“A year from now you will surely arrive, the question is ‘Where?'”

The above quote is the tag line for one of Anthony Robbins’ major programs, but it is a concept that all of us can apply to our lives.  Here are two quick stories from people who I know personally who have decided where they would like to arrive.

My friend Aaron runs for his life

A year ago, my friend Aaron weighed 375 pounds and faced questions about his long term health and the possibility of diabetes. He also was watching his three year old son grow up and wondering if he’d be able to keep pace with him.

“I knew I was fat,” Aaron told me one night. “I just didn’t think I could do anything about it.”

Faced with a dismal future, a future that he would certainly arrive at, Aaron decided he couldn’t NOT do anything about it.

First the sugared drinks went and then came a tentative walk around an abandoned subdivision site.

Aaron went public with his goal to lose weight on facebook and constantly invited friends to work out with him, either walking or lifting weights on Aaron’s porch. He blogged in amazement about the first time he had run in over a decade, moved up to walking/jogging a 5K, and later this year will host a 5K run to raise money for cancer research.

He claims his secret to weight loss is simple: “I’ve learned the secret to quick weight loss…just get really, really fat.”

Aaron actually has two REAL secrets — one long term and one short term.

The long term “secret” is that he has seen the future and knows that it will arrive and he wants to be carrying a lot less weight when it gets here.

His short term “secret” is that Aaron doesn’t think too much about the long term or focus on the days that he makes a mistake. His motto is “one meal at a time, one workout at a time.” Each meal that he is presented with, whether it is something well thought out of in advance or a pizza place that his friend takes him to, leads him to this question: “How can I eat healthy during this meal?” His “one workout at a time” approach is “When can I work out today?” and “Now that I’m working out, how far can I make this a good workout?”

In the last year, since Aaron started eating, walking, and running for his life, Aaron has been able to shed over 100 pounds during that time and he’s not done.

One of two Aaron’s could have arrived at this point in time, the 375 pound Aaron or the 275 pound Aaron and it was up to him to choose which one it would be.

My friend Mary

My friend Mary has always wanted to be a mid-wife and help other women as they navigate the process of pregnancy and childbirth.

Two years ago, she was a stay at home Mom with four kids including two under the age of five. For most, the idea of pursuing a career would be something for someone else to do or for another time in her life. None of us would have blamed her if she waited until the kids were out of the house or some other opportunity presented itself.

Unfortunately, for Mary, this was not the first time this desire had reared it’s head and, in the past, she had always decided to wait for “a better time”. This go around, she decided that now was the time to make a change.

She researched options at local colleges and found a place where she could initially get her RN degree and then progress to a degree in midwifery. Grant applications, scholarship applications, and requests for letters of recommendations opened up the door to school and Mary was soon on her way.

The whirlwind of exams, papers, study groups, prayer, and commuting has left her feeling overwhelmed at times and wondering if the whole experience is real.

Two years has gone by and Mary has arrived in the future. In May, she will graduate with a nursing degree and a clear vision to arrive at her final occupational destination (a degree in midwifery). She still would have arrived at this point in TIME either way, but by pursuing her degree, she is two years closer to living her dream rather than just wondering about it.

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