One of my favourite podcasts is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In one of her recent episodes she and her sister (the co-host of the show) talked about “Doing something for your Future Self” and I have been thinking about this a lot recently. While I am a big fan of actually living a fully engaged life in the here and now (which can be quite a challenge), spending some time today on my Tomorrow Self is a very appealing thought. Especially when the day to day is a bit boring and dull, investing into your future can be a great boost. Because even if you are in a position where you can put money away into a savings account or a private pension fund (doing big grown up future stuff), thinking about The Future and all its uncertainties can be daunting and scary because we tend to think in bigger proportions and feel that small steps won’t make a difference. But that’s not quite right. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring – which is probably a good thing – so breaking the future down into comprehensible and accessible chunks takes some of the scariness away and actually adds some fun.
Investing into your future can already start by taking a shower in the evening so that Tomorrow You can stay in bed 20 minutes longer, getting a bit more rest. Or preparing tomorrow’s lunch and packing the work bag (and of course also the gym bag that we all take to work every day…) the night before so that your morning isn’t too frantic. These things can be mundane chores or small presents we chose to give to our Tomorrow Selves (Tomorrow’s Elves?!). Or when you know you have a friend coming around for dinner on the weekend. Spending just 20 minutes each day during the week to clean the flat, to prepare a playlist, take some time to buy a really nice bottle of wine, to finally get those deco things you’ve been meaning to get out from the storage box underneath your bed or to generally think of ways to make that evening even more special can be a wonderful way to 1) get the most out of your overall positive anticipation vibes and release some fine Dopamin (result = less chocolate needed) 2) really make the evening very special. Your Future Self will love you for that!
I find the idea of my Future Self also helpful when I am about to take a decision that I am not fully convinced about, that I know is less than ideal or even as a form of external accountability. How will Tomorrow’s Fabienne think or feel about that? And yes, I have gone for that evening run that I couldn’t initially muster up the energy for because I wanted Tomorrow’s Fabienne to wake up with that nice pull on her muscles and a smug smile on her face, knowing she went for that run the night before. And yes I have also had that forth glass of wine, deciding that Tomorrow’s Fabienne will just somehow have to deal with it!
So, what can you do today for your Tomorrow Self? (or Weekend Self…or A Month From Now Self…?)