by Dr. Valente
As we begin to enter the holiday season with Thanksgiving about to kick off, I have been discussing with some of my patients that now is a good time to start thinking of bathing suit shopping. What? I know that this sounds a bit odd, but this is how to think in order to help yourself through the holiday feasts and treats.
Rather than waiting until New Year’s Eve and the hangover the next day to begin lamenting about your New Year’s resolutions, why not start the season with a plan and a vision of how you want to come out of it? How do you want to look and feel in the spring, and in the future in general?
What’s important for success in anything is setting your vision, not just your goals. Goals are important but are just the steps towards reaching your vision and alone, can be short sighted and dead ended. For instance, working towards losing 10 pounds is of course important, but this is just a step to overcome towards your vision of feeling good, looking good and being healthy. For example, if your goal alone, is to lose 10 pounds, once you achieve that, you feel like “ok, been there done that.” Then the weight gain resumes. If your vision is to feel like you did in college when you were on the tennis team or ran cross country, then your vision doesn’t end by a 10 pound weight loss. In fact, as you work to get there your vision will help to keep you there.
And, don’t just think of your vision, try to feel it and embrace it. Embrace how good you will look and how good you will feel. See the compliments you’ll get or just feel the personal pride you’ll feel in yourself. This is very important in getting your subconscious mind to work with you and not against you.
I recently heard Tony Robbins (a great inspirational and motivational speaker) state that your life should not merely be just be a sequence of obtaining goals; rather, you should focus on the person you’ve become by obtaining those goals. Furthermore, focus on a vision that can pull you forward rather than just seeking to obtain a series of goals.
An example I give to patients to understand setting a vision is this; imagine that you are shipwrecked and floating on a raft at sea. You see the horizon but the vastness of the ocean seems overwhelming. You are tired, worn out and feel hopeless. You then realize that you have a pair of binoculars with you and you pick them up. As you gaze through them (as you focus your vision), you now note a small island in the distance. You decide that getting to that island is your vision, your destination. You can feel it, the white sand, eating tropical fruits, feeling safe. The wind, the waves and the rocks now become the obstacles to overcome, the challenges to face and the goals to achieve in order to reach your vision, the island.
One of my personal visions is to always be the best father that I can be. With this vision, my time with my daughter, as well as my time away from her, are always in the context of, “am I doing the things that will facilitate her life in a healthy and empowering manner?” It’s not just setting a goal of taking a trip to Disney, which of course is nice, but once you return, are you right back to where you were? Now with a new credit card balance. The vision of being the best father I can be never ends. It directs my thoughts and actions, and doesn’t stop after returning home from Disney. This is just one of my visions, and you can have many i.e. visions for your life, vision your finances, visions for your health or your relationships, etc.
We were taught when we were young, ‘in life you tend to find what you seek.’ Seek a better vision for yourself, and you have a good chance of finding it. So, as you enter into the holiday season, feel good, enjoy the many aspects of the season, and don’t wait for your New Year’s resolution to begin your healthy and fit focus. Begin now by looking past the holidays, enjoy them but make life easier and simpler on yourself by keeping your vision focused on how you want to ‘feel and look’’ after the holidays. If you are goal oriented, you can make your short term goal to continue to exercise and monitor how and what you eat, and not to be reckless only having to deal with those indiscretions later.
Time to shop for that bathing suit? Again, from Tony Robbins, “you get better answers if you ask yourself better questions.”
Have a great holiday season on your path to being more fit, fearless and fabulous.