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The Power of Visual Motivation - from SparkPeople

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Power of Visual Motivation - from SparkPeople

What Does Weight Loss Success Look Like To You ??

A dress. A smile from a loved one. Moving through the world with a pep in your step and good feeling all around. Several more years added to your life. Success could look like any one of these motivators or more.

To meet your goal, you have to see it – not just have a general idea of what it means, but really see it in front of you.

Athletes use this proven technique all the time, from high school gymnasts to Olympic bobsledders to pro basketball players. In sports, you either reach your goal or you don’t. Visualization techniques help athletes succeed by first “seeing” themselves succeed. Research is showing that – as your mind visualizes a good shot, a perfect putt, or the next turn in a bobsled run – your body learns how to make that visualization come true. In one study, a group that only visualized shooting free throws improved almost as much as the group that actually practiced.

What’s more, your mind may store this visualization as an actual memory. This helps build confidence and motor skills, because after all, as far as your body and mind are concerned, you’ve already accomplished your goal before, thanks to visualization.

Visual motivators can work for other types of goal achievement. Surrounding yourself with visual images is the next best thing to conjuring them up in your mind. It only takes a few minutes to surround yourself with these positive (or sometimes not-so-positive) reminders. The payoff will be easy to see.

Close your eyes (after you’re done reading this of course) and visualize how you will feel after you reach your goal. How will your life be different? Think about the opportunities you’ll have. Smile as you watch yourself living with more confidence and energy. Or reflect on the times you’ve witnessed the harmful effects of someone else’s unhealthy lifestyle.

Sift through these future “memories” and pick one that really evokes an emotional response. Which of these images means the most to you? Hold onto that mental picture. It could be the key motivator that helps you have a huge breakthrough.

Go find that visual in the real world. It might be a picture from a magazine of a mother and daughter playing tennis. It might be the actual dress you want to wear. It might be a picture of a diabetic relative. It might simply be a scene or place that gets you pumped up or lifts your spirits.

Choose a visual and place it strategically where it will catch your attention at just the right moment. On your nightstand, the bathroom mirror, the car dashboard, the refrigerator, the TV, or even your computer monitor – put it wherever you think your motivation might lapse or temptation may take hold.

It has been proven over and over that if you can see it, you can do it. Now you have the chance to prove it to yourself.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.