I’ve heard it said that our lives are lived in moments, not hours or days. When I look at my pets, I see that very clearly. I know they remember what happened yesterday or this morning, but their focus is on what’s going on right now. We are taught all our lives to look to the future and make plans for tomorrow, but when it comes to staying on track with your weight loss and healthy eating, we need to be looking at right now.
Elizabeth Benton likes to refer to this as “staying in the moment” and that’s a good way of looking at it. It’s easier for me to remember as “right now.” (Too much MTV in my wasted youth!) What is the choice in front of me right now? Do I want to give up my goals for what I want right now? What is the best decision for me to make right now? In so many ways, it flies in the face of what we have been taught since we were kids: we need to think of the future instead of right now!
It’s almost counter-intuitive: we plan for our future by acting right now. If someone wants to split a dessert at lunch, do I want to delay reaching my goal for the cheesecake right now? Should I plan to work out tomorrow since I don’t want to work out right now? Right now, what is the best decision I can make for reaching my weight loss goals? While some of you are probably rolling your eyes, too often we get tricked into swapping out Right Now for the Future. I want cheesecake right now so in the Future, I will work out an extra session / skip lunch, etc. We get sucked into constructing big plans for the Future or digging up information on weight loss or fitness and instead of taking action Right Now, we are busy planning for the Future.
There is nothing wrong with planning for the Future. It’s always a good thing to know where you are going and how you are going to get there, but when that planning gets in the way of taking action, it’s not helpful. You can always do something real and concrete Right Now instead of waiting until sometime in the Future when you have all the information you think you need. The problem is that there will always be new information coming out on health, fitness and weight loss so on any day, there will always be something we don’t know. Information is not action and only action will get you to your goals!
When they say our lives are made up of moments, they are talking about all those “right nows.” That’s what our future is built on: what happens to us in the future actually depends on what we do right now. If we keep sacrificing our Right Now for some Future action, we will never take action and we will never reach our goals. We build our Future out of those momentary Right Nows each of us face each day. Right now, you can be walking during your lunch. Right now you can be shopping for healthy whole foods. Right now you can be at your gym or joining one. Right now you can be making a healthy meal. Right now, you can be saying yes to Brussels sprouts and no to donuts. This is where our Future comes from; it comes from what we do Right Now. What are you doing Right Now?