High above the clouds, more than 10,000 feet above sea level, 18 boys perched on mountain bikes and – somewhat nervously – prepared to descend a steep, rocky trail. Snow flurries blew in the wind.
But before the first mountain biker pedaled away, their leader shared a key piece of advice:
Focus on where you want to go, not on where you don’t want to go.
He explained further, if you see the cliff drop-off on the far side of the trail and focus on that, and on the empty air, instead of on the turn you must maneuver, guess where you’ll go? Yes, to the drop-off. He’d seen it happen.
If you focus on where you don’t want to go, soon you’ll feel out of control. And you’ll start to panic.
But if you focus on the trail, and on where you do want to go, then that’s where you’ll steer. And you’ll maneuver the tricky part.
You’ll go where you want to go.
Instantly when I heard this leader’s words, I recognized them as truth – and quite frankly almost in a “duh, I knew that” kind of way. They were so simple that anyone could have easily dismissed them.
But they were so fundamental – so A-HA! – to success that certainly they applied to situations other than mountain biking. This mantra can apply to daily life situations as well, including creating and sticking to healthy habits.
The boys knew where they wanted to go – to the bottom of the mountain, safely. They wanted to have fun along the way, but they also had to maneuver a trail they never had been on before. They didn’t know every hairpin turn, every loose patch of gravel, every breathtaking vista. And so they had to focus.
But it all began with a vision – of getting down the mountain safely – amid this wonderful new adventure.
Where do you want to go?
Our steps to a healthier life begin with a vision.
What do you really want your life or health to look like in 5 years? Or even 1 year? What will you be doing? What would being in your best health then enable you to do? What would you have given up, and what would you have added? How would you and your life be different? How would your health be different? Can you picture it?
These are not inconsequential questions. You may have a sense of it now, but take some time today to write down your answers. And if you don’t have a sense of it, jot down a few words simply filling in the blanks of this sentence:
In 5 years, I want to be _____________ so that I can _____________ and _______________
If 5 years seems too far away, change it to 1 year.
Then post your vision in a prominent place where you will see it often and can further develop it. If you let it become a living part of you – of your thoughts, your words – it will flourish. To take it next-level, create a Vision Board. Then share it with someone important to you. If you’d like to share your answers to the “In 5 years ….” sentence in the comments below, or in my free Facebook group, I’d love to hear from you!
Vision is Step 1. Create yours, so you can focus on where you want to go.
Thanks for joining me for Step 1 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read what the series is all about here. If you don’t want to miss a thing, subscribe to get each one in your inbox.
This is such a wonderful piece of advice. I started a weight loss journey about four months ago but quickly lost sight of where I wanted to be, even though I did have a vision. For me, first setting my mind onto the path I want to go, isn’t the main issue, but staying focused is.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Astrid. Staying focused is difficult for a lot of people. We’ll be touching more on that issue during this series. I hope you’ll keep reading and can find a few nuggets that will help you.
Courtney Lynn Harris says
Awesome point (I learned this principle in driver’s ed, too!).
In 5 years I’d like to be at a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating a plant-based diet so that I can have energy and be a good steward of my body.
I appreciate you sharing your goals. And YES to being a good steward!
P.S. Do you go by Courtney Lynn in conversation, or simply Courtney? Either way, welcome!