We wish the days away. I do it too, but I’m trying to be better about that now, and life is looking up.
I was telling people in July that Christmas was almost here and people looked at me like a wide-eyed lunatic. And now the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, the cider is brewing, and so is the snow.
And here I am, silently singing the humble tune “I told you so.”
Our days here are limited, and a lot of the time, more limited than we expect. Most often, that’s not because we become involved in a freak accident. Usually, we spend our days wishing for Friday or the next holiday, and our nights reminiscing how we peaked in high school, or dreading the long work day we have tomorrow.
Our time is limited. And the more time we spend in any moment other than the present, the more time controls us and keeps looking forward (or back) when the good stuff is here: opportunity lies at your feet, rolling over, waiting for you to pet its belly. Oxygen in the air. Hearts that beat and hands to hold, well… They’re everywhere.
Sometimes the present moment is the hardest to pay attention to because we’re either so worried about the future or so caught up in the past that we can’t think to look at anything else.
We don’t even notice that our habits start with what we are doing now, and that’s it.
No, we don’t notice the sunset or the grass or the drawings our children make… Just the things we’ll start doing tomorrow.
“Don’t worry, child, we’ll go to the park tomorrow.”
“I’ll go to your next game, how bad that Bud?”
“Today I’m going to stop eating like garbage. Nevermind… We’ll start tomorrow. I have to grocery shop anyway.” *Goes to grocery store the next day, buys the same old junk*
Here are a few ways to help overcome that “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” Syndrome. Let’s get ahead of the New Year.
1. Start a new routine. Preferably one that’s really easy – like brushing your teeth every night because you tend to forget. These types of tasks take up such a small amount of your day, and as such are a great way to build a stronger discipline. Just pick one for now… If you really want two, just make sure they’re really little guys.
2. Keep it simple and small. Want to learn yoga or get good at drawing? Learn guitar, start a blog? Start with 5-10 minutes a day, and work up as you get more confident and comfortable. This is where I always screw up – I am always tempted to dive right in without having yet grown the way I need. So take it from me – don’t overdo it this time. We’re just getting ready for the New Year – no need to go overboard. Remember, the good stuff is already here, it’s just going to keep getting more visible the more you progress.
3. Write it down. Put whatever habit/skill/activity you want to pick up on your schedule for every day you intend to get it done, and check it off once completed. For some reason, the satisfaction of checking a box to implicate an accomplishment is really satisfying. I’m not joking, when I do my routine, I sleep better.
4. Do it at the same time every day (if possible). This will help you get into the groove of things, and having some sort of routine is delightful for the well being (and let me tell you, the SLEEP! I know I said that, but the difference is surreal). This will help you form the habit more readily, too, and eventually I’ll bet you’ll start to look forward to that time of day where you get to unwind and take care of yourself (in one way or another).
5. Don’t stop. Firstly, I bet you will really start to enjoy your routine in one way or another like I said before. Your routine will feed your brain and you’ll learn to trust yourself again. Stopping now will do nothing but keep your brain rearranging into patterns of angst, like a puzzle of anxiety, self contempt, and misplaced anger. Instead, keep going. Turn the puzzle around, keep the good gears turning. This will be so good for you.
6.Preparation is key. Taking these small steps will help you be prepared for the New Year, and those resolutions that always seem to big to tackle. This will make them more proportionate to your goal setting, discipline, and ability to hold yourself accountable. Nobody starts when they feel ready – so start now.
7. Don’t wait. The time is now. Tomorrow is an illusion, and yesterday is over. We never have any moment but the present, and as we spend our weeks wishing four out of seven of our days away (that’s 57%!!!!!!), we could be using those days to work towards our goals, count our blessings, and kick more ass than we ever have before.
I hope this leaves at least one person motivated to go do something brilliant with themselves, starting with teeny little baby steps. We must walk before we run, crawl before we walk, and breathe before we crawl.
So take a breath and let everything fall into place… Trust me, if you take your baby steps and feel the grind just a little bit, the reward will be far greater than any of the pain.
I’m not trying to sell you anything. I just want you happy. You matter to someone, and so you matter in one way, to a collective community of people who need each other.
Look up at the stars tonight… Wow.
Good night, much love, and good luck, (not that you’ll need it).