I had just finished two pints of Ben and Jerry’s. A little thirsty, I washed it down with a gallon of mountain dew. Could it get any worse? Yep.
I settled in to watch 6 hours of Netflix, uninterrupted. The worse was yet to come… Every choice I made became a crossroads. Ice cream or a healthy meal? TV or reading? Water or Mountain Dew? The further I trudged down the path of indulgence, the further I kept on going.
So what was worse? five words…
I will start fresh tomorrow.
These words are harmless on their own; but when combined, they become one of the most dangerous phrases known to us. I began using these words more and more.
Stressful day? Just relax and watch TV tonight. You can start fresh tomorrow. So you ate ice cream and feel bad? Don’t worry, relax. Eat the rest; you can just start healthy tomorrow. Maybe you’ve wasted 2 hours procrastinating instead of working? Just watch TV or keep enjoying yourself. You can do even more work tomorrow when you’re feeling better.
Before I knew it, I had become a “start fresh tomorrow” guy. I was always interested in productivity, all the while slipping into the rut of the most unproductive habit possible.
Here is the thing about hitting the reset button – It isn’t free. I ended up losing half my life lived when the button was around my neck. Every push, all productivity for the rest of the day disappeared with it. Did I start fresh the next day? Not really. As soon as things got hard, I went for another reset.
Why did I hit reset? It was less painful. I traded long-term gain for short-term pleasure. I was like one of the 70% of kids who ate the marshmallow in the famous Stanford study… Only; I was 20, and they were toddlers.
I’m nearly there. My “start afresh tomorrow” days are almost behind me.
It didn’t happen overnight. Just as you must walk before you run; I had to loosen the reset button from around my neck before I could take it off. Some days it’s tempting, but I find strength from remembering this.
Live in this moment, right now – the present. When you restart, you’re wishing away these moments of your life. You’re drowning them with pleasure to make the time pass easier. You’re trying to escape it right now, so you can start living again tomorrow when it isn’t as hard.
Stop waiting until tomorrow to be present, to live. Stop putting your life on pause whenever it gets hard… The life that you pause, you can never get back.Published in