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Past Focus vs Future Focus (optional video)

Your past experiences DO NOT predict your future

More often than not, we use our past against us. “You haven’t done it before, so what makes you think that you can do it now?” asks our inner mean-girl.

For everyone who has been successful at losing weight, there has been a string of failed attempts, but there has always been one final time that they’ve been successful. Remember that.


All right, so in this video, I want to talk about the concept of past focus versus future focus. And when we’re talking about past focus versus future focus, it’s not something that we normally really think about. The idea is that many of us, use our experiences in our past in order to predict, what’s going to happen in the future?

This happens with dieting all the time, right? So, we go on a diet, we fail, we go on a diet, we fail, we go on a diet, we fail. And then, what happens is it becomes this recurring theme, right? That when we go into the next diet, we’re like, “oh, well, I’m not sure that I’m going to succeed because I didn’t do well on these last three diets. Okay?

Not thinking that the reason that we failed on the diets has nothing to do with us, but maybe the diet wasn’t right for us. And what I want to suggest is that for everyone who’s ever tried to lose weight, there has always been one time, they have been successful and that they have never had to go on another diet again. Okay? This is your opportunity for this to be the very last thing. Okay?

Now, when we’re talking about past focus versus future focused. When we’re children, we are always thinking about the future, right? When we’re children, we are constantly like, as we’re babies, we’re trying to walk. And as we walk, we’re thinking about kindergarten. And when we’re in kindergarten, we’re thinking about first grade, and we’re thinking about middle school, and we always want to be more and more and more.

When we’re in high school, we think about college, college. We think about after college getting our own apartment, and getting a new job, and getting married, and having kids. And then, at some point, it’s like, we stop thinking about the future and we start living in the past.

And there’s this really great exercise. I don’t have a worksheet for it, but you can do it. And what you do is just take out a piece of paper and put a continuum on the piece of paper. Just write a line, over on one side is zero. And on the other side is however old you expect to live to. Okay?

So, use your parents or grandparents as a marker of how old you might be when you die. Okay? I know that sounds kind of morbid. But what we’re doing here is we’re creating a continuum, a timeline of where you are on that timeline.

So, if we start with zero and my dad is turning 90. And so, at 53, I’m somewhere in the middle of that. When we look at all of our accomplishments that we’ve done up until this point, so many of us have this idea that we’re old and that we can’t do something new. And what I want to suggest is that we have an entire another life that we can go ahead and accomplish amazing and fantastic things.

So, what are those things that you want to accomplish? Like, when you’re 80 years old, what do you want to tell your grandchildren? What kind of life do you want to have? There’s a great saying that says, “many of us overestimate how much we can accomplish in the short term and underestimate how much we can accomplish in the long-term.” And what I want to suggest here is that we have so much that we can accomplish. That time is going to pass. Why not use it for something that we want?

And if weight loss is something that you want to be done and over with, let’s get it done. Let’s think about that 80 year old version of yourself, who has accomplished weight loss, who isn’t thinking about it anymore, who isn’t thinking about food. None of us want to be thinking about that anymore.

And so, what is it that you want to accomplish in life and how your body and weight loss is such an unimportant part of that legacy that you’re going to leave? So, this goes back to module two, when we were talking about goals and vision setting. It also goes back to module four, where we were talking about beliefs and commitment.

And so, what legacy do you want your life to be? And let’s go after it. We can do anything, and we can use our past as proof that there’s always been a time that we’ve done something for the first time. We don’t have to use our past failures as evidence that we aren’t going to accomplish something in the future.

What we can do is we can look at those past failures and really evaluate, why is it that that didn’t work out? Again, go back to those past experiences and figure out, what was it that wasn’t working for me? Why did I not continue on that? What was it that I learned? And what was it that I want to take with me from that experience?

And so, we can really use our past as a place for curiosity for our future accomplishments. Right? So, go out and dream big. Decide, what it is that you want to do in the future? All right? That’s all I have for you in this video.

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