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“Why Visualization works” with Author Jaclyn DiGregorio

The top three habits I would recommend for wellness are goal setting, visualization and reading. One example of goal setting is my daily practice of writing down my goals each morning. For visualization, I would recommend you take a few minutes to imagine your life as you want it to be. If you want to […]

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The top three habits I would recommend for wellness are goal setting, visualization and reading. One example of goal setting is my daily practice of writing down my goals each morning. For visualization, I would recommend you take a few minutes to imagine your life as you want it to be. If you want to land a better job, imagine receiving a call with the job offer. If you want to grow your business, imagine the sales coming into your bank account. Visualization works because it trains your brain to look for opportunities to create the success you desire. Finally, for reading, I recommend you read books that are aligned with your specific goals. For example, if you want to become a millionaire, read books about money mindset and investing.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jaclyn DiGregorio.

Jaclyn DiGregorio is a life coach, motivational speaker and best-selling author of Stop Getting in Your Own Way. Jaclyn is passionate about helping people create the life they truly desire. At age 21, Jaclyn started her first business from her dorm room at Georgetown University. Today, she has spoken at over 100 corporations, conferences and universities across the United States, and she is a Tedx speaker. Jaclyn has been featured by Forbes, Elite Daily, Bustle and Washington Business Journal, and her book has been featured on Good Morning Washington.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in a small town just outside of Philadelphia. When I was a kid, I actually wanted to be a fashion designer. I lost interest in fashion in high school and was more driven towards business, which is what I studied in college.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

After pursuing an internship in Corporate America, I quickly realized that corporate marketing was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided to instead pursue entrepreneurship. I figured there was no better time to start a business than when I was young and had nothing to lose.

I started my business during my senior year of college, and I tried many different things before I found my way to what my business is today. I created a product that failed and an app that failed three times. Finally, I found my way to motivational speaking and coaching, and somewhere in the middle I wrote two books!

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I’m so grateful to my amazing parents for always encouraging me to follow my dreams, whatever they may be. As a kid, my dad always told me “you can do anything you put your mind to.” I believe that much of my success is a result of that self-confidence that was instilled in me at a young age.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I made many mistakes over the course of building my business. The biggest lesson for me was that my failures were guiding me to where I was meant to be.

If you went back in time and told my childhood self that I would become a life coach, speaker and author, I would probably be very confused. I had never heard of a life coach, and I didn’t even know that speaking could be a career.

The many mistakes I made with launching a failed product and a failed app, led me to this beautiful career I am leading now. Trust that your challenges are failures are serving you and leading you to where you are meant to be, just as mine did!

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

My biggest piece of advice is not to focus on your big goals but instead, just take the next step. I talk about this concept in my Tedx talk, where I share the story of running a marathon and wanting to give up in the middle of the race.

But then I had a breakthrough, I didn’t need to think about the next 14 miles. All I needed to think about was the next step.

The way to achieve big audacious goals is one step at a time. All humans crawl before they walk and walk before they run. Give yourself grace and celebrate every step along the way. And remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination. How can you make the most of crawling? How can you fall in love with walking? It’s not just about running.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Reading has been one of the most important tools in my success toolbox. I highly recommend reading every single day. Just as your body needs food to give it energy, your brain needs positive, inspiring content to give it motivation.

While there are many books I’ve enjoyed, one of my favorites is The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. I read this book when I had been working on my business for about 2.5 years and had seen very little progress. After reading Gabby’s book, I felt a newfound sense of trust that I was exactly where I was meant to be.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My favorite life lesson is a Wayne Dyer quote. He says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So many people think they will be happy when their circumstances change, but the truth is, they have it backwards. It’s your thoughts about your circumstances that create your happiness (or unhappiness).

When you finally change those thoughts, the circumstances change. Why? Because our thoughts create our words. Our words create our actions, and our actions crate our circumstances.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’ve just started working on my third book. It’s inspired by the quote I shared above. I know it will deeply help lead happier and more successful lives.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Have you ever gotten in your car, started driving somewhere you often go, and arrived at the destination without really remembering how you got there? This is how we live most of our lives, on autopilot. And it is our habits that program the direction our car will move in.

If you have a specific destination in mind, you create habits that set you up to actually arrive at that specific destination. Think of your habits as a GPS. With good habits that set you up for success, you’ll arrive at your destination in no time!

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits have been a huge factor in my success. The most important habit I developed was a morning routine that set my day up for success. In my morning routine, I start the day by moving my body. It helps me feel good physically and mentally. Then, I consume positive content. I like to listen to a podcast or an audiobook while I prepare breakfast. Finally, I journal on the things I’m grateful for and the goals I’m working towards. This routine sets me up for success because it helps me start my day feeling good and it reminds me of where I am going, so the decisions I make throughout the day will be in alignment with my goals.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I recommend starting small. If you’ve never exercised before, it might be a big jump to start working out six days a week. Start where you are, because where you are is exactly where you’re meant to be.

Another helpful tip is to drop the all or nothing mindset. If you missed one workout, it doesn’t mean you should skip working out all week. Be patient with yourself and understand that building habits takes time.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

The top three habits I would recommend for wellness are goal setting, visualization and reading. One example of goal setting is my daily practice of writing down my goals each morning. For visualization, I would recommend you take a few minutes to imagine your life as you want it to be. If you want to land a better job, imagine receiving a call with the job offer. If you want to grow your business, imagine the sales coming into your bank account. Visualization works because it trains your brain to look for opportunities to create the success you desire. Finally, for reading, I recommend you read books that are aligned with your specific goals. For example, if you want to become a millionaire, read books about money mindset and investing.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Habits need a trigger. A trigger is basically a reminder that it is time to do the thing you said you were going to do. So, for example, my trigger to exercise is waking up and seeing my workout clothes sitting on my bedside table. Once I see those clothes, I know it’s time to put them on and go workout. Habits also need a reward, or something that make you feel good, that way you feel motivated to stay committed to the habit, even when things get hard.

With exercise, the reward for me is the way I feel afterwards. I feel relaxed and energized. Depending on what your habit is, you may want to give yourself a reward that makes you feel good afterwards. For example, after your visualization, you buy yourself your favorite smoothie.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

One good habit that leads to optimal performance at work is using affirmations to build self-belief. You can say these affirmations out loud or in your head each day. Some examples of affirmations include, “I can do anything I set my mind to.” “I am capable of accomplishing any task that comes across my desk.” “I am a team player.” “I am incredibly talented in my field.” You can customize these affirmations for any area of your life that you want to build self-belief in.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Again, I always go back to morning routine. If you do it in the morning, you’ve already completed the tasks that set you up for success when your day gets busy. Often times, when you put off things like exercise or journaling, you never end up doing it later in the day because things “come up.”

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

Rest actually leads to focus. I’m a huge believer in work-life balance and clean rest. Take time off. Relax. Take time to feel refreshed. When you do so, you will naturally feel more focused when you return to work.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

One practice that can help with rest is intentionally scheduling it into your calendar, that way you have no choice but to take time off!

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

Say yes to the things that light you up inside. Trust your intuition to guide you to where you are meant to be. Don’t be afraid to move away from the things and people that are no longer serving you. The more you listen to your “gut feeling” the closer you get to that state of flow.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I want to inspire people to take control of their life and stop settling for anything less than amazing. Remember that everything starts in your thoughts and no matter what your circumstances are, you have the power to choose better thoughts, which then create a ripple effect for changing your words, actions and circumstances.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I’d love to have lunch with Kathrin Zenkina! I interviewed her on my podcast, Spark Your Light, and I also had the honor of being on her podcast a few months back. She is a wealth of knowledge and I love learning from her.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can go to my website www.jaclyndigregorio.com or follow me on instagram @jaclyndigregorio

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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