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The Power of a Vision

One easy way to create positivity in your life is to develop a vision of what you’d like your life, business or health to be like.

When you write a vision, it plugs the outcome you truly desire into your brain’s GPS, so it can automatically start filtering in all the tools and resources you need to achieve it.

This article shows you exactly how to create a powerful, motivating vision that will help you to the become the person you want to be and the powerful results you want to achieve.

You’ll learn:

  • why visions are crucial to achieving goals
  • a step-by-step process to create a motivating vision that will help you get results
  • the difference between business and personal visions and how to get each one right.

To help you take action, I’ve included a free vision worksheet that you can use to flesh out your vision and get it right.

What is a Vision

You’ve probably heard of visions, vision boarding and creating a vision.

Yet so many people still don’t realise the power of a vision and how essential it is for you to get what you want in life.

Visions are linked with positivity and achieving goals.

But why else are they important?

Here are three reasons.

  1. They help you clearly define what you want to achieve

As a coach, most of my clients come to see me because they lack direction and clarity.

They aren’t clear on what they truly want, why or how they’re going to get it.

And when you aren’t sure where you’re going, it’s hard to see the path to get there. You might be fearful of what’s ahead if you step into the future without a clear plan of attack.

I love the analogy of holiday.

If you pick a destination, then you can start making plans, work out when you need to do each step, and whether to pack a bikini or a fur coat.

As you can see, a vision allows you to see and create the steps to get there.

  1. A well-written vision gets you excited and motivated to achieve the end goal.

Most people think that motivation is their #1 problem and that it’s the reason they can’t change. Never mind about having to learn skills or make plans!

You already know that visions can create clarity.

But they are also powerful motivators – IF you get the language right.

People often create visions around things they think they ‘should’ be aiming for, for what is expected of them – or talk about things they don’t want to do anymore.

For example – I want to stop being so stressed and anxious.

On the surface that sounds like a legitimate thing to want, BUT the problem is that it doesn’t define what you desire – so your brain can’t latch onto any happy, positive and motivating end point.

Inspiring vision statements are motivating, and you create them by using words that you find appealing, exciting and which talk about what you truly desire.

For example – I want to feel happy, calm and contented, at peace with everything.

See the different feeling this creates, compared with the first example?

  1. Visions are so important at the biological level.

There is a part of your brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) and it is your brain’s GPS.

You plug the destination into your brain, and then your subconscious mind works out how to get you there, by finding signals and opportunities to do so.

Here’s an example – think of the last time you were looking at new cars.

You had your eye on one particular model of car.

Then suddenly, you started seeing them everywhere. That’s your RAS in action!

The RAS also controls our belief system and it will only recognise or select the information that supports our beliefs.

Once you plug something into your GPS our brain will selectively filter the information around you and only identify and keep what’s relevant.

In other words your belief system will determine whether your RAS will work for you or against you.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow said it best in 1966 with his Law of the Hammer – “if all you have a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”

At this point I want to mention a great book that describes this in more detail – it’s called the Answer by Australian authors Allan and Barbara Pease, published in 2016.

Just to recap what we’ve covered so far:

  • Visions help you clearly define what you want to achieve
  • Visions help you create the motivation and excitement you need to reach your goals.
  • For visions to work, they must use positive language to describe what you truly want.

Do these three things and you’ll harness the power of your vision.

Three Steps to Create Your Powerful Vision

  1. Specify exactly what you want – this is end goal or result.

Even if you haven’t ever achieved this before, you need to paint a picture in your mind of what it looks, feels and sounds like.

This plugs lots of important cues into your RAS so your brain can filter in the steps to help you get there.

  1. Back up your what with a why – the deepest and most meaningful reasons behind the result you want.

Two common mistakes are not identifying the why, or, not going deep enough with the why.

The more meaningful your whys are and the more strongly its connected with your personal values, the more likely you will achieve your vision.

A useful exercise can be the 5 why’s which aims to peel off the layers and get to the root cause.

For example – one of my weight coaching clients says she wants to lose 10kg.

Her first why is because she hates what she sees in the mirror. Notice the language? She needs to dig deeper to find the positive, desired outcomes and values.

To find her second why, I asked, ‘what’s a positive reason to lose 10kg?’ So I can wear all the beautiful clothes in my wardrobe.

To find her third why, I asked, ‘what would happen if you could wear all those clothes?’      I would feel more confident about going out in public and socialising.

To find her fourth why, I asked, ‘and then what might happen?’ I could to make some friends because I want to have more fun in life.’

To find her fifth why I asked, ‘imagine you are having that fun with friends regularly each week, socialising, laughing and getting out more. Why is that so important?’  

Then we get to the heart of the matter – ‘because I want to be more active like I used to be because back then, I felt so alive, confident, powerful and courageous.’

See how compelling that last reason is?

The thought of losing weight to get away from the horrible image in the mirror is way less motivating that wanting to feel so alive, confident, powerful and courageous.

  1. Step 3 – put a timeframe on it so you can define a foolproof action plan to get there.

Normally, 6 – 12 months is a good amount of time to achieve an outcome; it’s close enough to stay motivated, but far enough that you can make enough change to get there.

You might want to reality check your time line with a friend or coach and make sure it’s realistic and achievable.

Three Steps to Create Your Powerful Vision

 There are lots of different types of visions let’s compare a personal vision and a business vision.

How to Write a Personal Vision Statement

You need to start by picking just one or two priority areas to focus on.

If you pile everything into your vision it will seem overwhelming, unbelievable and therefore unachievable.

A wellbeing questionnaire or a wheel of life are useful tools to help you find your priority area. Keep it simple and clear.

Then, you define your what like I described above – exactly, specifically, what does your desired success look and feel like in that area?

You write down the what, starting with ‘I am’.

For example; if your priority area was physical fitness, your ‘what’ might be “In six months’ time, I am fit, strong and running regularly.”

Notice the positive language used.

Next, you define your why – what would achieving that bring to your life?

You could follow the 5 why process I mentioned to get down to the nitty gritty of your core values and most meaningful motivators.

You write that down after the what, starting with ‘so that I …..’

Using the last example, “I am fit, strong and running regularly…”

…So that I can create more energy each day, be more positive and feel more confident and capable about myself as a person”

A well-written vision statement, when read aloud, has two traits:

  • It makes you feel motivated, inspired, hopeful, even excited and energized.  
  • It is realistic – you totally believe it is possible with the right education and/or support.

Make sure you tick those two boxes, otherwise, go back and explore your what and why to

Creating a Business Vision

A business vision is a vivid mental image of what your business looks like when it is profitable, successful and thriving – and why it exists in the first place.

It describes what success looks like, and the why often includes the ethos or core values behind it.  And it’s often much shorter than a personal vision statement, because it might be something you put out in public.

You might decide to have an internal business vision that only you see, and a more public one, to help attract clients to your ‘why’.

When you choose a time frame for a business vision, think about where you are right now in your business and what feels best for you.

Some people prefer a shorter time frame like 12 months as it seems more achievable, others prefer a longer time frame like 3 years because they are more inspired by the end result.

There’s no right or wrong, choose what feels most exciting and inspiring to you.

In terms of defining your what; business visions generally focus on a few key areas – income, fame, to be the best at something, a particular type of clients you want to help, one main problem you want to help solve.

Also, there may also be guilt associated with the money side of things.

Let’s first clearly state that every business exists to generate income. Otherwise it’s a charity, or a hobby. You need to be 100% clear on this.

Imagine you just walked into the door of your office and looked around. What is the result your business is creating?

Here’s an example – My business helps people to break free from social anxiety.

Here’s another – My business helps people to create a strong, healthy and powerful body.

Or another – My business helps self-conscious women to find their inner beauty.

The why in your business is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning and allows you to persist with the business no matter what.

You need to have compelling, meaningful, authentic and non-negotiable reasons to start and run a business.

To find your business why, ask yourself:

What is my compelling reason to start this business no matter what?

Think about the soapbox you like to stand on. Think about the causes you stand for. Think about why it’s so important to help a certain type of person.

Maybe you’ve been there yourself and you feel compelled to help other people achieve what you have so they can have a better-quality life.

Here are some examples, using the what statements I just read out.

My business helps people to break free from social anxiety so that they can find the courage to develop strong connections with the people around them and as a result, have more fulfilling careers.

My business helps people to create a strong, healthy and powerful body so that they can be fit and healthy as they age and be authentic role models to their kids.

My business helps self-conscious women to find their inner beauty so that they can feel better in their own skin, happier, more confident in the world and finally achieve their dreams.

There is SO MUCH energy in those statements.

In Summary

Let’s recap what we covered in this article.

  1. Visions are important for two reasons:
  • To get clear on what you want
  • To get the momentum, excitement and motivation to pursue the goal
  • It’s important to use positive language to define your deepest desire.

Your brain – the reticular activating system – is like a GPS for your body. Whatever you plug in there creates the filtering and instructions for what to do next.

  1. There are three steps to creating a vision statement:
  • Focus on one area
  • Define your what, written as ‘I am’, then
  • Define your why, and write it as “so that I …”

Remember to ask yourself why at least 5 times, in a few different ways, to get to your most powerful values and motivators.

Finally, when you read your vision out, you can check you’ve done it correctly:

  • Check that it energizes, excites and motivates you
  • Check that it feels realistic, totally possible and believable.  
  1. Write your business or personal vision with a slightly different approach
  • Focus on one area (personal) or on the overarching purpose (business)
  • Get in touch with your why (personal) or your soapbox (business)
  • Write out the what and why
  • Check that it feels right – exciting and absolutely do-able.

Then you’re ready to plan the path to your next success in life.

Check out this free vision worksheet to help you get started!

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Getting Whelmed

getting whelmed

Are you starting the year with a bang? With gusto? With a huge rev up? Or, are you planning on getting whelmed this year, like me?

Being an Entrepreneur

Lately I’ve been thinking that the definition of an entrepreneur is this:

You’re someone who can’t stand to work for someone else and just wants the freedom and flexibility to march to the beat of their own drum, and write their own rules.

Still, being an entrepreneur means you take the entire responsibility for everything in your business.

That means you are the face of your business, you are IT, and you have to generate your own momentum, schedule, energy, gusto and enthusiasm.

Which is all great stuff, but you can find yourself in a bit of an energy crisis at times.

Getting Excited….and Overwhelmed

Once upon a time, I would be geeing myself up at this time of year, creating massive energy and excitement, planning, and firing myself up to work relentlessly like a trojan for the next 12 months.

It’s a great way to start the year and it feels really positive.

In this state, I am able to crank out HEAPS of work, produce HEAPS of stuff, and keep my finger in 100 different pies at once.

People say to me, “I wish I could be as productive as you.”

“I wish I could get as much done as you.”

“I wish I could work and achieve as much as you do.”

Thanks everyone!

But when I realised this praise didn’t really resonate with me, I had to question why.

The answer I got was this: “Is THIS what I want to be known for? Getting heaps done at a rapid pace?”

Thinking about that made me feel kinda tired.

And the reason is this – working this way starts well, but it ends up exhausting and overwhelming.

You start on a big hype, get heaps done but you just cant sustain it.

You struggle to maintain that level of energy and quickly go from peak to trough.

Then nothing gets done for a while.

Then you just assume you’ve failed or done something wrong, or are missing something.

Then you might start comparing yourself to others and saying….”I wish I could get as much done as her.”

OH NO! We’re ALL in this together! ha ha ha.

But…what if this weren’t true, and we didn’t have to work this way?

Sure, starting super high feels energizing at first, but it invariably means you end up feeling panicked, overworked and overwhelmed.

Then comes the anxiety and insomnia.

I DON’T want to work like that anymore. Do you?

Plan B – Getting Whelmed

Maybe you want to join me in getting whelmed.

Getting whelmed is my plan for 2018.

I coined this term, and it simply means that I am working:

  • mostly on important but not urgent stuff,
  • intentionally,
  • in pomodoro
  • on purpose,
  • with balance and ease,
  • with calmness,
  • in a well-organised way,
  • making well-thought plans,
  • with clear focus
  • with direction on where my business is going and what I am doing in my life.

 

In other words, I am mindful, calm and productive.

 

It isn’t as exciting as the excitement, BUT…

I am working consistently.

And in business, consistency gets results.

 

So yes, excitement is great (and I do get excited)….but consistent energy, focus and motivation is better.

I am winning.

 

The Payoff

In this calm, consistent, getting whelmed state of mind, I find that I am laser focused, productive, leap over roadblocks, feel balanced and I am totally in command of myself.

I am getting shit done (GSD) – much more than in at the start of my rollercoaster.

The #1 Trick to Getting it Right

Working this way is also 100% sustainable because I have help.

Sure, you can absolutely get gung-ho and ramp yourself up for a big year and do it all yourself.

But trust me, the chance that you’ll crash and burn (at least once) is pretty high.

So I highly recommend you get some support.

I have my own coach, and I have other peers and mentors in my life to help me with specific areas of business when I need it.

As an entrepreneur living in country NSW, with few like-minded entrepreneurs around me, I know that I need support and connection to maintain momentum, headspace and confidence in my business AND in my life.

Now, I have people to bounce ideas off (so I don’t go off onto a mad, frivolous tangent).

I have people to reflect with (to get different perspective).

I have tools and support to make worthwhile, high-return plans.

I have the aura of calmness and having it all together (which as we know is the key ingredient for being a super-attractive client magnet and person of interest).

I have the energy to enjoy my personal life.

Now you know what getting whelmed is all about….will you join me?

What will you do to get there?

 

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Two Secrets to Help You Commit To Your Goals

Commit to Your Goals | Melanie J White

With summer in the air, are you suddenly excited and committed to better eating, exercise and self-care habits?

There’s something so motivating about the warmer weather and sunshine. It helps us commit to the things that we want so badly – to look and feel great.

But for one reason or another, it can become a struggle to maintain in the long term. At some point, the excitement and motivation wanes.

What’s the secret weapon in maintaining good habits, once the initial excitement fades?

I’d like to share one powerful strategy that really works – “connecting your focus to your feelings.” 

Here’s how it works.

Being Open

Deb came to me with concerns about some ongoing health issues: bloating, lethargy, IBS symptoms and other digestive issues.

She knew what to do to fix things and in the past, she’d been a regular exerciser and a healthy eater, feeling fit and energized. But for a myriad of reasons, all of that had fallen by the wayside.

Even thinking of her past success wasn’t enough to help her get started. She was despondent and felt like she could never make the change that she could stick to for the long term!

After some reflection, Deb realised that she really wanted to make it work this time, because making these changes would lead to a happier, better quality life as she got older.

What she did next was what really sealed the deal.

Firstly, she committed to experimenting for just one week. Not one month, or six months, but one simple week. This was a chunk of time she felt confident she could commit to.

Next, she devised some food and exercise experiments for the week.

Experiments help you to avoid that feeling of failure, because you’re just testing to see if something works (or not). There are no expectations (or feelings of perfection) around experiments.

So for that one week, Deb was flexible and experimental with her choice of foods, eating patterns and exercise approach. She was delighted to find a few things that really worked well – that she enjoyed, that fitted with her lifestyle, and that she could confidently commit to in the long term.

Being Mindful

What really made the difference, in fact Deb’s key factor for success, was mindfully observing how her body responded to the experiments. She connected her focus (healthy habits) with her feeling (how her body responded).

When we met again, she was excited about discovering what works, but more so, that she was strongly connected with the consequences of her habits.

On the days she ate right for her body type, she felt comfortable, energized and light – with enough energy for exercise. On the days she ate too much or the wrong foods for her body type, she felt heavy, despondent and limited.

Deb was suddenly aware that simply being mindful of the consequences of her habits – the physical, mental and emotional feelings they created – made it far easier for her to find the motivation for choosing the better option, more regularly.

And as Positive Psychologists say, strong motivators are essential for successfully making long-term change.

Connecting your focus with your feelings is a simple approach and is a core of Ayurveda, which has been around over 5000 years.

Simply being mindful – being in the present and noticing the consequences of your actions in an objective, non-judgmental way – is a powerful secret weapon for long-term change.

What is ONE thing could you pay attention to this week?