People tend to make health and fitness goals that are big. I want to lose 50 pounds. I want a visible six pack. Ect.
Big goals are great to have, but they can also be overwhelming. Make a big fitness goal and you’ll imagine yourself diligently dieting and exercising, day after day, slowly traversing the months – or years perhaps – that stand between you and and your ideal end-game. If and once you get there, you then have to worry about maintaining that forever.
That kind of ponderation can make things quickly feel daunting and subsequently insurmountable. How many of us have sabotaged a big personal goal before we even got started?
It is true that weight loss and other fitness goals take time and there’s no way around it. There’s only so much we can do in a day until we just have to wait until tomorrow. The “just be patient” bit is trite and eye-roll inducing, but there is a much underdiscussed silver lining to it: you can only do what you can today, but that’s all you need to worry about.
You don’t need to ruminate on all the work that stands between you and a distant goal. You only need to concern yourself with the work that needs to get done today. Instead of thinking “how on earth am I going to lose 50 pounds and keep it off?” think “what do I need to today as part of my plan?” Do your workout, adhere to the meal-plan, which could be as simple as “drink three diet sodas instead of regular ones” (and yes it absolutely can be that simple). Not so hard right? We all do things each day then are way more difficult than that. And then you’re done. Watch your Netflix and forget about it all. Soon that onerous and lofty goal disappears and becomes a simple daily checklist.
Well, what about it? Regular bullshit is very reliable and punctual. It will show up right on schedule. No need to worry about that.
Tomorrow, which you can’t control, also has nothing to do with what you can control: today. Worrying about what you can’t control at the expense of worrying about what you can control makes literally no sense.
So don’t do that! Just worry about what you need to do today. Get it done, and book a win. And then? Close the book and don’t think about it anymore, because you have as much control over yesterday as you do over tomorrow.
And the next day? Same thing. Worry about what you need to do then (but not until then!), get it done, book another win.
Even the most grandiose accomplishment you can possibly think of is merely a collection of daily wins. That’s it. Nothing more. And if you don’t manage to book the win today? Oh well, it happens to the best of us, and it’s OK, because can you think of any great accomplishment that requires a 100% win rate? Weight loss certainly doesn’t, weight maintenance even less so. Even if you lose big sometimes, like a cookies and ice cream blowout, as long as you’re winning most days you’ll eventually get there. A bit late maybe, but are you really going to give a shit that you hit your goal in March instead of February? Does a Superbowl champion care about a regular season loss? Maybe you try and learn something from it, but once that’s done it goes into the annals of ancient history with the rest of it.
Sulking over a loss is far more detrimental than the occasional loss itself because sulking yet again needlessly detracts from accomplishing the only thing that ever matters: winning today.
It’s a real tragedy when a dieter needlessly succumbs to perpetual dejection over an insignificant single daily loss, then proceeds to actually ruin his diligent progress over the next few weeks or months. And when he finally lets the loss go, and is ready to pick up the pieces, he’s now back at square one. Another iteration of the infamous yo-yo cycle.
Don’t do that.
Instead, if I haven’t yet made my point annoyingly clear yet, just focus on winning today. And once you do book the win please just forget about all this health and fitness shit and enjoy the evening with your friends or whatever else is actually important.