I read this great little thing on why we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves for “tomorrow” and why it’s so easy to not meet them
Basically, a lot of the time, we envision our present selves as Me, right now. I am in control of her, and I empathize with her.
But when we set giant, overwhelming expectations for ourselves tomorrow, we view that person as a Stranger. Someone separate from Me who somehow will know how to solve all these issues with ease and no hesitation or burnout.
That’s why a lot of people do things like
- “Right now I’m having a pack of cigarettes. But tomorrow I’ll start fresh and quit cold turkey.”
- “Right now my room is a disastrous mess. But tomorrow I’ll clean the whole thing from corner to corner and scrub the floors.”
- “Right now I don’t feel like doing my project. But tomorrow I’ll write 30 pages.”
- “Right now I’m going to eat this tub of ice cream. But tomorrow I’ll eat ‘better’.”
- **I don’t mean to use this to encourage anyone “dieting” or eating unhealthily, but I feel it’s a super common example that will describe what I’m trying to say.
It’s just too! much! for poor little Tomorrow You to handle. She is not a magically all-capable being. You have to cut her some slack and give her some breathing room.
Now is all that matters. It’s all there is. And that sounds almost false, but keep saying it to yourself. Realize its truth. What is “time” really, but a bunch of “nows” over and over again?
So do a little bit now. Start now. Whether it’s 9 AM or 9 PM. Smoke one less cigarette than you normally would. Put away just your sock drawer. Write a couple sentences. You will thank yourself. And most importantly, you will stop feeling like a failure when you can’t magically change your entire lifestyle just because it’s a new day. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Change takes time. Anything requiring effort takes time. It’s okay to stumble, but don’t leave it all for Future You. Because even though she isn’t here yet, she is no stronger than Present You. You can be strong and better right now, just by trying and taking that first step towards whatever it is you want to do.
This isn’t to say I’ve mastered any of this BTW; it’s just something I read that motivated me so much and made me feel so much more inspired to treat myself properly