Yesterday You Said Tomorrow


Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.”

–James A. Michener

Remember how yesterday you said you were going to start working towards your big hairy goal first thing tomorrow? Then something came up (an excuse, most likely) and you told yourself you’d start the next day or “another time soon.”

Tomorrow turns into the next day, into the next day, into the next… Years pass and you still haven’t taken a single step forward.

I went through this cycle from December 2011 all the way to January of 2013 when I was fighting with myself to start Self Stairway. Of course, I always delayed it out of fear of failure. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” a day that never came.

I kept making excuses…

It’s much safer to fantasize about taking action than it is to actually put in the energy.

What would I be doing today, right now, if I were still waiting for tomorrow?

How do you expect to get to where you want to be if you keep telling yourself that today is not the right time? It’s never going to be the right time, so stop delaying.

It’s easy to make excuses, but it’s so much harder to be a person of action. You have nothing to gain by waiting one more day.

“I don’t have time” is perhaps the most common excuse thrown around. Unless you’re working three full-time jobs while caring for five children, only being able to afford 2 hours of sleep a night you have no excuse. You have time.

All of our goals will differ. Yours will be vastly different from mine, Jack’s, and Jill’s.

No matter what you want to accomplish, it’s not going to happen if you delay it any further.

Failure is scary. Criticism, death, and about a million of other things are too.

The more time you give yourself to think about what could go wrong, the more likely you are to never get to the act of doing. You’re going to eventually talk yourself out of it entirely. You don’t do yourself any favors by delaying.

If you don’t take action you’ll be stuck wondering “what if?” for the rest of your life. You’re going to daydream and fantasize about what could have been. The only thing better than the fantasy is transforming it into a reality through your courage, persistence, and proactivity.

I want you to stop waiting because yesterday you said tomorrow.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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15 responses to Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

  1. While I agree very strongly with the main thought behind this, the assumption here is that they already have one clear goal they want to pursue, one valuable course of action they are postponing. A lot of people get stuck because of analysis paralysis, or even just trying to achieve all their goals at once(I’ve been guilty of both in the past). Some things you really do need to put off until tomorrow, or far later, if you want to gain momentum on any level.

    Side-note: been a while since I left a comment on your blog, although I’ve been lurking. Congrats on going out on your own Vincent! Hope you’re using this mentality to get some real traction going 🙂

    • I hear you Ragnar. Those forces you mention sabotage me over and over. So many times it isn’t funny. Plus all the times when unforeseen events pop out of nowhere to lead me by the nose away from my goals. By the time I get back to what I was doing it takes awhile to regain forward progress again. The “secret” for me is to forget about time and stay in the now. Then awareness kicks in and I notice amazing things that got lost in the haze of hurrying up when I was not anchored in the moment.

    • It doesn’t have to be one clear goal, does it? Even if you just have a vague sense of direction, you can start literally anywhere. Anywhere but sitting on the couch and watching “just one more” episode of Netflix. Anywhere but procrastination.

      Good to see you here again. 🙂

      • I guess it is better than that, but if you become caught up in something new because you want to avoid doing the hard part of pursuing your biggest goal, couldn’t that be viewed as a sort of procrastination too?

  2. A nice reminder to get moving! I’ve fallen into the trap of “tomorrow-thinking” quite a lot in the past, and I think it’s one of the toughest things to overcome in life.

    The trick I use is borrowed from Newton’s first law of motion: “Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, while objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” In other words; get moving, and it will be much harder to stop again!

  3. I want to say this to myself everyday: “It’s much safer to try and to fail today than to waste the energy wondering about what might happen tomorrow.”

  4. I do it same . I make excuses after excuses not to accomplish even a single task in 24 hours . That is true . But after reading this awesome article will finish at least one good article every week . God bless you inspiring so many people including me .

  5. You hit a great topic again. Most of us, including me, need to be held accountable to get the most out of ourselves. Need someone to kick you into action by the seat of your pants? Not to be morbid but death is right there, always behind you, waiting with foot and knee ready to let go.

  6. Getting your major task (or a start on it at least) in the early AM is the way to go – before decision fatigue kicks in and you get buried in distraction.

    Taking the first step is key, momentum quickly builds…

    • Yup, that’s why I have an alarm that wakes me up between 6:30 – 7am. I had a really late Friday night and slept in with no alarm the following Saturday. I woke up at 12pm and got literally NOTHING done that day because I had woken up so late and had zero momentum.

      Early morning is the best.

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