October 22, 2020: We often take better care of others than ourselves. Jordan Peterson’s 2nd rule of his 12 Rules for Life is to treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping. Benjamin Hardy coaches people to think of their current and future selves as two different people, so that you can understand what your future self would want and take steps to deliver it.
The term “self-care” is ubiquitous these days, and I find it more fruitful to frame it in the context of caring for my future self. I think “what is something big or small that I can do right now to set my future-self up for success?” Who I am today is not who I was 10 years ago and is not who I will be 10 years from now. I’m curious about my future self, and I want the best for her. I often think about the things I can do now that will make my future-self feel more capable and relaxed, so that she’s ready and flexible enough to handle inevitable challenges.
What does your current self often regret, stress about, or feel depleted by? Take some time to notice patterns and factors that are associated with these responses, and be honest with yourself. Knowing this information can help you decide what your future self needs and would appreciate most.
Here are a couple ways that I practice future-self-care:
- Prepare my coffee supplies at night so making coffee only takes a few minutes in the morning. (My future morning self deeply appreciates this.)
- Refrain from buying little things so I can save up for something important or fun.
Here are a few more ways to invest in yourself:
- Journal about problems you’ve solved or not solved so you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
- Write encouraging notes to yourself to read when you’re feeling doubtful, upset, or embarrassed.
- Plan your day the night before.
- Keep an umbrella in your car or bag, just in case.
- Read, watch, and listen to interesting and informative things.
- Stretch and exercise at some point each day.
- Stay hydrated and nourished.
- Practice a hobby.
- Set a financial goal and stash some funds toward it each week.
What else would make your future-self look back and say “thanks, me, we’re a good team” ?