I like to do some kind of exercise each day. Sometimes it’s the treadmill. Sometimes it’s an outdoor adventure. Sometimes it’s a bit of weight training. It’s not much, but it’s something and I always feel better after I’ve done it. The balance of the day is a bit more guilt-free.
I’d planned on taking an early morning brisk walk with a good friend this morning. I was really looking forward to the connection and the workout. But last night I got stuck in traffic for over two hours and didn’t get home until far later than I’d anticipated. I know myself well enough to prioritize sleep over exercise and cancelled on my friend.
When I woke up this morning I told myself “You deserve a break this morning, you had a very stressful and late night.” “You don’t have time to work out.” “No one’s going to know or care if you don’t work out.”
I created a whole pile of excuses for myself. Then I used the mantra “Remember Tomorrow.” I didn’t have time for the four-mile walk, but I did have time for a 30-minute treadmill run. I maintaned the commitment to exercise.
What does that mean?
I first heard “Remember Tomorrow” in the Jesse Itzler book “Living with the Monks.”
Although much of the book will have limited relevance in my day-to-day life, it was the final few chapters that had the most meaning to me. Specifically, Mr. Itzler’s mantra (catchphrase? tagline?) “remember tomorrow.”
At first, “remember tomorrow” made absolutely no sense to me. How could we possibly remember tomorrow when it hadn’t even happened yet? Mr. Itzer explains it like this:
Remembering tomorrow invites us to think about how we’ll feel tomorrow about a decision we make today.
Got it. But how can we use this in practice? Here are a few examples:
Completions: As I mentioned before, I try to work out briefly every day. On the days when I don’t feel motivated, I use “remember tommow” as a motivational tool. I know that I will feel as good about completing the commitment to myself as I will the actual excercise benefit.
Making time: Regrets about not spending time with important people in our lives is one of societies biggest regrets. I try to make time to have conversations and spend time with the ones I care about, especially the elderly. One day we will not have those connections available to use. “Remembering tomorrow” keeps me centered to what’s truly important. Will I have wanted to spend an extra hour working or having tea and cookies with my neighbor?
Words: I don’t know about all of you, but sometimes holding my tongue is incredibly difficult, especially in moments of stress. “Remembering tomorrow” helps me visualize how I want conversations to go. Today I may be angry and hurt, but tomorrow I will want to remember that my words were relevant, kind, and appropriate.
How can you use the mantra “remember tomorrow” to achieve your goals? How will remembering tomorrow change your decisions today?
Have a grateful day!
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