Why you should design Your Perfect Average Day
By Chris Newton
One of the biggest struggles with overcoming chronic pain is the tendency to develop a negative view of the future. This is totally understandable though because we all project our future based on our past experience, so it is challenging to see anything different could be possible.
A well balanced life, however, requires two things that, on the surface, seem quite simple:
Being happy in the now, whilst working towards a positive vision for the future.
Stress and anxiety or a downward spiral of depression come from an imbalance in this simple formula that usually looks something like this:
Being unhappy in the now, avoiding a negative vision of the future.
So how do you start to make a change?
I’d suggest starting with the future and here’s why. To become happy in the now, when things are not going your way, you need a reason to move forwards. Having a goal you want to achieve is proven to be the best way to achieve the results you require.
The goal, or as I prefer, your vision of the future, requires three components. It needs to be joyful. It needs to be as detailed as you can make it. And it needs to be YOURS.
When I ask “what would your vision for the future look like” to my clients, the answer is usually “To be pain free”. Sorry to say but this is a rubbish vision. It doesn’t meet any of the requirements for a vision of the future. It’s like asking for that big boil on your shoulder to be gone. Hardly joyful! There is also no detail in this short sentence, so you don’t explore what life pain free would be like. It isn’t really yours either because everyone wants to be pain free to some extent in the future.
So I want you to build a vision of the future by describing your perfect average day.
Yes, you read that right. An average day. Not your one off perfect day. Make this average day joyful. Don’t even mention pain, or a lack of it, but you can definitely talk about your health vision. It is a given that pain will not to be there in your perfect average day. Bring all your senses to the vision and describe every detail in its fullness from dawn until dusk. Make it yours and yours alone. You can obviously include whoever you want in it though. Mine wouldn’t be complete without my wife and daughter. So make it look however you like but make it joyful.
Once you have this vision I want you to read it, and tweak it, every day for the next 7 days until it is absolutely perfect. Then read it again every day after that.
Now why are we doing this exercise?
A vision for the future allows us to create a road map to get there. It gives us a reason to keep working when times are tough. When I work with clients with Fibromyalgia I’m honest with them that the path to better health is not a perfect linear improvement. There are always ups and downs and you need a joyful vision that keeps you inspired when these days come round.
The big take away from this exercise is that there are going to be loads of things in your vision of the future that you can take action towards today. You are probably in a place right now that will wholeheartedly disagree with me but I’ve seen it too many times now. People with joyful goals that take action can reach them. The key is to have a mentor. A guide that is willing to suggest options you hadn’t thought of before. A mentor can coach you from an objective perspective and help you break free of your limitations. At the Fibro Project this is a large part of what we do. Helping you move forwards, despite your pain, is hugely rewarding for both you and myself.
With a strong vision and a guiding hand from a chronic pain mentor, you can improve your life; significantly. All too many times people quit before they have even stepped over the first hurdle. Our aim here at the Fibro Project is to help you past each hurdle that presents itself and coach you forwards towards a better life. Hurdle number 1: build a vision for the future that makes you take action, so you do not give in to your condition the way your GP may have suggested you do.
Need some inspiration? Let me send you my own perfect average day. I go through my original day before I turned my life around, my current average day and my future perfect average day, so we can see how these three days link up to our vision. Remember “Being happy in the now, whilst working towards a positive vision for the future” is the way to balance and true happiness in life. Get my Perfect Average Day here.