Embrace Outside with Molly Hurford

Blog Motivation

“Tomorrow, I Will Be Better…” (Playing the Occasionally Soul-Sucking Self-Improvement Game)

January 29, 2018

“Tomorrow, I Will Be Better…” (Playing the Occasionally Soul-Sucking Self-Improvement Game)

“Tomorrow, I will be better.” “New Year, New Me.” The same reason we go HAM on New Year’s Eve thinking resolutions will start in 12 hours is the same thing that keeps us from establishing daily habits that will actually make change. Instead, we—and I am HUGELY guilty of this—adapt these wild “Tomorrow, I change EVERYTHING” sweeping goals that are utterly and completely impossible to reach.

Full disclosure: I wrote the title to this post almost a year ago, and promptly filed it to Drafts, which is basically where my strange 2AM ideas go to die. But it kept popping back into my brain. And as Peter and I put together our 7-day Healthy Habit Kickstart program, it really kept bouncing into my head as we worked out ways to actually get people to affect change in their lives. We knew the answer was small, easy changes that would lead to vast improvements. All of the ones we wrote about, I had put into practice in my own life. But who doesn’t want to optimize more? Who doesn’t want to do more in a day, be more efficient, productive, happier, fitter, etc.? So I’ve been thinking a lot about how I act when it comes to self-improvement.

When I get into what I’ll call a “self-improvement spiral,” it can go two ways:

The Perfect Day: the day that I decide I’m going to be “better” (eat cleaner, read more non-fiction, train harder, write more, skip the glass of wine or novel reading or episode of Frasier—don’t judge—goes great. I feel awesome about it. And then, literally anything other than my perfect routine happens, i.e we need to go to Toronto, we’re having dinner with friends, I wake up slightly more fatigued… Instantly, we’re back to square one, because this is a wildly unrealistic persona to maintain at all times. But that’s better than the next scenario.

I’ll Start Tomorrow: That’s my cue to finish the season of Frasier—still, no judgement allowed—eat the cookies, drink the wine, live it up because tomorrow is going to be different. Spoiler alert: Rarely is that true. At best, it’s true and it sends me into a loop of starting tomorrow/the perfect day, and after a week of that nonsense, I go back to my reasonable existence.

And that’s not bad—but there’s certainly room for some tweaks and improvements. Obviously.

I wanted to publish this post this week because we’re hitting the end of January, the month that seems to be the most rife with ‘change your life’ content. And I’m 100 percent in favor of that. I think the biggest bog-down comes from the intention setting/list making game that we all get super into this month. I have list after list after list of ways I want to improve, but the actual daily motions I make towards that are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Actually, I laughed at myself the other day: I went to do some “intention setting,” sat down with a cup of tea and my favorite notebook, opened it… and realized I had already written the exact lists I was turning over in my head already. They were already there. It was already done. I didn’t need to “set” anything, I needed to “DO” something. So, instead of listing my intentions to start tomorrow, I pulled out my blank calendar and started figuring out the blog calendar for this month and next. And then, instead of putting it away to come back to later, I actually wrote a few of the posts.

Didn’t decide to start tomorrow. Didn’t decide to get better tomorrow. Got better today, in a small but actually real way.

In my roundabout way of writing about this stuff—stuff meaning self-improvement, productivity, that kind of thing—I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if you’ve spent January planning to plan, planning to get better, planning to do something different tomorrow, maybe it’s time to take the last couple days of the month and make a real, tangible change. Even if it’s 5 percent of what you wanted to do. We can always get better tomorrow, but what can we do today to move the needle in the right direction?

Anyone else thinking about this stuff as the month winds down? Hit me up in the comments!

 

 

On the note of being a little better each day, get started in a real way! Check out our free 7-day guide to healthy habit change? Sign up here!


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