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What is Your Vision of Wellness?

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. I am sure you have heard that before, but how does this relate to your health and well-being? Well, a few ways. When you create a wellness vision you define what wellness means to you, how you want to show up now and later, what you want to be able to do, and why it matters to you. If you can truly connect with this vision in your heart and mind your chances of meeting this vision is much greater. Which means you have a more compelling reason to go for this vision and to make the life adjustments needed in order to see this vision become a reality.​ To achieve anything worthwhile in life you know you will have to make some adjustments, no matter how fit or well you are today. We all do. It is a life long journey and one very much worth pursuing.

To help you understand this better, I will share with you my wellness vision and how I finally connected with it, so much so that it now drives my daily planning and the direction of my career.

I would like to say I thought I was leading a healthy lifestyle. I worked out regularly, walked often, played hard on various weekends participating in obstacle course challenges, and ate relatively well, so I thought. Yet I didn’t have the energy I used to have. In fact, I was dog gone tired! This bothered me, but not enough to make any changes to my lifestyle. At least not yet.

In the summer of 2019, we moved to the Dallas, TX area. This meant I needed to rebuild my business as a Registered Investment Advisor, RIA, focused on corporate retirement plans. To do so, I was running around to meeting after meeting, working on rebuilding my network. One afternoon as I ran from one meeting to another my exhaustion got the better of me. As I was driving on the North Dallas Turnpike heading to my afternoon meeting I had to fight like heck to keep awake. Not a good thing to do on any busy highway, much less one in Texas! It took all I had to maintain my wits to get me to the parking lot where I could take a breather before my next meeting.

Thankfully I had an hour to regroup and rest. As I sat in my car under this twig of a tree in the hot Texas summer sun, I had time to think. I laid my seat back, closed my eyes, and contemplated my life. Something about an upcoming birthday makes you do that. By the end of that summer I was turning 49, with the big 50 looming over me, I sat there and had this thought: Is this it? Is this how I am going to be living my working life for the next 15-20 years? Exhausted?? No! This can’t be the way things are going to go! Was my answer to myself.

As I popped open my energy drink (Yeah, wasn’t exactly the pillar of health I thought I was!) I looked into my future and did some math. Our beautiful children didn’t bless our lives until our early 30’s. Our son was born when I was 32, our daughter when I was 35. So, I thought about that some – if my daughter waited until she was 35 to have children, which I am fine with, that would put me at the age of 70. How do I want to show up then? As an exhausted grandparent? Or one full of life and vigor? Well, obviously, I choose that latter. So what did that mean to me today? That meant that I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle, or I wouldn’t be able to achieve the vision I have of myself in my later years being the fun grandma that can run around with her future grandkids.

It's so hard for us to truly connect with our future selves, even as we get older. But it is so important to do this exercise, otherwise you will blindly continue down a path you might not want to be going down. Sitting in my car that day I not only did the math and thought about my future family lineage, I also thought about some of the “older” people I have run into over the years. In the fall of 2018, my husband and I went to New Zealand to explore and run in the Queenstown half and full marathons. I had chosen to the half; my husband was to do the full. Unfortunately a torn achilleas sidelined my husband, so he graciously waiting for me as I completed the half. I decided to run/walk the half because I wanted to take in the beautiful scenery around me. As I did this there was this cute “older” couple who I kept leapfrogging. I would run pass them, then slow down to walk. As I walked they powered on by me, occasionally holding hands. They were absolutely adorable and full of life and energy! I have no idea who they are, but I fell in love in them and with what they had and thought to myself – “That’s how I want Frank & me to be!”

However, it wasn’t until almost a year later as I was sitting in my car that hot summer day where I finally truly connected with that thought and with my vision of wellness. I want to be like that couple, able to do the things I do now without a care in the world. I want to be the “older” couple that we met on a hike up a mountain to some amazing waterfalls who was out there with their adult children fully enjoying their time taking in the sights and each other. That’s my vision of wellness. Once I truly connected with this, I knew immediately that the person I was sitting in the car that day was not going to make that vision a reality unless I changed some things. And changed them soon!

This is what has driven my motivation to not only analyze what I was doing for my health, but to also make better plans for my health. It also drove me back to school to become a board certified health and wellness coach, if you’re interested you can read about that here.

What I hope you get from this is that your vision of wellness needs to be more than a vision board that you create. Don’t get me wrong those can be helpful, I have one in my office that I look at frequently, but I find it is more of a wish board of the things I want to do rather than my vision of wellness. Your wellness vision needs to be more than a wish or a dream if it is going to motivate you to pursue it. It needs to touch something almost primitive in your soul. That something that will drive you and motivate you to make the hard choices and to continue to pursue your vision no matter what life throws at you. It is a journey that never truly ends, and you need to be good with that. Understanding that you will be fighting for your health until the day you die. But if you plan well, and follow your plan, that day will be way into your future, enabling you to live a long, beautiful life full of all the things you want to do.

So your first step in Designing Your Wellness Strategy is to take some time to contemplate and connect with your vision of wellness. There are many ways to go about this and it’s important to allow yourself some time to think about what you want in life – you can journal, take some walks, commune with nature, mediate, work with a health and wellness coach, or whatever works best for you. It might be helpful to write down what you envision and put some context around it: like where you are, how do you feel, what you are doing, who is with you, etc. Be intentional with this activity and use all five of your scenes – touch, sound, taste, sight, smell.

It is also important to be realistic and not make this vision so grandiose that you have a difficult time seeing yourself in it. Truly the simplest visions are more impactful than the big ones. It’s your basic desires that you need to connect with. Your vision is also more than a wish or a dream, this future picture should be something you feel is achievable, even in the smallest of ways. This will help you believe that your wellness vision can become your reality, which will make it easier for you to stick to the plan that you are designing.

Also know that you are going on a journey here. Depending on where you are starting from, things might be harder in the beginning, so it might be helpful to take smaller steps. Understanding that your big vision is achievable, but smaller wellness vision milestones might be where you need to start. Adjusting and building on those this as you go. This is not a set it and forget it type of thing. As you make progress on your wellness goals, your wellness vision will evolve too. So remain flexible and open to new ideas as you build out your wellness strategy.

My wish for you is that you take the time to connect with what is truly important to you and why it is important to you. This simple, yet difficult task, will fuel your desire to continue your journey toward achieving and maintaining the life of health you wish to have. Of course there is so much more to this, but it is a very important and good place to start!

All my best to you as you embark on this journey!


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