Why is it that so many people rush to get in shape as soon as it gets warm outside?
Human beings are great at thinking in the short term. After all, when we lived in tribes, we had to be short-term thinkers. There were no supermarkets or governments to protect or support us. We had to constantly be thinking about our next meal, where we were sleeping that night, imminent attacks by intruders and more.
However, times have changed and our hunter-gatherer’s brains are no longer well-adapted to live in our current modern society. When it comes to fitness and nutrition, it’s especially important to be a long-term thinker in order to avoid the pitfalls that many fall into along their fitness journey.
When I don’t feel like going to the gym, I’ll try to remind myself of all the events coming up in the future where I’ll have my shirt off, such as a beach trip or a festival. Although there are times when the last thing I would rather do is work out, I know my future self will thank me endlessly for doing so. Additionally, I know how great I’ll feel when the workout is finished.
When we constantly submit to our short-term emotions, we forget to account for the future. Consistency in the gym all depends on our ability to see the bigger picture and realize that each individual workout is what contributes to our dream body and appearance down the road.
The only obstacle in the way of now to the future is just more days. Focus on optimizing each day at a time, and always keep your goals in mind.
Next time you feel like skipping your workout, think of your future self. Be nice to them! Don’t have them regret all the times you skipped your workouts as soon as summer comes around. Have them be proud of your sustained effort.
Thinking about your diet in the same long-term paradigm can land you the body of your dreams quicker than you ever thought was possible.
My favorite dessert in the world is chocolate lava cake. I don’t know why, but I have always just loved it. The thing is, I still refrain from eating it most of the time. Obviously, there are special occasions where I’ll eat it every now and then.
However, I’m cognitively aware of the fact that when I do eat it, I’ll enjoy it for 30 seconds to a minute, and then it’ll be gone. After that, I’ll feel lethargic for the rest of the night and will have to double down on my cardio the next day to burn the extra calories.
If you’re trying to slim down for the summer, your diet needs to be on point. An easy way to control your diet is to consciously think about how you will feel after you eat a given dessert or an unhealthy snack. It’s easy to think about how good it will taste in the short term but odds are, afterward, you will feel guilty you broke your diet and are lethargic from the excess sugar/processed carbohydrates.
I love to eat and experience different cuisines and flavors all around the world, but I also remember that fast food and dessert will never lead to long-lasting fulfillment. Like a cigarette or a drug, most of the time, it will provide you with some short-term pleasure followed by a crash.
Don’t trade instant pleasure for long-term happiness and contentment! Keep the future in mind; don’t neglect your future self! They are counting on you to make the right choices today so they can prosper later.
Much of our success in life and fitness comes from being able to discount our short-term emotions and think clearly about the future. Getting in shape takes time, and one can never expect to make up for a year of missed workouts with two weeks of working out hard.
Do not let your future self down. Believe it or not, they are always watching you. Next time you don’t feel like working out or want to binge on cake and brownies, try and think of them. What kind of life do you want to give them?
Give them a reason to smile. Be kind to them. After all, they are you.
About the Author
Maxwell is an expert in all areas related to fitness, personal finance and personal development. After deciding to change his life at the age of 15, he was able to gain 30 pounds of lean muscle mass and acquire his first two investment properties all by the age of 23.