By Tom Rohrer, PhD

When we were young, we all had goals and dreams we wanted to achieve. Unfortunately, as we age, we often begin to lose sight of those dreams or put them on the back burner. Fortunately, with a Compelling Future approach, you can regain your life’s vision and be back on the path to achieving your hopes and dreams.

What is a Compelling Future?

This is a question we often ask ourselves, but what exactly does it mean? In short, a Compelling Future is a mental representation of a future that you desire and are compelled to achieve! It is a goal that drives you — something you can’t or don’t want to live without attaining.

What is Your Compelling Future?

Ask yourself: What desired future do you want so much that you:

  • Will give up or reduce some of the other important things in your life to get it.
  • Will find a way to neutralized or adjust your negative concepts and stories that block you.
  • Will clarify the tasks, make a “done deal” commitment, and take the needed actions.

Finding Your Compelling Future

Let’s explore the steps to get you there. Write down your specific and detailed answers:

  • Describe your compelling future in detail.
  • Why are you compelled to achieve this goal?
  • What would be different if you were successful?
  • Where are you now in relation to your goal?
  • What will you have to give up to achieve it?
  • What is in your way?
  • What is your timeline for taking your first action step, other steps, and completion date?
  • What will you achieve in the next week? 90 days? Year?
  • When, where, for how long, and how often will you visualize achieving your goal?
  • How will you respond if you are falling short, losing motivation, or become stuck?
  • How will you set yourself up for success?

Making Your Compelling Future a reality

Make sure Your Compelling Future goal is precise and detailed. Experience it through all of your senses as if it is happening or has already happened. Write it down or make a recording of it so that you can:

  • Visualize your desired outcome
  • Hear yourself read or speak the words
  • Feel your emotions and body sensations

Fully experience your desired future coming true and take note of the environment and the time.

If you can live without achieving a specific goal, that’s fine. But if you can’t, why would you let anything get in your way? You don’t want to think back about what could have been or have regrets that you don’t chase your dreams. Remember, this is your life. You are on the biggest stage, and there aren’t any time-outs.

Structure Tension

This is the natural tension you feel when you experience your current reality (where you are now) and your future reality (where you want to be) simultaneously. Your concepts (it’s too hard) or stories (I’m not capable) about how you can’t achieve your goal must be neutralized or released. Fully experienced, this natural tension pulls you towards Your Compelling Future.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

What can you do — right now — to focus on Your Compelling Future and how much you want to achieve it? Here are some tips: Set future alarms, make notes on a calendar, and create a vision board. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as it will reconnect you with the future you want and the tasks to get you there.

Are You Ready

So are you ready to pursue Your Compelling Future? If you are ready, then set yourself up in structural tension and allow it to pull you into the future. Use the tips from this article to get yourself started. Reach out to Dr. Tom Rohrer if you need support. You deserve to have the life that you want.

Concepts: Your Compelling Future is from Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Structure Tension is from Robert Fritz. Setting Yourself-Up For Success is from the author, Tom Rohrer.

Dr. Rohrer is a Mental Performance Consultant and psychotherapist based in Colorado Springs. He works in person and with video conferencing, helping athletes, clubs, and teams to improve their performance.

“Creating The Future That You Want” by Tom Rohrer, Ph.D., LMFT, 719-494-4208,

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