The Power of a Phrase: Until Now



Until now…


What a wonderful phrase, isn’t it?


It suggests an ending of a particular state of being, and hints of the promise of better days.


Until now, I’ve been a couch potato.


Until now, I’ve been afraid of public speaking.


Until now, I’ve been a smoker.


Until now, I’ve been a workaholic neglecting my friends.


Until now, I’ve been a worry-wart.


Until now, I’ve been a nag.


Until now, I drank every day.


Until now, I’ve been a control freak.


Until now, I’ve been cold and aloof towards my neighbor.


Until now, I’ve been afraid to travel alone.


And so on…


“Until now” puts the speaker in control of what happens after “until now”.   It delivers a resolute tone.  One hears of a certain conviction that from now on, things will be different.  In essence, better.


Of course, it’s not lost to any of us that the phrase can be used for less pleasant thoughts.


Until now, I’ve had the benefit of my dad’s advice…


Until now, I’ve been gainfully employed…


Until now, I’ve been Joe/Jane’s bestfriend…


These imply an ending too, and a start of something that may no longer be as appealing as one’s previous state.


Still, there is in the air, a lingering sentiment of the speaker’s desire, if not recognized ability, to influence what’s next, doesn’t it?  It’s as if the person is saying “Yes, that may be so… but I can do something about it now.”


I like this phrase “until now.”  I find it empowering.  I find that by using it, my mind is immediately focused on the possibility of a different predicament, the possibility of a better situation.


Whatever it is that might have been true yesterday does not mean it will continue to define us tomorrow.  


What about you


What “until now” statement(s) are you going to come up with?  What about coming up with an “Until Now” bucket list and filling it will the things about your current situation or circumstance that you want to redesign?


A version of this post previously appeared in Workxycodone.


Lou Blaser explores and writes about reinventing ourselves towards a more fulfilling life.  Visit her at

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