The existence of tomorrow is the biggest hurdle many of us face in achieving our dreams and accomplishing our goals.
This may be due to active procrastination – why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
But it can also be well-meaning, or at least unintentional. Waiting for ‘inspiration to strike,’ for example.
Annie may be a fan of tomorrow (after all, it is when the sun will come out), but I know when I’ve fallen short of my goals, or when I’ve done less than I know I could’ve, it’s usually because of what I was sure I’d get done tomorrow.
As I Lay Me Down To Sleep…
I often have the grandest of intentions as I go to bed at night.
Tomorrow I’ll buckle down, wake up early to start that project, workout for 30 minutes, start training for the next big event.
Tomorrow I won’t get sucked into the little time wasters and dramas that keep me from accomplishing what I really want to accomplish.
In almost every case, tomorrow doesn’t go any differently. I hit the snooze one too many times, I get stuck in the cycle of responding to other people’s priorities and not having enough time for my own.
I’ll have no more interest in facing that difficult project tomorrow than I did today.
When tomorrow comes, I’ll indulge in the same desire for comfort that kept me from acting today.
As the day closes, I’ll again say to myself… Tomorrow.
Lies We Tell Ourselves About Tomorrow
I’ll Have More Time
No, you won’t.
Even if your calendar is empty now, it won’t stay that way. Things will come up, emergencies (or more often “emergencies”) will arise, and your day will fill up with the same sort of to-dos that filled up today.
You’ll be just a busy tomorrow.
You just may not know it yet.
I’ll Be More Dedicated (or I’ll Be More Inspired)
Does this sound familiar? “I wasn’t in the mood to workout (or eat better, or not eat sugar, or start that side project) today. But tomorrow… tomorrow, I’ll totally knock it out the park!”
Maybe you are one of the rare people who can do this, but the odds are stacked against you.
I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve gone to bed thinking that tomorrow… tomorrow I’ll finally get started with…
But then tomorrow will turn into tomorrow, which will turn into tomorrow.
You have no reason to (realistically) think you’ll be more inspired tomorrow than you are right now.
You’ll Have A Tomorrow
OK, I’ll admit this one is a little morbid, even for me.
But true none the less.
No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, or a next month, or a next year. There are those stories about people who put off their dream trip to France until retirement only to get cancer or die in some freak accident in the days or weeks before retirement.
Sure it’s usually a trope in the movies, but it still illustrates the point.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
What To Do
There is nothing magical about tomorrow.
Do it today.
If you ever find yourself thinking: ‘I’ll do something tomorrow,’ replace it with: ‘I’ll do it right now!’
‘Tomorrow I’ll spend an hour working on that side project I’ve always wanted to start.’ No. Put down what you are doing right now and do it now. (Not that I don’t appreciate you checking out my site and being a reader of my posts, but this is time you could be spending actively making your dreams come true.)
If it’s good enough for tomorrow, It’s good enough for today.
Plan Tonight For Tomorrow
For the sake of this single argument, I’ll believe that you can’t take action today and that you will do it tomorrow.
Before your head hits your pillow tonight, plan – specifically – what you are going to do tomorrow.
Not generally (I’m going to work on that blog I’ve always wanted to start), but specifically (I am going to make a list of 5 possible blog post titles).
What are you going to do (do – as in a verb – what specific action are you going to take?)
It was waaaay to easy to put off the general. It can be harder to ignore a very specific and detailed to-do item.
You Have A Year To Live…
This is an over-used exercise, but it can still be helpful.
Consider how you would spend your time if you only had a year to live.
I find a year is a good length of time for this exercise. Any shorter (if you knew you’d die tomorrow…) and it can be hard to get in the mindset of considering longer-term plans. But you can get a lot done in a year, you just can’t keep waiting for tomorrow to arrive.
What about you? What lies do you tell yourself about tomorrow?