Why do we think we will be perfect tomorrow? How many times will we start the diet, the exercise plan, quit the drink, tell the boss where to go… tomorrow.

 

We have all done it hundreds of times, why does this keep happening?

 

The reason is because we incorrectly assume that we will be perfect tomorrow. Then when tomorrow comes, you are bang slap in the present and guess what you leave it until tomorrow…

 

Researchers were intrigued to discover that sales of Big Macs went through the roof when McDonalds started offering more ‘healthy’ options. This made no sense so they tested the theory and uncovered another amazing quirk of our inner world. They concluded that simply seeing the healthy options, gave the participants a false sense of achievement towards their healthy goals.

 

When combined with our natural desire for fatty foods, the participants found themselves reaching the front of the queue and ordering the total opposite what they had thought they should eat.

 

To summarise seeing the healthy option gave them the chance to sin today, because they were confident that ‘tomorrow’ they would be ‘perfect’ and select the healthy option. To make matters worse the more confident the participants were in their superhuman abilities of self-control the more prone they were to choose the unhealthy option.

 

Amazingly when a salad was not presented the participants only chose the un-healthiest option only 10% of the time.

 

However when given the choice of a salad, they crumbled, choosing the most unhealthy option 50% of the time. These findings are amazing and something we should all be aware of. Once again our superhumanness tomorrow, gives us license to choose badly today.

 

We all suffer from tomorrowness. The dusty dumbbells never lifted and rusty bikes barely used are testament to this.  Let’s face it tomorrow will be just like today. There is an old saying that is very apt:

 

‘Don’t put off to tomorrow, what you can do today’

 

One technique to overcome this cognitive trick is to consider what your life would look like if you made this same decision every day. The idea is to rob yourself of the idea that tomorrow you will be perfect and change.

 

For example, when faced with a burger or a pint, imagine: ‘what would I look like if I eat this burger or drink the beer every day for the rest of your life from now on?’

 

OR

 

If you’re tempted to skip the workout, think how you would feel if you never worked out again?

 

Thinking about your choices in this way has been proven to force your thinking into a long-term view. This takes away the option of the perfect tomorrow you, and helps you stay focused on your goals – TODAY.

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