Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time…
It’s all too easy to put things off. Now, more than ever before, we are living in a world of distraction.
Engaging in a global world means that at any time, any person you know might be awake anywhere, and if your phone is online and messaging or email alerts are enabled, you can be distracted or woken at any time by either work or social messages. If that were not enough you probably have greater instant access to any book, periodical, paper, film or drama series you want at any time than anyone has had before you in history, and a more easily accessible range of physical diversions in terms of local clubs or facilities.
But often putting things off doesn’t simply delay them, it delays you.
When it comes to tasks or activities we undertake for health or self-improvement, the sooner we begin the odds are the more time we will have to enjoy it, benefit from it, or improve at it. Allowing ourselves to wait ‘until tomorrow’ is an avoidance strategy that has fewer rewards.
One of the biggest problems we all have is that we over-estimate what we need to do at any one time.
Going to a martial arts class is time consuming. To attend a one hour or ninety minute class you may have to invest two to three hours of your time including travel. That makes training only once or twice a week at a class very understandable for those with work and families to juggle, but training is not simply about attending class. You can get more from a class by training outside of it and that training does not necessarily require much time or flashy facilities.
I will the first to admit I probably spend too much time watching drama and documentaries. But at least half the time I spend doing that I will also be doing some form of push up, bridging, shrimping, planking, leg extensions, stretching, slow kicking on the spot, part or all of a kata or shadow boxing. I don’t have to break a sweat or be doing cardio to get in extra exercise that brings improvement. All I need is a small amount of ground space. I have a dojo, I use it a great deal, but I’m not going to sit still to watch or learn something if I feel I could benefit from more movement, I’m going to watch, listen and move.
That’s not possible for everyone, but even making a hot drink away from others in the kitchen can afford time or space for something. Every repetition counts.
What about training for your heart rate? Working sustained aerobic training does take up time and will build up a sweat, but you don’t really need to do that more than once a week and training for twenty minutes to an hour is fine. You could run, cycle, walk fast, hit a bag, run up and down stairs at a car park or block of flats, row or swim – the possibilities can be limited by your budget, but you should be able to do something each week. For intense cardio you just need to hit a maximum pace for thirty seconds to a minute a few times with rest breaks in between; you could be done in ten minutes, fifteen if you include a shower!
Look at your routine, look at your environment. What can you add at no financial or time cost? What might require a bit of time but no cost? Try them. See how you feel for having done them. Watch for and note results. Just the act of doing more in the same time may itself bring immediate ‘feel good’ rewards, but when you start to notice the cumulative effects, you’ll wonder why you ever waited for tomorrow.
Tomorrow may be for big aspirations, but those are achieved by small time-achievable things we can do today.