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While we know that planning to support our healthy goals makes them easier to achieve, visualization combined with planning improves our chances of achieving the goals. According to a study done by McGill’s Department of Psychology in 2011, 177 students were asked to set a goal of consuming more fruit for 7 days. The students that visualized how they were going to carry out the action (i.e. when, where and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit) in addition to writing out their plan were twice as likely to succeed in making the change.
Making visualization work for you
Be detailed and specific. Use the image of a specific food in your fridge rather than a generic thought of fruits and vegetables.
Visualize yourself succeeding and failing. By visualizing the failure, we acknowledge that we’re not perfect and it’s okay to fail. We can visualize what we do if we do fail.
Use a self-affirmation phrase.When I’m struggling during a run, I will start telling myself, “Run strong, run strong.” If I were trying to eat more fruits, I would tell myself something like “I like to eat fruit.” “Fruit makes me strong.”
Have you ever tried visualization to help you succeed with a new habit?
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