Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. One day, the morning after a party or in the evening after a few glasses of Champagne with your friends, you get this super motivated feeling. It hits you and you know that this time you're going to stick to your guns. This time, you are ready to hit the gym, eat healthy, stop drinking and put in the work to be that person... your ideal vision of you that you see when you close your eyes.
And you do, for a week or even a month. But slowly you lose your motivation and you're not as gung-ho about the ideal you. And then one evening you are pouring yourself a glass of wine and think, "why did I want to hit the gym and get healthy again"? There's that familiar feeling of guilt that you feel. You were so excited, so ready. What happened?
Life happened. Habits happened. You have a million and one things running through your head and meandering through your life: your friend is sick, your significant other pissed you off, your mom is in town.
Life will always happen. But that doesn't mean that your ideal vision of you can't ever exist. In fact, all the more reason that person should exist. You might be thinking Julia, I'm "X" years old, I've tried this over and over and it's not going to work. And I'm going to tell you that if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.
You deserve to be your ideal vision of you, your Best Self. Stay motivated. Here's how.
What's Your WHY?
What's your Why? Think about your Why as your Personal Mission Statement. When you close your eyes and see your ideal self, your happiest self, what is that person doing? Who is that person? What about that person is so ideal to you? These are super personal questions. Your answers won't be the same as any other persons in the world. They won't be the same as your best friends, or your brothers, or your twins. Ask yourself what drives you to get out of bed in the morning. What motivates you to go out in to the world and be?
It's not often that we're asked to sit down and write out who our best self is. It feels a bit selfish. It's hard to put it in to words. It's as if we're embarrassed to admit that we want to BE something, something more than what we are today. I'm not saying that who you are today is not enough. But every person I've ever known has wanted to grow and be more and do more and learn more. I'm willing to bet you want that too.
Discover What Makes Your Ideal-Self Ideal
Try this exercise. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Remember when you were in 8th grade and your Literature teacher told you to just start to write? I remember writing my name abut 20 times before words actually did come pouring out of me. Start there. Write your name over and over. Drive home that this is about you. When you write your name, what do you want it to be associated with?
Write your name and then write 10-15 words that have personal value to you. If you have to write your name in between, that's fine. But find words that move you. Strength, balance, spirituality, wealth... whatever it is. Write it.
From that list, highlight 3-4 words that seem to jump out at you. Pick the 3 that resonate with you the loudest. Maybe they all revolve around one aspect of life. Maybe health is important to your ideal self, or relationships, or what kind of energy is around you. Maybe it's a mish-mash of a few different things.
Now, take those highlighted words and create a statement about your best self, your ideal self. Navigate your thoughts away from HOW you will get there, but rather towards where THERE is.
It might help to think about what your ideal self would be without those 3 words. As soon as you pull them away, you'll recognize why they are so important.
Write It Down.
You've formulated your Why statement. Now, Write. It. Down. Not on Google Calendar, not in a notebook, not in Word. Write your statement, your WHY, on a piece of paper.
Put that piece of paper somewhere that you are guaranteed to see it twice a day (okay, you might need to write it down twice). Stick one to the tea kettle and stick one on the book you are reading that you keep on your night stand.
Focus on That Statement Twice a Day, Every Day.
Focus is the absolute key word here. Every day, read your Why statement once in the morning when you make tea, and once in the evening when you read your book. But don't just read it and pass over it. FOCUS on it. Take ten seconds to reaffirm what it means to you. Ten seconds. That's about as long as it takes to fill the tea kettle. It takes very, very little time to do. But the consequences are enormous.
When you read your Why statement in the morning, you are starting your day by filling your head with a vision of your best-self. Your brain hasn't yet been bombarded by everything that it will be presented with throughout the day. It's fresh. By reading your affirmation first thing in the morning, you are setting the tone of your day. Think about Christmas morning. Think about how the morning, the joy of it, infuses warmth and happiness through out the rest of the day. The tone is set. You have the power to do that every day.
When you go to sleep at night, does your mind race with a thousand thoughts? What if you could realign your thoughts so that they raced around your Why statement? What if the most meaningful thing, your Why, was the thing you fell asleep to, the last thought before you start dreaming?
You are putting your Why at the very forefront of your mind. That's the place where the Why starts to take over.
Live As If You Are Your Best Self, And You Make That Reality.
You create your own reality.
That's a big thought, but let me give you an example. Jane, a busy woman with a life-long love of fast food, wants to be a healthy eater. The 3 words/phrases that she highlighted as most meaningful were long-life, feeling alive, and confidence. Jane knows that to be a person with confidence, who feels alive and who can look forward to a long-life, she must be healthy. So Jane cuts out fast-food, she starts to walk 30 minutes a day, and she eats fresh food through out the day for energy. Jane is now a healthy eater. Jane created her own reality.
The moment that you choose to live the life that your Best Self will lead, you are your Best Self.
This is a learning process. Ah, life. Your Why statement might not be perfect the first time around. Your Why statement will morph as you accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. As I mentioned before, every person I've ever known wants to grow, wants to be more. That doesn't change even if you've created your Best Self reality. There is always more. There is always drive.