In thinking about our ‘one day at a time’ approach in building Ascend, SkinOwl’s first fitness method. I was reminded of some advice my grandma, “Ama,” gave me once.
I was in a relationship, and was letting my concern about possible fall out or change of heart in the future affect my ability to enjoy it in the moment. Ama threw me a supportive smile and said, “Why does a future that hasn’t happened yet matter if you are happy now? I say, if you are regularly evaluating whether you are currently happy, and if something is working, that’s all that matters.”
How simple and beautifully accurate.
I see opportunities for people to apply this mentality to wellness journeys quite often. It is common for people to start something new, whether it is a new fitness program, nutrition plan, or what have you… and upon being asked how it is going, respond with something like, “It’s going well for now, but we’ll see,” or, “Well, it’s great but it’s still only the second day.”
Now, it’s possible that we have been socially conditioned to respond in sort of a future-self deprecating way, so that we don’t come off arrogant, or like we are bragging. In the same way that you could go up to the most ripped person in the gym and say, “Hey you look great. Congrats,” and be met this: “Ugh, just trying to back into it,” or “I mean, we’ll see if I can keep it going.” And it’s possible that this social conditioning has translated into the way we speak to ourselves. With a voice that lacks faith in our future selves, or our ability to see something through. It’s also possible that this negative self-talk comes as a form of expectation management. If we are always reminding ourselves that something might not work out, then we won’t be too crushed if it doesn’t.
But what if we try our best to apply Ama’s advice to the things that we do? If you are on day two of a program and you are feeling great, you’re putting in the energy, and you are proud of what you are currently accomplishing on a day by day basis… then isn’t that all that really matters? And if we continue to evaluate on a day by day basis as opposed to a “It’s good for now until I screw it up later” mentality, then not only will it keep us happier and more positive in the present, but it might just contribute to the overall success of what we are working towards! Slaying one day is far simpler and far more emotionally manageable than slaying six weeks! It even leaves room for hiccups or speed bumps as it’s far more reasonable to course correct within the day, or the next morning that it is to reconcile the illusion of having “failed,” the entire program.
So, thank you Ama. Let’s keep it simple. Let’s check in with ourselves on a daily basis. And let’s let the compilation of happy days naturally create a happy future.
All the best,