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Take a Break

Episode #379

I’ll Be Good Tomorrow

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Tuesday’s Episode

You know the scenario. You promised not to drink tonight… but by 5 o’clock, you’re ready for a drink.

Or you told yourself you would only have one drink at happy hour, but then your friend suggests another round.

“I’ll be good tomorrow” is an excuse you’ve probably told yourself many times before.

Why is it so easy to fall into this trap, even when you have plenty of evidence that tomorrow you’ll wish you had said no?

Tune in and discover why this excuse is so insidious and the best way to combat it.

After listening to this episode, you’ll never hear the excuse “I’ll be good tomorrow” the same way again.

Click here to listen to the episode.

What You’ll Discover

When optimism turns into magical thinking.

How you’re incentivizing the brain to keep using this excuse again and again.

What you need to practice if you want to keep your commitment.

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You are listening to the Take a Break Podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 379.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back. Today, we are going to talk about one excuse in particular that I have a very, very, very deep relationship with. I know a lot of you do too. And that excuse is, “I’ll be good tomorrow.”

“I’ll be good tomorrow.” Those words were front and center in so much of my life. It was like, “Order another round of drinks at the bar. Don’t worry, I’ll be good tomorrow.” Standing in front of the pantry, just mindlessly snacking. “It’s okay, I’ll be good tomorrow.” Spending too much money on my credit card. “I’m gonna cut back starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll be good tomorrow.” It’s so optimistic, but I will tell you this, it is the worst optimism. There is a bad optimism that you can have, and it’s the optimism that is connected with magical thinking. It’s telling yourself that you’re going to be different tomorrow without doing anything, without setting yourself up to actually make that a reality.

I believe deeply you can totally be a different person tomorrow. I wholeheartedly believe in every single person’s ability to change, but that doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to take meaningful steps in the direction that you want to go in. “I’ll be good tomorrow.” That excuse, it is not a meaningful step. The excuse, “I’ll be good tomorrow”, is simply relief from having to sit with the discomfort of right now.

A lot of you might hear me say, “Sit with the discomfort of right now” and immediately jump to, “No, I’m not uncomfortable or there’s nothing wrong with my life. Everything’s really good.” I’m talking about the discomfort of allowing an urge or a craving to go unanswered. What that feels like in your body, to want something and to not go get it. I’m talking about the discomfort of having to be with whatever you’re thinking about. And again, it doesn’t have to be some big, bad, terrible thing. It can simply be the things that you haven’t done on your to do list yet today.

I’m talking about the discomfort of having to be with your feelings. However you are feeling right now in that moment, whether you might be a little stressed or a little overwhelmed or a little frustrated, it’s the discomfort of having to be with all of these things instead of trying to cover them up. Because that’s what we’re doing so often. When we have a craving and we are reaching to consume something, we are trying to cover something up. We’re trying to cover up that restlessness that we feel when we don’t immediately say yes to our urges. We’re trying to cover up all that chatter in our mind or the sensation in our body or how we’re feeling, there is discomfort there.

Sometimes it can be very subtle for people. You may not even realize it. The discomfort doesn’t have to be that something terrible is wrong with your life. That’s generally not the case. But if there wasn’t discomfort, it would be easy for you to say no to the craving.

I believe you can most certainly change. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how old you are, how long you have been drinking, you can change your relationship with alcohol. Because changing your relationship with alcohol is about really learning the process of becoming more mindful. The ability to start to watch your mind, watch your feelings, watch your thoughts, watch the sensations in your body. Everybody has that ability. We can all become more mindful but change doesn’t happen by avoiding discomfort. Change happens by moving towards it.

It happens when you choose a different path right now, right in the moment of the craving, right in the moment of the excuse. In the very moment when you’d rather tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter, I’ll be good tomorrow.” You have to change right then and there because if you’re just relying on this future you who knows how to withstand this moment, but you haven’t actually done anything to make that come true, guess what’s going to happen?

More of the same. “I’ll be good tomorrow. I’ll be good tomorrow.” Over and over again. You have to move in the direction you want to go, not just say the words that you hope will take you there. “I’ll be good tomorrow” is catnip for your lower brain. It loves it when you use this excuse. Why? Because when you use the excuse, “I’ll be good tomorrow”, it knows, “Hey, I’m about to get a reward.” Because if you’re going to be good tomorrow, then guess what? You get to be bad right now. And words that are catnip for the lower brain are not taking you in the right direction.

They are sending you backwards. You have to choose a different path in this moment. You have to let the craving be there. You have to let it be okay that you’re even having this craving. That’s a huge thing that I work on with people. Sometimes they like, don’t even want it to be okay that the craving has shown up. So let it be there. Name it, notice it, see what happens. Acknowledge maybe, yeah, you are feeling a little restless. That’s okay. That’s not a big deal. And continue to stay the course.

That’s how you create change. So please, please, please remember this the next time you hear yourself thinking, “I’ll be good tomorrow.” And just remind yourself, there is nothing magical about tomorrow. I can change. I can be a different person, but only if I do something different in this moment, otherwise I’m going to be the exact same person. I got to choose a different path right now.

All right, that’s it for today. I will see you next week.

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