It won't be long now before the coming of spring – that hopeful time of year when new beginnings are all around us. It is a time of energy and growth for many of us, and it brings a welcome change of pace from the more reflective mood of the winter months.
Before you "spring into spring" though, I encourage you to take some time to be thoughtful about where you will put your energy. It's no secret that our culture here in the U.S. promotes us to be overly busy. There is always more "to do"! Optimal self-care invites us to take strategic actions that are aligned with our vision and values. When we are clear about what we want to create in our lives, and what is most important to us, it becomes easier for us to know what actions are appropriate.
Do you have a clear vision of what you would like to create for your health and well-being? What would optimal health look like for you? Notice that I said "optimal health" – not perfect health. What you consider "optimal" will be quite personal. This isn't about perfectionism – it's about increasing your level of well-being, wherever you are, and making progress towards a level of health that would support you in doing and being all that you feel called to do and be. What would your best life look like?
If you've never stopped to ask yourself these questions, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Here are a few suggestions to get you going:
Fill in the blank:
Imagine yourself living a life of optimal health and well-being. If it helps, close your eyes and create a picture for yourself. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What would optimal health feel like for me?
2. What would I be doing if I were optimally healthy?
3. What would be different?
Once you've got your ideas down on paper, you can even turn them into a picture by making a word cloud. Just cut and paste your words into an application like Wordle or Tagxedo.
Sample Word Cloud
based on my business mission and logo
Draw a picture:
Imagine yourself with a level of well-being that would delight you. Then, get a blank piece of paper and the writing tools of your choice (crayons and colorful markers make it extra fun!). Start to draw a picture with words and/or images that capture the vision you created. There are no right answers. Just allow yourself to play and see what you notice!
For more information about the powerful effect that drawing can have, I recommend Patti Dobrowlowski's TED talk, "Drawing Your Future", available on my resources page.
Make a vision board:
Get a stack of old magazines and start leafing through them. If you notice a picture or a phrase that appeals to you, tear it out. You don't need to know why it appeals to you. Just start tearing or cutting things out until you have accumulated a stack. Next, get a piece of blank poster-board and start laying the images or words out on them in a way that pleases you. Notice how you are feeling and which selections "resonate" with you most. Once you have everything laid out, glue it down.
Don't want to commit? Pin your selections to a corkboard or secure them with magnets so you can move them around at will.
Want to go digital? Consider doing a vision board on Pinterest. (if you're new to Pinterest, you can get my tutorial here)
Want some support? Have a vision-boarding party and let your friends in on the fun!
Creating a personal health vision is a great way to get to know yourself better and to get in touch with your hopes and dreams. In my coaching work, this is the place where every journey towards positive change begins!
There are lots of other ways to increase your self-knowledge. This month on The Nudge, our guest, Lisa Wickham will be leading us in an exploration of the topic "Inviting Wellness through Mind-Body Connection". I hope you'll consider joining us for this chance to hear from Lisa and interact with us.
When you think about your own well-being, what is your "dream destination"? Knowing that, where will you put your energy? I'd love to hear what inspires you!