Set your purpose, reach your goals
Medically reviewed on December 29, 2016
It's a familiar scenario. You get inspired to make a change in your life and start out on fire, only to have your motivation fade away until you find yourself back in your old habits.
To stay on course with your goals, try borrowing an approach from the business world. Companies create mission statements to help in strategic planning and identify their main purpose, core values and goals. Why not invest energy in creating your own mission statement — a vision of the life you want for yourself? Your wellness vision will help you set goals, make decisions, focus on your priorities and stay committed.
A wellness vision is a compelling description of your best self. It defines what you truly want and how you live when you're at your best. The vision may include behaviors, actions, strengths, feelings, values and relationships. This vision should give you confidence, energy and a feeling of authenticity.
Your wellness vision can guide you in making decisions and setting goals. It can help you focus on your priorities, serving as a catalyst to move your values into actions.
Use these three steps to create your wellness vision and mission statement:
Write it. What does wellness mean to you? Think beyond health behaviors such as diet and exercise. Also think about what you want in your relationships, spiritual life, career, self-care, and personal growth and development. Consider your own values — what you stand for and devote your time and energy to — what is going well in your life and how you see yourself in the future. Focus on what you want rather than emphasizing your weaknesses or what you don't want.
Think about these questions as you craft your statement:
- What are your values — what's really important to you?
- How are you putting your values into action?
- What do you like about yourself and your life as it is now?
- What do you want your life to look like that isn't part of it now?
- What results are you looking for?
- What energizes you? When do you feel most alive?
- How will you feel as your best self?
- Who is there with you?
- Is there a place that comes to mind when you feel at your best? What is it about this place that makes you feel good?
Have fun with this, and keep an open mind. Whether you end up with a paragraph, a sentence, an acronym or even just one word, if it energizes you then you are on the right path.
Visualize it. Sit in a quiet place and get comfortable. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. In your mind, picture yourself in your ideal state of wellness. Engage your senses so that you can feel what it's like to be at your best. What do you look like and feel like? What activities are you doing?
Next, see if you can find or create a picture or pictures that will help you remember and be motivated by your vision of wellness. Maybe it's a Pinterest board or just a sketch you draw.
Refine it. Perhaps you created a wellness vision at one point, but it's been a while since you looked at it. Maybe your vision just doesn't give you the energy that it once did. Look at the statement with fresh eyes and consider editing it.
Refer often to your mission statement to check if your actions are in line with your vision. If you're living it, you should see returns on your investment in yourself.
- Create a link between your desired health behaviors and your personal values by writing an "I ____ so that I am ______" statement. Example: "I walk 30 minutes a day so that I am able to feel clearheaded and focused at work."
- Find or create a visual reminder of your wellness vision, such as one or more pictures, and put it in a place where you will see it often.