In a professional story, the Scriptwriter writes the story. He or she is the one who makes the first decision about what genre or type of story the actors will portray. He or she decides the major elements of the plot, how it’s going to unfold, and what the ending is going to look like.
In the upcoming book I take individuals through a process where they start to look ahead and say, “What do I really want this life to look like? What kind of life do I really want before I die?” I share some data. Briefly, some of the things people typically want are: loved ones, time with family and friends, social relationships, fitness and health, hobbies, and, of course, enough money to live comfortably. International surveys of tens of thousands of individuals generally get the same results. Bottom line, we all generally want the same things. For this project I’ll presume you’ve chosen the goal of “getting in shape”. So we’ll skip ahead.
In professional storytelling, incidentally, we refer to this early phase of a project as the pre-production phase – planning out what’s going to be done and how. Since you’ve chosen “getting in shape” as your goal, I need you to script that out a bit more. What are you hoping to accomplish within the next seven weeks or so? Is it weight loss? Inches off your waist? More strength or endurance? Is it eating more healthfully? Whatever your goal is, take the time to write it down – and add sub-goals – and sub-sub-goals. Be as specific as you can. It’s important that you know when you’ve hit your goal, so pick at least one or more things that are measurable, if possible. You may decide to go to another self-improvement project when you’ve hit your goal, or continue on with a slightly modified, more rigorous “getting in shape” goal.
(This is an excerpt from my upcoming book “How to Get in Shape! (for Life)”. Look for it on Amazon in January of 2013.)