In order to feel younger and better, you need to have goals that help you stay focused. You need to be able to visualize yourself as feeling younger and better. This ability to visualize yourself is key to achieving the body and energy that you want and need.
I learned a lot about visualization while doing research for my first book about athletes over the age of 50. In this post, I share how they use visualization to keep them feeling young and strong. All of the 50 over-50 athletes that I interviewed have the ability to envision, or dream about, doing something out of the ordinary. This plays an important part in having a sustained active life. The process of imagining something that we want is not a secret. All it takes is the confidence to know that your use of mental imagery is powerful.
To create success, we can go over and over our dream goal in our minds. We can visualize what it took others to gain the success that we want. We can practice seeing ourselves achieve similar success. We can map a detailed plan in our minds to be clear about what steps we need to take to achieve our dream. Mapping a detailed plan on paper is yet another way to bring positive results. We can share our dream and enlist the support of family members and good friends. And when we finally realize our dream, we can more confidently share this envisioning process with others who need a boost.
I observed that while all the athletes use what I call the Dream It concept to some extent, they do so in three different ways and in varying degrees. A few have goals that are extraordinarily challenging, such as setting a world record, winning national or world championships, or performing incredible feats. These people see themselves as able to perform at remarkably high levels in their sport, despite their ages. Others envision taking up completely new activities later in life; at an age most of us would not consider. I will refer to these three variants as Dream It―Achievement, Dream It―Longevity, and Dream It―Possibilities.
Dream It―Achievement athletes are the rarest of dreamers, as they have managed to hang onto the characteristics of high performance that tends to fade with age. To talk with them is to marvel at how driven they are, despite the physical challenges they face in training as hard as they do. Achievement-oriented athletes tend to get most of their motivation from the joy of accomplishment.
Dream It―Longevity athletes, while being aware of the challenges older athletes face, can’t envision a life without physical activity. To talk with longevity-led dreamers is to know the timeless joy of practicing their sport. They see themselves leading active lives well into the future.
Dream It―Possibilities dreamers are an inspiration to those who have not yet found their exercise or sports passion. They embody the explorer in all of us that, once unleashed, can change our lives forever.
Regardless of their specific type of Dream It, these athletes all demonstrate the ability to see beyond conventional wisdom. They maintain a childlike outlook that enables them to envision themselves doing things far from ordinary. Each, in different ways, can inspire us to visualize ourselves as the strong, healthy people we wish to be.
What is your goal? What is the vision that you get when you visualize the successful achievement of your goal?