Sometimes it’s best to start at the end.

Think of the outcomes you desire and try this approach. It’s called “reverse engineering” and it works for all kinds of problem-solving.

Start by envisioning the desired outcome. Write it down, with as much explicit detail as possible. What will it be like? Are there sights, sounds, tastes, and smells associated with it? Will you feel happy, proud, relieved – all of these things?

Next, imagine the stage before you reach this outcome. What do you need at this second-to-the-last point in order to get to the finish line? The mystery’s detective might need a smoking gun, an eyewitness, or lab results to put the last pieces together.

Do that again for the previous step and so on… all the way until you get to the start, where you are right now.

Let’s consider the common goal of weight loss. Let’s say Sally wants to lose 20 pounds. She determines that a weekly rate of 1 to 2 pounds is healthy. That means it could take about 15 weeks to lose the weight – and now she can proceed with confidence and comfort, rather than racing at an unrealistic pace and then, inevitably, being frustrated.

A smart reverse-engineer might also include challenges along the way. For example, maybe Sally has a stressful deadline at work that’s right in the middle of those 15 weeks. Now, she can prepare for it.

She can even determine the first little step to take – because she knows in advance where it will lead.

No more guessing or disappointments.

If you need help with this or can’t figure out the precise steps, then you might want to consider hiring a coach to guide you, and I’m here to help.

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