This morning, my alarm went off at 5:30. I was supposed to get up and exercise. I’ve been working on the July workout calendar from the awesome Natalie Jill, and I always preview the night before what I am supposed to do in the morning. I knew this workout was going to be hard. “I could sleep for another half hour,” I thought to myself. “I could do the workout tonight when I get home from work.” But I kind of knew I wouldn’t do it when I get home from work. I have other stuff I need to get done. I decided to get up and do the three workout videos, and it was hard enough that I actually almost threw up. Yuck! But even though I wanted to sleep a little longer, and even though doing the exercise was hard work and was not comfortable, it was the right thing to do.
Sometimes the right thing feels wrong
There are many occasions in life when doing the best thing we can do for ourselves is not necessarily what feels right. Sometimes you are starving and want alllll the carbs, but the better thing is to have a glass of water and something healthy to eat. Sometimes you are in a bad relationship and you know need to go, but it doesn’t feel right to leave for whatever reason. Sometimes the right thing to do is push yourself a little harder when you feel like giving up.
How do you know which choice to make?
Increasingly, humans are all about instant gratification. This guides our decisions. If something will make us happy NOW, that is what we want to do. Whether or not there will be future repercussions does not seem to enter our minds much. To make the truly best decisions for yourself, you need to consciously take the time to consider whether this decision will be better for “future you.” Sleeping an extra half hour would have made me happy in the moment, but in the long run, adding up days where I get up and work my butt off (literally and figuratively) is the better decision. Eating 17 pancakes may seem like the right decision right now, but it won’t take too long for you to pay the price for that decision in the future. Staying in a relationship that is toxic may seem like the easier choice for you now, but in the long run, getting out will be better for you by far.
Take the time to think about “future you.” What will they appreciate in terms of your decisions? What will present obstacles for them? You have the power to direct your own destiny at least to some extent. Sometimes that is done simply by pursuing what feels wrong even though you know it is right.
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