Step 1: Set a Sound Foundation for your Wellness Vision

This is the first of a series of posts on developing a wellness vision. I did considerable on-line research but found little step-by-step processes on developing a wellness vision. This is my personal methodology that attempts to break it down into an easy to follow step-by-step process. I need to tell you that I am not a life coach or personal trainer. I am just a guy who has come to understand that this type of forward looking vision is what I need at this point in my life. 

For years I set goals that just floated out there and had no real root or common direction. A wellness vision is a mental picture of where you want to be in terms of your overall wellness at a given point in time. The statement is forward thinking and supported by underlying goals.If you are frequent reader of this blog, you know that I spent considerable time in building my personal wellness vision. You might want to read my It’s Time for a Wellness Vision and My Wellness Vision posts to get some background on what led me to create a wellness vision. The Wellness Vision link on the top of this page will take you to my personal wellness vision. Although I am early in living my wellness vision, I am already realizing the benefits of setting my vision.  

Solitaire Brainstorming  

This post is all about getting you into the right mindset and out of the starting block in writing your vision. It all starts with what I call “solitaire brainstorming”. You don’t need a team to brainstorm. Start by writing down your thoughts on what you want to achieve in the coming twelve months. Think of the setbacks, issues and problems you face every day. Write down short sentences or phrases on how you can you overcome them. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you go through this exercise.  

  • Include behaviors from others that you admire and value.
  • Don’t limit your list to weight loss and weight loss surgery.
  • Brainstorm from a holistic approach to life.
  • Don’t be shy to admit failures or shortcomings. How will you overcome them?
  • The size of the list does not matter. It’s the content.
  • Seek support and input from others if you are comfortable doing that.
  • When in doubt, write it down.
  • Put the list down and revisit in a few days. Repeat until you are happy with the content.

 Finding Common Themes  

 At this stage you have long list of what I call “the good, the bad and the ugly”. As you look them over, you most likely see some common threads, such as weight loss, diet, exercise, relationships, etc. Create a new list with these common threads. Move the brainstormed bullet items under the thread that fits it the best. The major areas of focus that will drive your vision are beginning to gel into specific areas that you need to address. Here are some things to keep in mind at this point of your wellness vision journey.  

  •  Refine your brainstormed items into more concrete statements.
  • Often a few items of similar focus can become a single item.
  • Don’t be afraid to add or remove items. You are working in a more focused mindset. Gaps and overlaps will definitely become apparent.
  • Put the list down and revisit in a few days. Repeat until you are happy with the content.

Summarize the Areas of Focus  

By now you should have a manageable number of areas of focus with bulleted items under each of them. Read these bulleted lists over a few times. For each area of focus, write a sentence (or two) stating what living these items means in terms of wellness in your life. The message of your wellness vision is beginning to take shape. This upfront investment to this point assures we have the proper building blocks in place. Here are some tips to follow at this stage.   

  • Write in a positive, supportive tone of voice
  • Statements should be forward looking
  • Think in an action oriented manner.
  • It’s best to be brief, clear and understandable.
  • Put the list down and revisit in a few days. Repeat until you are happy with the content.

You are now well on your way to developing your personal wellness vision. This initial process of brainstorming and organizing thoughts should not be underestimated. These are important steps to assure that you develop a vision that represents where you want to be. In my next post in this series: Focusing in to build your wellness vision, I’ll discuss how these organized thoughts become a wellness vision statement.

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