A Thousand Before and After Pictures

That picture to the right is one of my “before” pictures. photo

I took it about a year ago last March, and when I looked at it shortly after I snapped it, I thought, “Huh. That’s weird. I’m a lot fatter than I think I am.”

Like all “before” pictures, it took a while for me to realize that it’s supposed to be the “before” and not the “now” picture. But we all get there eventually in our heads.

If I snapped a picture today, it would look like this:


Not much of a difference. You wouldn’t see it. Though I’m eating clean, going to the gym daily, have lost some weight, and all that jazz. I’m also not nearly satisfied. And that’s when it came to me.

We Need a Thousand Before And After Pics

If you’ve ever succeeded at anything in life, there’s a real fork-in-the-road moment that comes shortly thereafter. You can either rest on those laurels, or you can push onward. When Julien and I got the New York Times Bestseller nod in 2009, I knew that it was a fluke and I barely acknowledged it. I certainly include that in my bio everywhere I can, but I’m on the path to writing more books, and I’d like another New York Times betseller. If I’d settled for that one “after” pic of hitting the list, I know that I wouldn’t be happy with my life.

I ran and completed a trail marathon back in 2004. And then I barely did anything with fitness from Jan 2005 until a year or so ago. I certainly rode that “after” pic of me crossing the marathon finish line for a long time.

Make Today “Before”

Take wherever you are right now in life and make that the before picture. Who knows? Maybe you just did that recently. That’s close enough.

Capture the “After” and Then…

Then, once you have your “after” moment, leave it an after for two or three days. And then take a new “before.” Whatever project you’re doing, whatever matters to your success, make a new “before” picture for that.

I obviously don’t mean simply fitness and health. I mean whatever. If you’re excited you’ve got your first 1000 readers on your blog, aim for 5000, or 10,000. Or aim for a new direction that adds to that previous success. Make another “race” to run and start with a “before” snapshot.

After is Too Tempting to Enshrine

I can tell you this: my “after” photo for my fitness will be taken several times. My “after” photo for my writing career will go a long way. My next big project is a “before” picture right now, and I really can’t wait to share that after picture, years down the road.

It’s your turn. What’s your before? What’s your after? Share with me.

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