Do You Have Something To Look Forward To?

Coming SoonThis time of year it’s fun to remember the Christmases when my kids were young, and I’d venture many of us can recall similar experiences—whatever holiday they were part of. The night before, each of them would be practically leaping out of their own skin in excitement. Falling asleep was a near impossibility as they laid in their beds anticipating the next morning—finding the cookies they’d left for the man in red (with carrots for the reindeer) half-eaten, seeing the colorful wrapped gifts under the tree, wondering what new and fun thing they’d be creating fantastical scenarios with. It was their giddy, animated exhilaration that was so fun to observe—their imaginative suspense about how it would all reveal itself. When was the last time you felt anything close to that in your life? When was the last time you really looked forward to something—felt the thrill of anticipation?

Too often, I think, we relegate true, heady enthusiasm to childhood as if we should be beyond that level of emotional engagement by the time we’re old enough to vote, get a mortgage and pay taxes. Life at that point, we assume, becomes about responsibility and security more than lofty visions. For those with children, it might feel even more of a duty to relinquish “our turn” with exhilaration—to unconsciously pass down and pass on the anticipatory fantasies so we can focus on grounding “real” life with all the practical necessities for our families.

And, yet, I think we do ourselves an injustice when we do so.

Because I think it’s essential at every age to have something to look forward to. Some even say it’s the key to happiness.

I’m not talking about the graspy, stubborn entitlement that convinces us we deserve X, Y or Z and that life won’t be worth living without any or all of the above. I’d personally file that mindset under immaturity.

What I do mean is continually risking a vision in life. We don’t give up the right to ask for what we want—let alone to dig in and realize what that even is—the day we declare ourselves (or society defines us) as adults. And, sure, we can “want” a given material thing (and, man, does the outside culture relentlessly push that this time of year!). While there’s nothing at all inherently wrong with that, I’m really talking about a grander ambition here.

When we were young, those “sugar plum” visions (e.g. chocolate snowmen, Legos, Light Brite or whatever it was for you) was enough to fuel hours of fantasy. What would make life genuinely more fulfilling, more exciting, more enriching, more breathtaking for you at this point in your adulthood?

Typically, most people have things they’ve always wanted to experience, that they’ve put off for one reason or another, that they always considered out of reach. And, yet, part of them sits at that toy shop window, peering in at the display that showcases that something they’ve always pined for. What is it that keeps you looking and wondering?

What would give you something new to live and work for—beyond the daily diligence toward basic security? Is it taking the trip of a lifetime? Is it being in top shape? Is it losing 40 pounds? Is it moving into the new career field you’ve always wanted—or going back to school? Is it taking back your health from chronic pain or fatigue? Is it having more time with your family or moving to a new destination that offers you more of the lifestyle you want?

As we head into the holidays this week, take some time to think about that for yourself. Give yourself what I would call the gift of intention—of something to look forward to. And if that vision has anything to do with health, vitality, fitness or fulfillment, keep our upcoming 21-Day Challenge (that starts January 11th) in your back pocket—and stay tuned for more directions, guidance, contests, prizes and more. A great way to begin a new year—and a new vision if I do say so myself.

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you share what you are looking forward to this coming year. Enjoy your week and celebrations.

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

17 thoughts on “Do You Have Something To Look Forward To?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Great post! I’ve been embracing the primal concept of ‘fun’ more this year, for the first time ever, and am so thankful to Mark’s Daily Apple for really driving home how important this is.

    To that end, I’ve started taking burlesque lessons and performing – it’s like grownup dressup and the classes, workshops and performances are definitely something to look forward to! This from a 47 old woman who is decidedly not what most people would traditionally think of as a burlesquer. Don’t care, it’s so fun am doing it anyway and am having a blast!

  2. Ive been “primal” for a long time now. Ive overcome obesity , horrible digestive problems, anxiety etc. When battling bad health i always had new solutions to look forward to. Maybe this will work cant wait to try it! Now that im healthy, its difficult to find new challenges health wise. This time of year however is fun because now the challenge is to survive the holiday season being as primal as possible. Health however is something that your supposed to have that way you can experience other things that life has to offer. My family/friends, my videogames/movies, my job, travelling… these are all things that make up my life, and having optimal health allows me to experience my life to its fullest potential.

  3. I’m looking forward to a wonderful shift early in the new year–my husband and I are moving from Florida to Colorado. We’d been planning this…but decided, only a few months ago, sooner was far better than later.

    As a rather new, rather disgruntled transplant here in Florida, I’m soooo looking forward to a return to life with seasons…and a winter with snow.

    I’m also giddy over living in a smallish community again…having a home in a neighborhood and space for a garden…being able to walk to a cute cafe, used bookstore, tea shop and food co-op. Really, can’t wait!

    1. As a Floridian myself, your dream sounds wonderful! My husband has started dreaming of a small town in Wyoming! Why? He likes the sound of it. And I can honestly say I love the idea of trading in some of this Christmas heat for jeans, flannels & cowboy boots. ???? Oh, and a roaring fire too!
      While we can’t move at the moment, it is still fun to dream! Who knows what opportunities may await us?

  4. For the first time, I am actually enthusiastic about where I am today and where I think I might be going in the future . So grateful for all of the information, advice, and community support I’ve received here. Happy Holidays!

  5. Merry Christmas Mark to you and your wonderful family! Thanks for the wonderful and inspiring post and I look forward to an incredible 2016 of your insightful posts and the inspiration from your site ????

  6. When I asked myself this question I recognized that I have many things to be grateful for; I am in the career I want to be, live where I want to live, am fit and healthy. And, what I most look forward to is being able to work less so that I have time for slowing down, playing more, having space in a day for creativity to flourish. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

    1. Ironically, when I went to submit this comment, I got a message that said “you are posting comments too quickly, slow down.” 🙂

  7. Wow, this was a thought provoking post! I am looking forward to expressing myself more in the upcoming year. I’ve had the health and fitness thing dialed in for a long time. This year I pushed past my fears and started a blog. It was hard “putting myself out there” at first but now I love the creative outlet it provides. I also love that I am inspiring people to build healthy habits. Now that I have the blog up and running, I am excited to continue to grow it and push past some other fears as well.

  8. Such a good message! Our family has so much to be thankful for, and to look forward to.
    A Happy New Year to all…..and may we all GROK ON!! in joy.

  9. i tutor students after my regular teaching hours. they were already keyed up from sitting for hours in school, so i said we should all go to the gym and just run around for 15 minutes before the official start of tutoring. so we did that, and it was fun- i was sprinting along with the kids in my closed heel clogs. then one of the kids brought a basketball. i said we could take a break from our 2 hour tutoring midway through. well, we played a 20 minute game of basketball, and i was running all our the place stealing the ball, trying to do picks, shooting, blocking (they are middle school kids, so not to tall). and i was doing this in my closed heel clogs again like a dummy!! now i have a sore knee, but i had so so so much fun that my goal is to lose more belly fat to take some of the load off my knees so i can have more of this type of fun in the future. i am 50, so i need to be more careful. also, my daughter wants me to run a 5k with her, which means she will be with me instead of her boyfriend, so that’s good!! anyway, i am motivated more than ever to be in even better shape so i can continue to do fun stuff!!

  10. What is it that keeps you looking and wondering?
    Where are the people excited for societal improvements??