Just Win the Day
by Dave Thomas
Published: January, 2016
January has always been a simultaneously encouraging and depressing month for me as a gym owner.
On one hand, we get a stock of new members eager to set and reach new goals with New Year’s resolutions, and a ton of current members stoked to hit the reset button and set their sights on some new achievements. Both rad things.
On the other hand, it always has me asking why must we wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar, only to see this new found devotion typically crack after a few short weeks for a good chunk of resolutioners.
What I am really most fascinated with is why most people have little to no success when it comes to enthusiasm at the start of a new year? What’s the trick to ensure this year is your last year you resolve?
Laziness is the easy scapegoat, but I believe it’s because most let the anxiety of the future overwhelm the beautiful simplicity of the present.
You know the thinking. We’ve all been guilty of it. “Well, Thanksgiving is this week. And then I travel for work. And then, well, I am home for Christmas so with all of that distraction I am just going to start eating healthy in January.”
Allowing invasive thoughts about the future into our present versus just winning that day. Winning our present decision put in front of our face only at the current given moment in time.
This kind of allowance of long term thinking to infect our present actions is what causes many to quit, because we feel so overwhelmed about the long road ahead of us and too many hurdles to overcome.
If I can’t stick to it for a year, then what’s the point of trying for a month?
Eliminate all that is not directly in front of you.
What are you going to have for your next meal?
What time are you going to go to the gym today?
How will you improve in today’s workout?
How much sleep will you get tonight?
When you wake up, let your first action be with conviction, whatever that might be.
I’ll use myself as an example. I tend to be a very habit driven individual. Grooving out routines that are hard for me to break is something that allows me to stay relatively on track all months of the year, but at the same token, I can easily fall off the wagon if I let my mind drift. Re-calibrating back to simplicity is always my effective measure.
I know that ever day starts with my getting out of bed, walking into the kitchen and getting coffee on the stove and food into a pan. This part of the day is in my control and I take full advantage of that. A little later, I make a healthy breakfast. Having a healthy breakfast is the part of my day I am an in complete and total control over, and it serves as the foundation that motivates me to build on. It has the naturally motivating effect of wanting your next meal to be in line with your goals, as well.
If I go to the local coffee shop and get a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, there is a decent chance that I follow that up with a less than ideal lunch, and so on and so forth.
A healthy breakfast for me is a microscopic win, and winning becomes an addiction that you want more of each time you achieve it.
This way, my chances of coming out of a midday black out while gorging on a California Burrito are minimized. I try my hardest to put myself into positions where I can win my daily decisions.
So, when going about your goals in 2016, remember the biggest cliche in the world. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is your physique, strength, athleticism, business aspirations or whatever it is you’ve resolved to improve in 2016.
Just win the present, win the day and sooner or later your days will add up into something substantial.