Turn Your Wish List Into A “Yes” List!
Put your imagination to work and take positive steps to create the life you really want!
“I wish I were thinner. I’d get more dates if I lost thirty pounds.”
“I wish I could lift heavier weights like the other guys in the gym so I don’t look so weak.”
“I wish I had a better job so I could make more money.”
We all do it, imagining how wonderful our lives would be if only . . .
And that’s when our “wish list” begins to grow.
Fueled by rationalizations that our lives would be perfect if circumstances, people, or opportunities were better, or bigger, or newer, we fantasize how our lives would blossom into a perfect mix of success and happiness.
But there’s a hitch in this thought process …
A wish is usually all about the outcome — we want to be thinner, healthier, better looking, more popular, wealthier, stronger, smarter.
But how do we get there?
That’s why they’re called wishes — little wisps of fantasy, without substance, motivation, or any kind of game plan to accomplish the outcome.
A cycle of self-defeating disappointment: Wishes = Fantasy = Failure.
Wishing for what we don’t have centers our focus on what’s missing.
And it keeps our real goals, the things we actually could accomplish, right where they are — in a state of hibernation, never to be fulfilled.
Does that mean we should stop dreaming about a better life?
On the contrary.
It means we need to reframe the way we think about our wishes and dreams, and do it in such a way that allows us to take action and create that better life, waiting for us in the future.
Instead of saying, “I wish I was thin,” which emphasizes a lack of motivation and commitment, try reframing the thought into a question:
“What can I do — what specific actions can I take — to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle?”
If you really want to supercharge the process, ask yourself the question in a “future-paced” mode.
Imagine you’re one or two years in the future and, as you look back, ask yourself, “How did I become so healthy? What steps did I take to lose the extra weight?”
That’s when the subconscious part of your mind goes to work, sifting and making new connections with your past experiences, education, and skills to offer the most likely options to create the change you want in your life.
It doesn’t matter what you’re currently wishing for — the process is the same.
Whether it’s a new car, a healthier body, or a new relationship. Try jumping ahead into the future and taking a look back as you ask yourself how you got there, and what steps you took along the way that really made the difference.
So instead of “wishing” you were a size eight, project yourself a year forward, and look back. Then ask, “What action did I take to lose three sizes and thirty pounds?”
You might have all kinds of ideas pop into your head, like cutting out fattening desserts or eating a piece of fruit instead of two donuts and flavored coffee that leaves you with a sugar crash two hours later.
Feeling motivated but not sure where to begin?
Staying with our weight-loss example, here are a few suggestions for taking those first steps:
Consider new options for healthy diets and realistic exercise plans.
There are plenty of websites, self-help sites, fitness videos, and podcasts to fuel your “Yes!” list.
Replace poor habits with healthier ones.
When those mid-day cravings hit, be prepared with clean, natural, gluten-free, no-sugar-added snacks and nibbles. Have portion-size servings of fresh veggies, fruit, and nuts on hand for easy on-the-go options.
Learn to say “No” — to yourself.
This is a tough one, especially when we feel we deserve a break, a treat, or special consideration. Short-term weakness leads to long-term regret.
Get the idea?
The next time you say “I Wish,” remember it’s much more effective to mentally jump ahead to your future self, then take a look back and discover how you accomplished that goal.
You’ll be surprised what you can achieve once your subconscious is working for you, instead of the other way around.
Jill Reid is a writer and founder of Pathway to Personal Growth, featuring articles on self-improvement, personal success strategies, and tips for living longer and stronger through positive lifestyle choices, and Kitchen Spirit, a health, food, and fitness website. Follow Jill on Medium, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.