#490 Begin Before You Begin

How to Transition to the New You

In our last +1, we talked about zambonis for your brain. Also known as naps. We added a Dan Pink-inspired addition of a cup of coffee right before to make it a nappuccino. (You try it out?! 🤠)

Let’s go back to Dan’s great book on the science of perfect timing for another gem. He talks about what science has to say about Optimizing our “Beginnings” + “Middles” + “Ends.”

Today we’re going to focus on some advice he gives related to “Beginnings.”

Imagine you get a big promotion and you’re starting a new job soon. That’s a big “Beginning.”

Here’s some advice Dan offers in that scenario: “Executive advisor Michael Watkins recommends picking a specific day and time when you visualize yourself ‘transforming’ into your new role. It’s hard to get a fast start when your self-image is stuck in the past. By mentally picturing yourself ‘becoming’ a new person even before you enter the front door, you’ll hit the carpet running.”

In short: You shift your self-image to the NEW you before you actually start that new position.

I like it. And, I say, let’s find ways to apply this wisdom to ALL “starts” we have in our lives—from the big ones (like a new job) to the micro-ones we make as we transition from one role to another all day every day.

Let’s start big. Then we’ll go small.

Big: Are you stepping into any new identities these days? Maybe it’s a healthier/more athletic you or a wiser, more patient parenting you or a more productive/successful creative you…

Pick one!

And, let’s combine this idea with Richard Wiseman’s wisdom from The As If Principle and ACT AS IF you’re that new version of yourself RIGHT NOW!! Visualize yourself with that new self-image and BE that version of you.


Micro: Now let’s talk about the tiny little transformations we all go through every day. I’m reminded of a recent chat I had with Phil Stutz. We were talking about ways to Optimize my relationship with Alexandra. As part of that, we identified the sub-optimal times.

Basically: The most challenging times tend to be the TRANSITIONS from the work day to the family time. The Tool Phil recommended I bust out of the Heroic toolshed and use every time?

He said I should TRANSFORM into the next version of me BEFORE I make the transition from work to family. I need to SEE it and then BE it. Letting go of the “old” me and stepping into the “new” me.

Today’s +1.

How about you?

Got any Big New You’s that can use some Optimization?

And how about the Micro New You’s?

Here’s to beginning before you begin.

All day. Every day.

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