I’ve been really fortunate to have so many people willing to fill in to provide some awesome content while I’m away. Today is no different. Here’s a little sumthin, sumthin from my good friend Roger Lawson – 0r RogLaw as he’s more routinely called – calling people out on the most infamous word in fitness.
If we’re looking to push doing something off into the non-existent future then there’s no more comforting word that has ever existed; a panacea for all of life’s ills.
When it came to fitness, I was the most tomorrow-est dude in the history of the world. I would be sitting in the parking lot of McDonald’s, double fisting McChickens like I was born to do it, half consumed with self-loathing because I had yet again fallen off my eating plan, yet at the same time filled with a sense of satisfaction.
Yeah I goofed up, but on some level, in that moment, I could sink in and enjoy every last crispity, crunchity, delectable morsel with the knowledge that even though I could stop right there and there I didn’t have to and could enjoy eating whatever the hell I wanted until…
Tomorrow: the mythical land where I’m a billionaire, have legendary levels of self-control and Jennifer Lopez finally comes to her senses and realizes that I’m the man of her dreams.
The same happened with my workouts at times. I had the perfect set up, and if I missed a day or couldn’t get to the gym at my predetermined time, I turned a blind-eye to the large number of options that I had at my disposal to salvage the situation and offered my plans as sacrifice to the tomorrow Gods, absolving myself of any and all responsibilities.
You know what happened next? That’s right – pants off, Game of Thrones marathon on.
Tomorrowitis is a real disease that can afflict anyone at anytime if we’re not careful.
Here’s the crazy part about it all: there is no tomorrow.
It feels warm and fuzzy to think that there will be one, but mathematically speaking (and boy do I hate me some math) there are a finite amount of tomorrows left, and eventually there will come a time when we’re not part of one – and we never know when that day will come.
For all I know, right as I send this off to Tony, the house I’m writing from could explode in a fiery blaze from a gas leak (not likely) or dragon attack (very likely).
One thing that I’ve found to be extremely beneficial for my clients and myself is a gradual mindset shift, treating tomorrow not like a guarantee but more as a bonus. With that perspective, we’re much less likely to treat tomorrow as a closet that we toss the things we chose to put off doing today into.
Instead, it becomes an opportunity, something we GET to do.
A large part of why tomorrow seems so appealing is because it acts as a release valve for all the pressure and anxiety we have built up around having to be perfect right now AND in the future.
“Once I start this plan there’s no turning back, so I’ll start on Monday and have a last hurrah this weekend. Delicious food GET INSIDE ME!”
We’ve all been there. Monday is the “best” day to start a diet for a reason. Overcoming that initial momentum of not doing anything can be rough.
Enter the tip.
Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m talking about icebergs here.
Note from TG: Hahahahahaha. I get it. It took me a second, but I got it. Nice one Rog.
When looking at an iceberg, you’re seeing less than 10% – the tip – of what’s actually there. If you could see the entire thing, it would probably blow your mind to smithereens.
The same applies to your diet and training.
Free yourself from the daunting task of imagining the whole road ahead of you before you even take the first step and zoom in, choosing the simplest action that will bring you closer towards your objective, then do it.
Are you on the verge of abandoning your workout and eating plan for the day and majestically swan-diving into a tub of ice cream?
QUICK! What’s the easiest thing you can do to turn the tide of battle in your favor?
- Put your actual workout clothes on.
- Grab your music and turn on your favorite song.
- Do one push up (or any exercise for that matter).
- Insert your own awesome option here.
By making the next step you take so simple and easy that it doesn’t sound the alarms in your mind that cause you to become paralyzed by focusing on everything that lies ahead, you can build on that one action that left you feeling accomplished and let the momentum carry you to the next task.
You’ll pretty much be the fitness-dominating version of James Woods.