Does this take me closer to or further from the mountain?

-Neil Gaiman (paraphrased by Dr. Benjamin Hardy)

picture of woman with outstretched arms looking towards the sun

Like many of my recent posts, this one is repurposed from my weekly newsletter.

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Theme: you’re creating you future Self’s reality right now

I just finished reading Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation by Dr. Benjamin Hardy, and though I struggled through the first two-thirds of it, the end is gold! I’m so glad I finished it.

This book is essentially about holding a vision of who your future Self is and what her life is like, and then becoming that person now.

While this is more or less aligned with stuff I’ve blogged about before, Hardy takes things further by emphasizing the importance of prioritizing only what’s absolutely essential and focusing on SMART goals that align with these priorities. [Note that I don’t recall him actually calling them SMART goals.]

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

As I’ve shared before, I’m less about goal-setting and more about taking turtle steps towards a greater vision. But the totality of Hardy’s approach helped me see how I could bring my vision to life more efficiently were I to borrow from it. 

And so, I spent some time reflecting on how I could integrate his approach into my own. I’ll share what I came up with in a moment.

But first…

Here are the chapter titles that outline Hardy’s process:

  • Step #1: Clarify Your Contextual [present day] Purpose
  • Step #2: Eliminate Lesser Goals
  • Step #3: Elevate from Needing to Wanting to Knowing
  • Step #4: Ask for Exactly What You Want
  • Step #5: Automate and Systematize Your Future Self
  • Step #6: Schedule Your Future Self
  • Step #7: Aggressively Complete Imperfect Work

These seven chapter titles are effectively bullet points for creating a more fulfilling and vision-fueled life, so I invite you to borrow from them heavily.

This newsletter isn’t intended to be a book report, so I’ll leave it at that. But I do want to briefly share how I’ve begun integrating its wisdom into my own life, and how I intend to integrate it into client work.

Integration into my own life

I dove a little deeper into my vision of my future Self in 10 years. Once I had a vivid picture of who I am and where my life will be at then, I set three priorities to focus on over the next 12(ish) months. [In 12 months, I’ll revisit where I’m at and recalibrate accordingly.]

Once I had my three priorities, I set some SMART goals for each and mapped them out using turtle steps. Normally I wouldn’t approach either goals or turtle steps this way, but doing so offered me a new path forward. So why not?!

I then evaluated all of the “important” and “urgent” and “wasteful” activities I’ve previously (and often unintentionally) prioritized and asked myself whether focusing on them would – as the quote I shared goes – take me closer to or further from the mountain, the future Self that I envision. If they take me further from the mountain, they’re gone.

Of course, I’m giving myself grace to do this imperfectly. This isn’t about burning the candle at both ends or being all revved up Tony Robbins-style. 

And there’s stuff I’m leaving out. For example, I’ve begun praying daily as both an expression of gratitude and to explicitly ask for what I want. I’ve reviewed my systems for areas of improvement. I’m still figuring out my optimal scheduling mechanism. And I’m still trying to define what this whole “aggressively complete imperfect work”(step 7) looks like…if it’s even necessary or aligned.

At the end of the day, it’s my life, and I’m going to do things my way. But I’m excited to see how integrating some of Hardy’s approach into my days and greater plan pays off.

Integration with Wayfinding clients

Wayfinding with me has always involved checking in with your inner compass, so it’s not a stretch to incorporate a future Self check-in as well. There are so many fun directions we can go with this! 

One of my favorite things to do with 1:1 clients or in certain circles is a journeying meditation to meet your future Self. Integrating some of the elements in Hardy’s approach both during the journey and the debrief will make the experience richer. 

Additionally, I see opportunities when it comes to goal-setting and identification, dealing with overwhelm, approaching turtle steps, and so much more.

The takeaway for you

The quick and dirty is that I’m inviting you to explore how you can show up in your life now in a way that is congruent with who you want to be in 10 years. And, I’m inviting you to also explore what you can eliminate in your day-to-day so that you can focus your energies on doing the things that will get you there.

If you envision yourself being physically fit with amazing mobility, what do you need to do today to ensure that you’re physically fit with amazing mobility in 10 years?

If you envision yourself having the world’s most amazing job, what would it behoove you to do today to pave the way for you to be in the world’s most amazing job in 10 years?

I also invite you to listen to the free ​journeying meditation​, where you meet your future self. It hasn’t been updated for a while, but it’s still super relevant. [Actually, it’s freaking awesome!]

And finally, if you’d like to explore your future Self through 1:1 Wayfinder Coaching, let’s hop on an exploratory call! Click here to ​schedule a call​ or here to ​learn more​.

That is all.