Sacrifice now for a future payoff: from weight loss programs to retirement funds, we tend to put a lot of focus on the end-goal. The problem is that, when we only focus on the end-goal, the journey can seem long and unfulfilling. This is exactly why most people never finish the whole cleanse and why so many millennial are sans 401Ks. 

Is it possible to reach the end-goal without sacrificing your present moment happiness? Of course it is, if you live life by design.

To live life by design, rather than by default, start with what you know: your end-goal.

For years you have wanted to lose 20 pounds – and keep it off. Your end goal is to reach and maintain your ideal weight. How do you make the journey of reaching your goal as fulfilling and fun as you expect your life will be once that happens? Answer the following questions to uncover the gold within your goals:

Question 1: What that will afford you – what, if you were at and maintained your ideal weight, would you do with your life?

Example Answer: You’d finally have the confidence to buy that sexy sexy red dress and start dating again.

Question 2: What would that afford you – what would dating lead to?

Example Answer: The opportunity to find a partner and share life with someone.

Question 3: What would having a partner afford you – what would you two do together?

Example Answer: We’d travel, we’d share ourselves with each other intimately, and we’d always have each others back.

Question 4: With a relationship like that…. using 4 words, how would you feel?

Example Answer: Adventurous, free, connected, supported.

Those 4 words are your golden nuggets of happiness. They shine a light on how you can enjoy your journey to your ideal weight while feeling fulfilled and joyful. At the end of the day you don’t just want to lose weight, you want to have adventures, feel free, connect with other humans and feel supported.

Armed with these golden nuggets, the final secret to living life by design is to take action do things daily that make you feel the way you want to feel.

For example, for:

Adventure – wear a bright color you don’t normally wear or check out a new part of town.

Freedom – take a trip or roll the windows down in your car.

Connection – strike up a conversation with a coworker or take your shoes off and plant your feet in the grass.

Support – reach out to a family member or wrap yourself in a blanket and call a friend.

This is how you make the journey just as fun and fulfilling as the destination. While it’s great to have goals, what most of us want more than anything is to be happy. To do so, live life by design rather than by default – take action daily to feel the way you want to feel.