I’m a big believer in how essential it is for every business and organisation to be crystal clear on their vision.
This is not a new, surprising, or mind-blowingly original statement. In fact, in the world of business, it is simply a foundational action to set a vision before determining the strategy behind achieving that. Then from the strategy, setting flow on tactical goals to move toward that vision in a practical way.
What is a vision?
A vision is your big lofty aspiration that encompasses the why behind what you do. It is so big that it is long-lasting and stands the test of time. So much so that it can sit above the product and services as they evolve over time and still make sense. You should not need to change your vision regularly at all. Your vision acts as a north star to both strategy and the goals. It’s usually written as a short statement. A powerful vision statement can be highly motivating.
As a marketer turned health coach, I often notice opportunities to borrow long-used business know-how to drive health. And harnessing the power of a vision is one I use very regularly in my coaching conversations.
It is very common for our patients to be putting extraordinary hours each day into the businesses they work for or projects they are part of, leaving the scrappy seconds for themselves and their loved ones. It’s common for them to spend time in workshops looking at their company’s vision and strategic direction. So why not spend time doing the same for yourself?
Taking the time to press pause, think and write a health vision is a very powerful way to kick-start a focus on your health.
What is a health vision?
A health vision is a clear written statement or strong visual image of your future state of wellbeing that you wish to experience, you can envisage yourself enjoying and that excites you to live life as the best version of you – physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is no one way to write a vision however an important aspect is to write it in the present tense, that is, as if you are already experiencing it.
Here are 5 ways writing a health vision can help you achieve your health goals:
1. A health vision reminds you of your why
You want to wake every day feeling full of vitality, zest and have a trust in your body that it can deliver on the things you want to do – doing the long charity walk, dancing lessons with your friend as well as running around with your new puppy.
Your mind is clear and your attitude is can-do. Your emotional bandwidth is wide and you have the capacity to feel a full spectrum of emotions yet the undercurrent is one of content and joy.
So….what are you doing with this super-human like physical, mental and emotional agility? Well – what you are doing, who you are being and who you are doing and being like that for is your why! It is what sits behind your vision as the enduring driving force.
2. A health vision pulls you toward health vs being pushed into it
I don’t know many people that like being told what to do or feeling out of control. That is the feeling when your body calls the shots in a negative way.
If you’re chronically ill or suffer a long list of symptoms you wish to rid yourself of, you’re often pushed to seek help – the symptoms are pushing you toward action. The drive to rid symptoms can certainly start off motivating but as the pain or symptoms subside, so too can your healthier habits that got you there.
A vision for health is like a magnet towards that beautiful place you seek to visit. It feels good to know you are striving towards it. Behavioural science tells us that having an emotive vision that connects us to our values and motivators, has the power to enhance wellbeing, hope and even life satisfaction. Winning. Even before you arrive at the destination.
3. It’s yours
When you write a health vision it’s for you. It’s private unless you want to share it. It’s not written by your parent, your boss, your partner, your friend or the people who follow you on social media. Their definition of success or health is not welcome in your vision.
Your vision is yours. If you write it and don’t feel uplifted and truly excited when reading it, start again. Ask yourself, is this what I really want?
There is nothing quite as powerful to unearth and put into words what it is you really want.
4. A health vision is the basis of powerful self-reflection
When you work with a health coach, it’s common to incorporate the power of self-reflection. Self-reflection enables your learnings to be cemented. Learnings that can help you avoid making the same mistakes or on the flip side, enable you to stop and celebrate your wins (especially if you are one to ignore progress and just keep pushing towards your elusive BHAG’s, aka big, hairy, audacious goals).
Having a health vision enables you to keep up this good work even between coaching conversations because you can use it as your anchor, your marker of success and a determinate of direction. Many of my coaching clients will spend time with their notebook and their health vision statement long after their in-program experience with Melbourne Functional Medicine to re-orient themselves with their health goals.
5. A health vision can be used as a ‘no’ tool
Thanks but no thanks. No. Nup. Not right now. Let me consider that and come back to you.
There are many ways to say no. So why do we often say yes when we mean no? Don’t get me wrong, yes can be great…when it’s a hell yes. But when it is not, or even when it’s a maybe, we need to get better at saying no. NO.
So, what’s the benefit of saying no? When we say no, we gain time for our future selves and can put that time into doing the things that move us towards our vision. If we don’t have a vision that we are moving towards, it’s like walking around in the dark. If we don’t have a vision we can end up building other people’s visions at the expense of our own.
If setting a vision for your health is something you have never thought of doing, I encourage you to get started by gazing out the window right now, take yourself away from the current limitations of time and responsibility. Imagine the ideal ‘future you’. Now ask yourself these questions:
- How does future you feel when you wake each day?
- Where are you?
- What and who are you surrounded by?
- How do you feel in your body? How do you feel in your mind?
- What does this enable you to do?
Does imagining this version of you feel good? If so, create a memorable mental image of this person and with every decision you have, start stepping towards becoming them.
But of course, change is never as easy as it sounds. The role of a health coach is to guide you towards this vision of future you.
As health coaches, we help move you from knowledge to action. Craft new actions into regular habits. Over time those regular habits transform your body and mind into the healthiest version of you. We’ll keep you accountable, help you take time to think, motivate you, help set goals, and help rework those goals to be achievable and aspirational. We’ll help you step out of bad habits and into new ones. We are a neutral sounding board, without judgment but will know you well enough to keep you honest with yourself.
If having a health coach in your corner sounds like something you need, get out there and get yourself one!
How do I find a good health coach?
Health coaches who are members of the Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association (HCANZA) are the ones to look for. HCANZA members must have graduated from specific, approved training providers and maintain continuous education in the field of health and coaching to stay accredited. All coaches who work at Melbourne Functional Medicine are HCANZA accredited.
In good health,