What do you want?

We often start a change process thinking about what we don’t want. For instance:

  • I don’t want to be carrying excess body fat.
  • I don’t want to feel out of shape.
  • I don’t want to take all these medications.
  • I don’t want to feel unattractive and unsexy.
  • I don’t want to feel out of control of my eating.

That’s a good start. But it’s not exactly a clear action plan, is it?

You have to keep going from there to define what you do want.

How about this?

  • I want to be lean and healthy, with some solid dense bones and muscle.
  • I want to be in better shape — strong, fast, flexible, agile, physically capable.
  • I want to take fewer medications, or get off my medications entirely.
  • I want to feel like a stone cold fox.
  • I want to eat normally, intuitively, and sanely. I want to nourish my body with wise food choices.

Well, that feels way more inspiring.

It also starts to give us a blueprint for taking action.

The Destination Postcard

Imagine you could get a postcard from the future.

The postcard shows you exactly what you want to happen with your health and fitness journey.

It’s like “Future You” arrived at the destination and sent a postcard back in time to tell you what it’s like.

The Destination Postcard tells you what you want.

Not what you don’t want.

Today, come up with your Destination Postcard.

In a year from today, in an ideal world…

  1. Where do you want to be?
  2. What do you want to be doing?
  3. What do you want to feel?
  4. What adventures do you want to be having?

Don’t worry about how “realistic” this is right now.

Whether it’s climbing a mountain, biking across the world, going cliff diving, winning a competition, feeling like a ninja, or just fitting into your old pants… imagine who and where you could be one year from now.

Then capture that.

  • Clip photos. Make a Pinterest board. Put up a Carpe Diem calendar. Draw a picture. Call up a friend and make a ridiculous bet. Surf the web to find inspiration.
  • Find a little object that you’ll use on your adventures (e.g., snorkel, tropical vacation bottle opener, Conan-the-Barbarian-style broadsword, hockey puck, your kid’s picture, a sweatband, whatever) and set it by your computer as a reminder.
  • Write it down. You could even write a letter to your future self and get it delivered.

However you choose to envision your future one year from now:

Imagine it.

Capture it.

Have fun with it.

And make it just a little more real today.

Today, try making this task your “5-minute action”.

Spend a little time working on your Destination Postcard, then tick off your habit.

What to do today

  1. Think about what you DO want.
    If need be, start with what you don’t want… but then think about what your “don’t-want” implies.
    If you DON’T want to be out of shape… then you probably DO want to be in shape.
    If you DON’T want to be out of control of your eating… then you probably DO want to be making smart, conscious choices.
  2. End up with a list of “do-wants”… and toss that “don’t-want” list for good.
    Once you have your “do-wants”, you have your general action plan for this upcoming year.
    And once you’ve dumped the “don’t-wants”, you’ve stopped defining yourself by what you fear and avoid.
    Write down what you want, below.
  3. Create a Destination Postcard.
    Look at your “do-want” list and then… imagine. Where could you be in a year from now?
    Sky’s the limit! Be bold. Be brave. Be crazy. You’re only limited by your creativity.
    However you choose to represent your Destination Postcard (a picture, an object, writing it down, telling someone else about it, whatever):
    Imagine it.
    Capture it.
    Have fun with it.
    And make it just a little more real today.
  4. Once you’ve imagined your desired future, tick off your habit.

Write your Owner’s Manual

What DO you want by this time next year?

I want to be…

I want to do…

I want to feel…