For Resolutions that Stick, Envision Your Results!

Happy New Year!  I found myself very tired on New Year’s Eve.  Upon reflection,  I realized that not only was the year over, but also a decade –  one in which I moved three thousand miles, lost loved ones, survived being the mother of a teenager, changed jobs three times and reinvented a marriage.  No wonder I’m tired. But today, I feel energized. It’s a new beginning and I have a vision.

I considered setting the usual set of New Year’s resolutions, but instead, this year, I started with a vision.  What’s the difference you ask? Well, most of us actually set goals when we set resolutions.  For example, “I will lose five pounds and fall in love by spring.”  That’s fine on January 1, when we are recovering from the holidays and are all gung-ho – but after about four weeks, these kinds of resolutions may start to look like a long to-do list; which in turn may start to resemble dull, burdensome obligations! 

A vision however, feels richer and more alive to me than a goal. It contains emotional meaning.  I really like the way yogi Bo Forbes describes “vision” in her Yoga Journal article “Stuck in a Rut?” 

When we create a vision for our new pattern, we must give it a life force more vital than the old one. We need to convince ourselves that it is real. We use our senses and emotions to bring it to life: What does it look, smell, or feel like? The more we visualize (and experience) the new pattern, the more real and compelling it becomes.”

I find that I can get excited about my vision.  Consider:  “I am healthy, thin, strong and fit and enjoying a fabulous love life,” verses “I will lose 5 pounds and fall in love by spring.” 

Working with a vision, I can literally see myself already achieving my goals in my mind’s eye. I feel it, I see it, I believe it.  I envision it!  My dream of myself motivates me. Now that I am motivated, I also set specific, measurable goals to help my vision come to life, such as:

  • Consume 50% less sugar, salt and caffeine weekly than I have in the previous three months
  • Work out vigorously three times a week, 45 minutes each: swim, bike or run
  • Identify and attend social events once a week with fabulously interesting men and women who share common interests with me

Get the idea? 

So why not skip the vision part and go right to the goals?  Well, when February rolls around and I am losing steam on the goals, I return to my vision. When I can see who I am in that vision and how I feel, it is very compelling to stay on track with my goals. Envisioning gives my goals life and keeps me working until I get results that will make me feel oh-so good.

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Date: Saturday, 2. January 2010 3:55
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