The Power of Intention
for Good Health
How you think and what you focus on is essential in the quest for good health. If your goal is to get or stay healthy, you have a much greater chance of doing so if you use the power of intention to make good health and fitness a reality in your life.
The number one mental tool top athletes use to achieve their goals is the power of intention: putting their mind, body and being into the experience beforehand. The best way to utilize the power of your mind is to kinesthetically allow yourself to experience the event before it happens. Imagine how you will FEEL as you cross the finish line of the event you hope to run. Don’t just think about it, put yourself fully into the experience and allow your body to go through all the positive responses and emotions. Or see yourself walking to the top of that distant ridge with ease and let your body experience that feeling of achieving that sought-after goal. With focused concentration, allow the full impact of your accomplishment wash through you – before it actually happens. By doing this, you will greatly improve your chances of success.
Your goal may be losing weight, eating well, running a half marathon with your spouse, or walking without pain in your hips. You may want to look and feel better, all day long. Personally, I would like to get through winter without a cold or flu, and Danny’s Winter Health blog offers some great tips on maintaining good health this winter.
Muhammad Ali was famous for his use of intention to achieve his goals. OK, being a boxing champion may not be everyone’s goal, but if you can put aside the boxing and focus on the process by which he achieved his success, he is a great role model for all of us. He used all the skills of intention: affirmations, mental imagery, self-confirmation. He would publicly say, “I am the greatest”, and in 2000, Sports Illustrated agreed by naming him the greatest athlete of the century. Do you remember Ali’s repetitive rhymes? They had meaning, purpose and they worked.
I used to really dislike winter. I felt cold all the time and the short, dark days got me down. One year I had a strong intention to change all that. I decided to try to enjoy winter, and relax in the cold and use the long periods without light as a reminder to be more internally aware. I bought myself good winter clothes in support of my goal, but also decided that every time I felt cold I would just dig into my inner resources and not let it get to me. I also took the long nights as an opportunity to do some inner work by listening to my self and my center more intently, and writing about and confirming other goals in my life.
It worked. In March of that year, I realized I had enjoyed the outdoors more with my warm, good clothes, I had not felt as cold all winter, and I felt mentally more positive, self aware and centered. And the real beauty is that it has carried over. Now it is easy to get ready for winter and I actually enjoy and feel good about this dark, deep, quiet time of year.
During this time of year, I know how tempted I am by holiday sweets. So I am preparing myself by looking forward to the decadent squashes, brussell sprouts, beets, and gorgeous pears, nectarines, and pomegranates I’m going to enjoy, rather than cookies, high fructose candy and pastries that leave me feeling empty. And, right now, I’m going to let my mind imagine and my body experience how great I’m going to feel when I wake up in the mornings and feel energized from what I ate the day before: clean, healthy, strong …
Feels so good.
What do you want? Take some time, indulge your self in visualizing the very best for yourself, and reap the rewards of the power of intention in your health, fitness, running and walking goals.
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