Having a chronic health condition often requires you to live differently from your fellow homo sapiens. As so many of us know, it is very easy to get upset about those differences. Even the most positive among us struggle from time to time.
I'm feeling better than I have in years but my internal dialogue sometimes sounds a lot like this:
“I wish I could go on that backpacking trip.”
“I would kill someone to eat pizza right now.”
“I’m sooo sick of taking a million pills everyday.”
When this is what’s going through your head all the time, it can be hard to keep your eyes on the prize - your life goals, the thing(s) you are healing or staying well for, your raison d’etre. Sometimes we do not even know what the prize is anymore because plans changed when we got sick or injured. And, when you are not crystal clear on what the prize is, it’s more difficult to be kind to yourself, stick to self-care routines, and make meaningful changes in your routine that could really get you somewhere.
If any of that sounds familiar, you need a personal vision statement. The process of writing it can remind you, or help you get clear on, what is most important to you. Once you have it and read it daily for a month, you will begin to remember why it's important to take all those pills, stick with the tedious physical therapy exercises, or stay on hold for ten minutes five different times in one marathon call with your health insurance company.
Furthermore, once you are clear on why you want to heal, it will help you enroll others in supporting you. This is true because you will see more clearly where you need the support of others to fulfill your vision, and you will be better prepared to communicate your vision to others so it lights them up and they want to support you. The response you get will sound like, “hell yeah I want to help you start walking again so you can fulfill your dream of taking your daughter to Disney World,” or whatever it is you would love - starting a business, traveling with your sweetie, writing a book, the possibilities are endless.
My favorite way to write a vision is in the first person, in the present tense, and with very specific, vivid details. It could sound like this:
I am so pleased that I started my own upscale dog clothing line. I love the people I’ve met in the industry and my flexible schedule allows me to take care of myself and my family with ease. My favorite part is getting to do so much work from home, in my silk pajamas, with Tex the beagle at my feet.
Let’s assume the person who wrote this is currently working a so-so part-time job and feels pretty sick most of the time. Even though this vision as reality feels far away, they can see themselves in it right now, and that’s where the power is. It is something to get excited about it.
And, when you write your vision this way, you are adopting the mindset of someone who already has what you want. Then you can ask yourself, "what would someone with this vision do next?" I promise you that, with a clear vision, whatever actions you take will be much more focused than they would be otherwise. That focus saves a ton of energy and, when physical and mental energy are in short supply, conservation is essential.
I lead online vision-writing workshops to support folks in learning how to get clear on their vision and start writing it down. You should come! Learn more here.