At the tender age of 50, I have decided to return to the academic world and become a student once more. My future IS a reality. I no longer say, “Will be”, I say, “Is”. This newfound space that I am in is a result of putting my life on hold, waiting until the perfect moment would arrive: when I have enough money, when the kids leave home, until I leave my job, until, until, until…. I’m sure all of you can relate when I say I have procrastinated and made excuses for years about why I could not accomplish a goal, a dream, a passion. The excuse list is unlimited and has stopped me dead in my tracks from living my dreams. Well, here I am, 50 years old and finally “getting it”. Until is here now.
One of the things I’ve learned along my journey is that all the books, life coaching, pre-packaged videos, cd’s, and “how to’s” on becoming this or that were simply all about making my future the present by focusing on it being here now. I also learned through procrastinating that until I choose to see my goal as here and now, and being an active participant in that goal now, I wouldn’t reach it. The future is never here; the present is all that is here now.
What we project out into the universe is what we get. Our thoughts become our actions. When we say, “will be”, we set ourselves up for an infinite time to reach our goal. By saying it “is” here and now – our thoughts and actions reflect being in our process now.
Visualizing is a great place to start – see yourself actually doing or being what you want now – I am, not I will be. Focus on the steps to reach your goal and take action now. Lay out your plan of action step by step. Be very detailed in your steps and keep your mind focused on these steps day in and day out.
Use the format of four simple questions: What, When, How Often, For How Long as guidelines to a goal. These questions define exactly what you are committed to doing. They are the catalyst to turning your thoughts into actions. For example, “I want to lose weight” is a very open ended goal. Be specific and answer the four questions. What? “I am losing weight by walking”. When? “after dinner”. How often? “3 times a week”. How long? “20 minutes”.
These statements clearly define the actions that you are taking to reach your goal. This simple tool can be used for any goal. Keep it realistic though; you don’t want to sabotage your own plan by setting unrealistic goals. If it’s a large goal, break it down into bite-size pieces for success.
Funny thing is, it’s not rocket science. It’s a pretty simple concept that Olympic athletes use in their training and competitions. But what stops most of us from doing it? I believe we hold ourselves back with negative self talk, excuses, and feedback from others, like “you’re too old”, “you’ll never reach your goal”, “it’s too late”, it’s too expensive”, “are you crazy?”.
It’s rather exciting that I now “get it”. I’m not going to beat myself up for the past, the past is gone and all that is here is the present. Nothing is going to hold me back any longer. My future is here now and my thoughts and actions are getting me there every day.
Give it a shot, today was your future yesterday and tomorrow will be your future today. All that we do in the present, is our future.
Peggy volunteers her time with CMHA, Crisis Society and Centre for Healthy Relationships. She lives in Yellowpoint with her husband, dog and three cats.