Start Where You Want to End

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There’s this wonderful idea that I recently ran across – it’s the idea that you start where you want to end. It’s a beautifully simple idea, and one that provides powerful results, and yet most of us start at the beginning and hope we end up somewhere close to our goal.

Stephen Covey talks about this idea of beginning with the end in mind in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Martha Beck also talks about starting where you want to end in her book Steering by Starlight, both books are worth a read.

The concept is pretty simple. Imagine the goal you’ve set for yourself. It could be to lose 10 lbs, ask the boss for a raise or to start your own business. Whatever it is you want to achieve, imagine what reaching that goal is like. Studies show that if we can put our mind in the place we want to be, we get there more easily and consistently. If we can see ourselves reaching our goal – really believe it – we are less likely to give up and quit.

Not quitting is the difference between reaching your goals and not.

Start Where You Want to End

  1. Choose your goal – Decide what you want. This is extremely important because most of us don’t reach our goals because we don’t really know what we want. It’s important to get crystal clear on what you want.
  2. See it – Imagine what it is like to achieve your goal. If you want to lose 10 lbs what does that look like? Do you see yourself wearing clothing that shows off your hard work, maybe standing with more confidence? If your goal is to get a promotion what does that look like? Do you see yourself in a corner office? Maybe getting a promotion means having an assistance – what does he or she look like?
  3. Feel it – What does it feel like to reach your goal? Do you feel happy? Do you feel accomplished? Do you feel proud of yourself? Do you feel like there’s nothing you can’t do now that you’re reached your goal?

Odds are, when you’re imaging how you feel after reaching your goal, that you feel calm. There should feel a sense of peace and calmness if you’ve really taken the time to do this exercise. Now take that feeling – that sense of peace, calm and satisfaction, and begin your goal. What you’ll find is that instead of rushing into a project with a sense of fear, panic, anxiety, or any of the other scattered emotions we experience when starting or trying something new, you can calmly go about the business of getting things done. Even if you aren’t sure how you’re going to get the raise, or lose the weight, knowing you will will set you off in the right direction.

You’ll find that by having a mindset that starts at the end you’ll make smarter choices because you know intuitively how to proceed.

This is an exercise in faith above all else, but it works consistently. Give it a try, start at the end and see where it takes you.


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