Like most women, for many, MANY years my goal was weight loss. I dreamed about having that perfect bikini body, confidently strolling into any room, and wearing the latest trends with no concerns about unsightly bulges or orange peel cellulite (which btw I later found out everyone has). So, I did what all the articles and blog posts advised at the time, I taped inspiration pictures to my bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and pantry in an effort to keep my goal at the forefront of my mind (read here, shame myself into eating celery instead of chips). But it never helped. Even though there were a couple times I reached that goal weight I was still dissatisfied and unhappy with my body. And eventually gained all that weight back and then some. I just couldn’t be content with this body that looked nothing like those Shape magazine models I’d taped up all over my house.
And then it occurred to me, no matter what I did I wasn’t going to look like them because I wasn’t them. Instead, what I needed to do is focus on what accomplishing my goal would look like on ME. And let me tell you it wasn’t easy to figure out how to do that, but it is what’s necessary if you want to accomplish your goals. So, today I’m sharing my best, tried and true tricks to how to identify as your future self. Because seriously… future you isn’t Kate Upton or Oprah Winfrey.
Ok… so this step might sound silly but often when we visualize our future, we aren’t the star of the show. I mean for years when I pictured my future svelte self, I was actually picturing that girl in the magazine. If I zoomed in, I even had her pouty lips and pretty blue eyes. Ummm, y’all, I have brown eyes, BROWN and spending more time in the gym definitely won’t change that!
Creating a vision and spending time thinking about it daily is essential to accomplishing your goals. But rather than focusing on that one goal, the things around future you, or the lifestyle you’ll enjoy, take a closer look. Is that you? What are you doing? How do you navigate things? What are your habits?
You see, there are some things you can’t change. If you’re 5’4”, future you will be to. If you have a dysfunctional family, so will future you. When you visualize future, you don’t just ignore the things in your life that are beyond your control. Insert them into the picture. Now imagine how future you navigates these things so current you can start making some adjustments. For the record… no matter how trendy they might be, future me does not wear maxi skirts.
Find Common Ground
Now that you have a clear vision of future you it’s time to get to know yourself better. We often focus so much on what we need to change to get there that we totally overlook what we already have going for us. This can create a lot of overwhelm and feel disheartening. So, create some common ground with future you by determining what you have in common with her.
- Does she also love to dance?
- Make her bed every day?
- Enjoy snuggling up with a good book?
- Hate running? (Future me definitely hates running too)
- But loves strength training? (Hey, me too!)
Make a list of all the things you already have in common and give yourself a pat on the back for being well on your way to who you’re becoming. Remember to add to this list as you master new skills and align more with your future vision.
For those of you who struggle with visualizing your future self, this is a great place to start. Identifying the things you love and want to keep in your life also helps create clarity regarding the things you want to change.
This can also be a great way to identify if you are missing from your future vision or if you have visualized too far out. Your vision could be for a year from now not 5 or 10 years into the future. You should have plenty in common with future you. She isn’t a whole different person, she’s just a more intentional, grown version of who you are now.
Ditch the Destination
If you can visualize and find common ground with future, you then you already have the potential within you to create this version of yourself. So, it’s time to ditch the destination. You don’t have to wait until you get there to make the changes you need to make, set the boundaries, or even be happy and proud of yourself. You won’t feel more worthy, have more time, or be happier when you get there if you don’t start now. So, rather than saying “in 5 years I’ll be so…” start saying “how can I have that now” or “where does that already exist in my life?”
There isn’t something magical about yourself in 5 years. You already have what it takes to be the best version of you. You may be refining, you may be growing, you may be developing new skills but guess what, you’ll be doing that then too. So, enjoy the process and remind yourself that you are worth celebrating RIGHT NOW and your life is worth loving RIGHT NOW! The best ways to do this are through keeping a gratitude and accomplishment journal.
Master your Mindset
Often when we set out to identify as our future selves, we become overwhelmed with limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. This is because we are trying to embrace change and change is very hard for our brain to process. So, it throws up all the warning signals, red flags, and roadblocks it can imagine. I can’t emphasize enough how normal this is and how important it is to work on your mindset and rewire your brain.
The best ways to do this are through mindset management techniques like reframing negative beliefs and creating neutral then positive affirmations. If you’ve never done this before it might seem intimidating and even silly. But no worries… mindset is my specialty and I’ve got you covered, so get your free resource to help you through this process today!
You’re Not Done!
Hopefully you’ll always be growing and working on yourself and creating a life you love. That means you’re going to need to keep doing this work, keep identifying at a higher, more fulfilled level. And sometimes you may shift your vision all together or life may throw you a curveball that forces you to. That means you’re going to need to revisit this work often. Getting a solid handle on it and making it second nature is essential to allowing you to maximize your potential and get results fast without backsliding into old habits.
May you live in your vision always and be consistently both proud of where you are and striving to go further. You’re amazing, you matter, and your dreams matter! Keep reaching for the stars! You’ve got this!