Language and Health
Wording Your Health Goals – and
Article published in the Tone
If you had a magic wand, and knew that anything and
everything is possible for you now; and if you waved the wand in the
air, and “pouf!” any healing wish is granted to you, what would you have
happen for you? Describe to me the change you seek, as if it’s done now!
This is what most of my clients hear during a
first appointment. One lady told me, “I want to be healthier”. Healthier
than what? And when you’re healthier, how will you know you’ve reached
your health goal? And when you have achieved your goal, then what?
If you find yourself going around in circles with
your health, it is perhaps time to place some road signs on your path.
Your inner dialogue is heard by your unconscious mind, who says “Your
wish is my command!” All that your unconscious needs you to do is give
it clear instructions that it can follow. Let’s get focused – focused
thoughts and words bring about focused results – and let’s get clear!
1 – Express yourself in absolute terms (fully,
totally, completely, 100%) when setting a general goal for your health
and wellness. If on a scale of 1 to 10, your health is now a 5,
“healthier” can be as little as 5.2 and you want a full 10, don’t you?
2 – Say what you want, not what you don’t want. In
other words, make the goal something you move towards, rather than
something you move away from. Imagine the captain of the ship starting
up the engines, then telling the crew: I’ve got enough of this port; I
don’t want to be here anymore. And I don’t want to be headed towards New
York either. Nope. And I don’t want to sail to Shanghai, nor to Tokyo.
How will the crew know which direction to steer the ship? Good luck!
Of course, you can start from what upsets you (the
pain in the lower back, the stiffness in the joints, the shallow breath,
the extraneous body weight, or the difficulty concentrating). Then,
build your goal as the positive opposite of the distressful situation.
State your goal as a positive, present-tense statement, which will sound
like: “My joints are strong and flexible”; “My lower back feels
peaceful”; “My back is aligned”; “I concentrate with ease”. Once you are
formulating and verbalizing your goal, stick to the positive! At times,
I hear a client verbalizing a goal, and in the middle of the sentence,
going back to the undesired situation. For example: “My goal is to feel
respected and supported in relationships, because every time I speak
with my cousin-in-law, he calls me ugly witch and this all started when
I was fifteen…” Poor unconscious! Such mixed messages, it ends up all
3 – Speak in specific, measurable and observable
terms. Your unconscious doesn’t understand abstract notions. “I want my
health to reflect my divinity” sounds wonderful. It just won’t make a
change to your unconscious. Your unconscious understands words such as
“strong”, “flexible”, “breathing with ease at full lungs capacity”,
“stable blood sugar levels”, “smooth, elastic skin”, “strong, glossy
hair”; and numbers: “blood pressure between X and Y”; “blood sugar
between X and Y”; “dress size 12”.
4 – Get clear on the road signs. When you have an
abstract goal that makes sense to your conscious mind, please be nice to
your unconscious, and give it some road signs. For instance, if your
goal is to be joyful, ask yourself, how do you know that you are joyful?
What measurable, observable things occur when you are joyful? Perhaps
you laugh often, dance with no reason, wake up with a smile on your
face, stretching. Personally, I have this image of “joyful”: I am
jumping up and down and making pirouettes. When I am joyful, this is
what I actually do! Your goal is to be fit? Good! What is “fit” to you?
Fit means, for some, climbing the stairs to the fifth floor with normal
breath, and to others, climbing Kilimanjaro. Want to be flexible? How
will you know you are flexible? I know I can call myself flexible when I
can be in a specific yoga posture easily, without props, face muscles
relaxed, and smiling.
A reason for establishing your road signs is so
that you can recognize them when you’re there. How do you know you’ve
achieved your goal? You’re breathing deeply, shopping for a brand-new
size 12 dress, and jumping up and down in front of an astonished store
staff. Then you realize that this is it, you’ve achieved your goal. This
leads us to…
5 – Acknowledge and celebrate your success!
Success builds on success; it’s the snow ball effect. Every little step
achieved on your personal goal needs to be acknowledged. Say to yourself
something of the effect: “Yes! I’ve done it!”, or “I am so powerful,
look what I’ve achieved”. Pat yourself on the shoulder. Share your
success with others, and focus your wording solely on the success. Too
often I hear “yeah, but…” which tells your unconscious “we’re no good,
we’re failing”. Think of this: when you were a little boy and started
walking, you walked a few steps, then fell; then you walked some more,
and fell. Your parents were exhilarated. What do you think they rushed
to tell the neighbours? “Our son fell three times today”? No way! They
certainly beamed and said: “Our little boy walks!!!”. Speak of what has
changed, what works better, where you have succeeded. Last week you woke
up three times with a smile on your face and stretching happily? Good!
Speak of those three days only! You reduced your dress size from a 20 to
16 on the way down to 12? Great! Have a party now and wear a size 16
stunning outfit. Celebrating your outcomes is the most powerful message
you can send your unconscious for doing a great job, and keeping up the
good work. Celebrating also tells your unconscious that it pays to
change, so it will gladly continue.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have accomplished the
goal of completing this article for you, so I’m heading to the living
room for some pirouettes and some jumping up and down to Celtic
music…Perhaps you’ll join me!
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