The First Step to Cultivating Healthy Habits: Creating a Vision

Vision graphic

The First Step to Cultivating Healthy Habits:  Creating a Vision

I’m a big fan of “being in the moment” as a method of effective stress management. Stress and anxiety typically manifest when the brain is busy ruminating over what happened last week or prognosticating about what might happen tomorrow.  And because the brain can’t control the world in either of those realms, anxiety seeps in.  

Using simple mindfulness practices (stay tuned for a future post on this) can help train the brain to “be here now” and calm the hard-wired physiologic response that would be appropriate if—like our paleo ancestors—we were regularly needing to “run from the wild boar”.  Mindfulness encourages the fight/flight/freeze trigger to “stand down” and allows for a well-considered response to a stressor vs. a potentially ill-advised reaction.


OK, so NOT a lot of debate that being mindful and “in the present” is optimal.  Why then, do we start a health coaching journey with so much focus on the FUTURE?


Well, for one thing—this isn’t just ANY future—it’s the IDEAL future.  A future that we envision for ourselves once we’ve figured out how to overcome the obstacles and barriers that get in the way.  A future that allows us to show up as the best version of ourselves.  A future with no wild boar!

Think about it: since the future hasn’t happened yet, there is really nothing that the “future you” can’t do!  So why not go for broke?

This is why in coaching we spend a lot of time on your vision.  We work as a team to get really specific. 

For example, “someday, I’d love to take a trip to Italy” gets a lot more likely when the details get sorted:


The answers to the questions create the action steps that transform the dream into the reality.

“If you get clear on the what, the how will be taken care of.”  -Jack Canfield


When we work to create a vision of optimal health, we move beyond  “someday, I just want to feel better”.  We dig deeper and explore the “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions and get the answers that clearly point the way to success.  We can then plan to optimize what’s currently working and change any behaviors or habits that are getting in the way.

Throughout the coaching process, there is room to refine and recalibrate the vision, just as we would make necessary modifications to the itinerary for the trip to Italy.  

Because the vision is clear, the modifications are merely course corrections and NOT derailments.  Any barriers and obstacles are actually welcomed as opportunities and become the catalysts for future action steps. More on that next time…

For now, though, back to the present, where there are no wild boars in sight!


Our 8 week “Cultivating Healthy Habits”  group coaching workshop starts January 29, 2020. 

Click HERE for more details!

Kelly O'Brien, NBC-HWC Kelly Day O’Brien is a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Integrative Health Coach and has over 25 years of healthcare-related experience. As a FoundationMED Health Coach, Kelly provides resources, support and accountability as you strive to make healthy changes. She has extensive experience with the diet and lifestyle recommendations that serve as the foundation for your treatment plan. Guided by her coaching expertise, you’ll set a plan in motion to achieve your vision of optimal health. Through a collaborative partnership, you’ll identify obstacles to change and create strategies for sustainable health and wellness goals.

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