Do You Focus on What You Want… or What You Don’t Want?


 Literally anyone: “”Hey, what do you want for dinner?”

Me (after months of keto): “I don’t want a bunless bacon cheeseburger.”

Have you ever asked someone what they want and they respond by telling you what they don’t want? 

One of the first things I do with my clients/students is find out what they want from the session and/or the program.

So often, we have to go through the list of everything they don’t want (“I don’t want to be fat,” “I don’t want to be broke,” “I don’t want a boss who micromanages”) before they begin identifying what they DO want (“I want to be able to shop anywhere and find cute clothes,” “I want to have money to splurge when I want to,” “I want to be my own boss”).

Sometimes, we get through everything they don’t want only to find they have no idea what they do want. More often than you might think, we get through the laundry list of everything they don’t want and it sounds like this:


Me: “Great! Now we know everything you don’t want. What is it that you do want?”

Them: “I don’t know.”

We have several key concepts in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), and one of them is this: You get what you focus on… so focus on what you want (not what you don’t want).

Not knowing what you want is part of why you’re not getting it, or at least not getting it consistently.

Your subconscious is powerful… and it needs clear directions. Tell it exactly what you want and it can help get you there. Don’t tell it, and it gets creative and may or may not take you somewhere cool. Focus it towards what you don’t want and it will take you to that. Yikes!!!


You mind, and ultimately YOU, functions based on the pictures you’re creating and it doesn’t process “not.” So when you day you “don’t want _____,” all it knows is the picture of _____.

Try this: Don’t think of a blue tree. Seriously, don’t think of a blue tree.

What happened?

Are you thinking of a blue tree? Did you see that blue tree pop up before it changed into something else?

This is why “Don’t eat the cookies” isn’t an effective weight loss strategy, btw.

This is also why vision / goal boards can help you stay focused on where you’re wanting your life to go.

Get clear on what you want in life. Make a list of all of the results you desire. And when you are focused on where you want to go, you’ll find yo-yo motivation is a thing of the past. More on that another time!

Drop a line below and tell me one of your big goals!



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