Here is a great article from one of my favorite nutrition coaching sources: Precision Nutrition. I have learned a lot from John Berardi through his lectures, emails, and videos. This is an insert from one of their guest articles. To see the full article, visit their website at: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/motivation-quit-tomorrow
“In Special Operations Forces selection we used to have a saying:
“Finish out today and quit tomorrow.” SOF selection is essentially a system of heavy-duty hazing, ruthlessly tormenting a bunch of people until most of them drop out. During this intensive process, it’s so tempting to tell yourself that The run is too far. The water is too cold. My arms are too weak to do one… more… pushup… unnnggghh. It’s so tempting to tell yourself: It doesn’t matter. It’s not worth it. Nothing is worth this pain or boredom. So what’s the secret to staying the course?
Quitting. Later, that is.
My buddies and I promised each other we’d never quit in the middle of an evolution. At least, we’d wait until the end of the day, when the intensity of the moment had passed. The carrot of quitting dangled enticingly in front of us. A little treat, the promise of eventual relief to keep us going. It was just a little farther away. Of course, at the end of the day, we’d look back on the incident that had made us want to quit, realize it wasn’t so bad – and feel good about our decision to continue. Invariably, this simple trick would pull us through. We didn’t quit today. And every one of us made it through selection.
The Opposite Rule
In our coaching programs, we often like to use the Opposite Rule: If what you’re doing isn’t working, try the opposite. (Ridiculously simple, we know. But it works.) Most of us have told ourselves: I’ll start ___ tomorrow. [Insert one or more of the following self-improvement projects: running, getting up early, eating healthy, being nicer to my in-laws, learning Swahili, etc.] “Starting tomorrow” — while it’s a great way to begin — also often lets us justify poor decisions today. So what about trying the opposite? Instead of “start tomorrow”, how about: “Quit tomorrow”? You’re going to have moments of weakness when you want nothing more than a bag of chips or a package of Twinkies. Days when you can barely drag yourself to the gym. It’s only once. It can’t really hurt. It’s not so bad. The mind is remarkably adept at coming up with justifications. But this decision won’t stand on its own. Every choice you make lays neural groundwork that will bias your future decisions. Eventually, you’re the sum of your habits. No more, and no less.
So, my advice when you want to give up is this: Quit tomorrow.
Nourish yourself with healthy food today. Get yourself to the gym and do that set today. And tomorrow, if you want that Pop Tart or you need a rest, go ahead and take it. But I’m betting the urge to quit will be gone. Instead, when tomorrow dawns, you’ll feel just a bit healthier, a little less dependent on sugar, a little stronger. And you’ll be one step closer to your goals.”
So, let’s fight today and see the results from putting in 100% effort. Tomorrow, you can quit.