by  Cindia Carrere

Cindia Carrere

Happy New Year!

Even though I’m obsessed with vision boards, I’m not going to talk about resolutions. Nope, not gonna do it. Know why? Because they can feel like a scolding, a naughty but not nice list of failures.

Instead . . . several friends are currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. Their vocabulary and the way they speak about themselves are shifting noticeably. They’re beginning sentences with, “I am a woman who …” and it’s catching.

I am a woman who loves the word RESOLVE.

Resolve has many wonderful flavors to it. It can mean to sort out, settle something, or put to rights. Resolve throws light on a subject, it’s clarifying, and helps figure out what’s vexing you. So instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I prefer to unravel what’s leftover from last year and resolve it. I ask what needs to be forgiven or let go of in order to make room for what I want this year.

Resolve is a powerful tool because it moves you to decide, make up your mind, and work out.

Which brings us to the “F” word. Fitness.

Fitness goes beyond being physically fit and healthy. It also measures your capability and competency, being suitable for a particular task, or worthy of a specific purpose.

When I first met my husband, he was 6’5” and 300 lbs. He now weighs in at 235. That’s a 65-pound difference and people notice. I get asked by family (his and mine), and friends, what I said to him that inspired him to lose the weight.

Hooooo boy, hot topic!

I learned early on in our relationship that saying anything was taboo. He explained to me very succinctly that if he could’ve lost weight through shame, criticism, or any number of “motivating or inspiring” comments, he’d have become a scrawny dude. Okaaaaaay then, understood.

While I fell in love with him and was not the kind of woman who thought I could “fix a man,” I was worried about potential health issues down the road. So I wanted to find a way to help make “tiny changes with remarkable results” as James Clear states on the cover of  Atomic Habits.

Since I knew I couldn’t change him, I realized I could change me.


One of the things that really bugged me was the change in seasons. I am a woman who really enjoys her vitamin sun and felt puny when we entered the season of Grey. Blah. Meh. Whine.

One revolutionary day, when I learned that being outside — even when the sun was hidden behind a mask of pewter clouds — would help me with my serotonin and melatonin levels and make me feel much less gloomy in the dreary weather, I decided to try it.

I put on my rain gear, such as it was, and went out for a walk. In winter! Guess what? I didn’t melt. In fact, I felt much better! Inviting my husband to join me, Groom said yes. We began walking together every day. Not far at first, but enough to root the habit. We’d have to stop talking as we labored up the hilly streets, but soon, we could carry on a conversation even as our heart rates accelerated.

Establish routines

After our walking routine was established, I suggested we start parking in a spot farthest away from the store (the PO, the library), and walk across the lot instead of circling for a space nearest the front door. He agreed.

Then we started taking stairs instead of elevators. After that, I’d make statements for myself, such as, “Oooh, you know what sounds really good to me for dinner tonight? Some grilled salmon and steamed broccoli.” Or “I could sure go for a yummy salad today.” Then it was just a meal suggestion, not a diet or deprivation.

Another thing we did was create a vision board together. We perused health magazines and cut out the bodies that best represented what we had in mind for ourselves and then glued pictures of our heads and faces over the model’s. It was an original “cut and paste” situation.

Cindia & Groom's vision board

Seeing ourselves the way we’d like to see ourselves on the vision board sent a powerful message to our subconscious minds, our higher selves, and the Universe that we were ready to shift our mindset, move our bodies, and allow a different version of ourselves.

Action and affirmations inspired Groom to lose the weight, and I’ve benefited from them as well since I definitely love to sip and snack.

Groom before losing weight
Groom after losing weight

Why affirmations?

A belief is simply a familiar thought. Thoughts are free, so choose the best ones and then get to know them. Practice thinking new thoughts until your body, mind, and spirit accept them. Once a thought is familiar, it becomes comfortable and safe.

Affirmations are a very powerful way to do this. They are simply positive thoughts which you repeat to yourself over and over until they become familiar and accepted. They have an amazing effect on your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is the part of your brain that controls your daily habits and automatic responses. 

Acorns and affirmations

Do acorns lie? ‘Cause one of these tough, leathery nut seeds identifying as an acorn is actually a future oak tree. It contains almost everything required to become a mighty oak, yet it depends on the soil where it’s planted.

The same is true for affirmations. Yet some people balk, saying that affirmations are lies and that they can’t speak something that’s false. Ha! People lie to themselves every day, for example, uttering, “I’m the clumsiest person on the planet.” Or, “I’m so ugly,” or “Nobody loves me.” You get the picture.

Pay attention to what you’re thinking or saying and how it makes you feel. Self-talk can be negative or positive, denying or affirming, repulsive or attractive. Which do you want more of in your life? Then go speak that into existence, making sure the quality of your soil where you’re planting your affirmation “acorns” supports the oak trees they’ll become. 

Visual reinforcement

Seeing positive affirmations paired with visual images on your fitness vision board gives your subconscious the message to change negative thought patterns around your body and shift into a fitness state of mind. Your vision board reminds you daily of the body you’re intending to have and can inspire you to go work out.

We are more powerful than we realize. It is through movement, activity, and exercise that we connect our spirit, brain, and body.

Click the button below to download some Printable Fitness Vision Board Statements for you to use on your own vision board.

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