Saturday, December 01, 2012
We all utilize visualization in our lives and most of the time; often we are not cognizant that it is even happening. I often reflect on what the future might bring, not having an end point in mind. This is casual visualization and is often good for the soul but seldom gives insight as to what goals need to be put in place to insure that we end up at the finish line.
I have been a proponent of what I refer to as directed visuals. When I coached little league baseball I noticed that for the most part, the boys were seeing in their minds eye, the baseball soaring over the fence for a home run. Unfortunately they were focusing on the wrong thing. In their mind eye, they were “looking up” to see the ball careened over the fence before they even hit the ball. Big problem in golf as well, especially considering my golf game.
It came to me one day that if they would focus on the swing and contact with the ball, they would hopefully see positive results. I asked them to mentally visualize the actual contact of the bat on the ball and strive to make that a reality. I asked them to do this over and over. In other words, KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN and do it every time at bat until it becomes automatic.
I was pleasantly surprised how effective this was even for 10 year old boys. Can you just imagine the smile on a young man’s face when he has just broken out of a batting slump or finally getting that first hit and then telling me in a boisterous voice – HEY COACH, IT WORKED! I smiled too, of course. We later progressed to visualizing HOW to hit the ball to hit the ball where you wanted it to go. This proved to be a rather daunting task for young men to absorb but by golly, they never quit trying and that is all anyone can ask. A well placed single has won many a game.
The same is true for us endeavoring to win this bloody weight war. Focus on the small steps in the journey. Visualize your plate with your planned portions. Do this before your meal and before EVERY meal until it becomes automatic. Pretty soon you will be hitting those game winning singles every day.
Visualize the scale dropping a pound. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but the BIG success takes a lot of small successes to happen along the way. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to think about how you might look and/or feel when we are at your goal weight. This is “feel good” stuff and it is important to each of us. Anyone who is doing the daily SparkCoach program reads a lot about visualization. Techniques may vary, but the results are consistent. Incidentally, I signed up for SparkCoach with reluctance but I am now very glad I did. I learn something every day.
How about visualizing what new clothes you will buy at your current weight? Don’t think about the clothes you will buy at your goal weight (unless you are already there) as your choices in attire will be controlled at least a little bit by the season of the year and a great deal by how you are feeling about yourself.
Personally, before I shop for our food, I draw a mental picture of what I plan to buy. It doesn’t rule out a shopping list but rather, enforces it. Every task, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, can be fun!
Remember, we can all get to our own personal finish line, ONE PALM TREE AT A TIME.