a compelling vision is essential. A distinctive and compelling vision is vital in business and can be just as important for your health and well-being. A clear vision can drive extraordinary personal results and provides a solid focus for your decisions and actions. Your vision can paint a picture of a future with a desirable and attainable state. A worthy partner of a compelling vision for a healthy life is future pacing. Future pacing is a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique used in therapy or coaching. It is the process of mentally rehearsing yourself through some future situation in order to ensure that the desired behaviour will occur naturally and automatically. An example of this is successively waking in the morning to exercise instead of repetitively hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock and missing out on an exercise opportunity. When working with my clients to educate them to make changes to nutrition, exercise or any other aspect of their health, I always ask them to make a commitment to changing just one thing before they walk out of the room. I ask them to write a note addressed to themselves stating what it is they are going to do and how and when they are going to do it. Robert Gerrish, founder of Flying Solo Business Micro-Community, has an interesting slant on the very same method. His is called a Letter from the Future and the instructions work like this.
“Sit yourself down, somewhere nice – a place where you feel calm, comfortable and creative. For many this is not the office, but might be another area of the house, at a public library, in a café, park or at the beach. Turn off your phone, clear your mind and write me a letter. Yes, really. But here’s the thing: the letter is from the future. One year from now. It’s a letter that describes your view of the ideal world. It’s not where you are now; it’s where you want to be. In your letter tell me what you’re up to. How your health looks. What about friendships, relationships, your outlook on life and your health. Name names, be specific, get it all down. Take your time and keep it real. You may even like to have a close friend, partner or family member undertake the same exercise. When it’s finished, send it to me c/o your own address. When you receive the letter, I give you permission to open it, read it carefully and circle the major advances from your current situation in red pen. These are your goals for the year ahead, the areas of life, work and health that demand your attention. If done well, your Letter from the Future will reveal an inspiring destination to head towards. From there, you just need to start the journey.”
Later this week ‘Get Your Body Buzzing’, my 8 week online program kicks off for the first time in 2015 and could be just the ticket for identifying and taking action on your compelling vision for 2015. You can take a look at the nitty-gritty at www.juliemeek.com.au/gybb-next-step/