Friends with Future You

Last week, I did something I’d never done before in 18 years of teaching: I asked for someone to teach for me when I wasn’t on vacation or so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t feel great and asked for someone to cover for me. It may sound simple, but it was a long-held habit for me to not ask for help.

And as soon as I did, I felt better.

There is a sensation I have when I’ve made a choice in the past that comes back to bite me. It might not be a big thing, it could be as simple as not getting my yoga bag ready the night before or a bigger thing like teaching when I’m sick or an even bigger thing like saying Yes to something I know isn’t right for me. Whatever the choice, I can feel how Past Me wasn’t looking out for Future Me.

Lately, when I’m making choices, I think about them like a friendship between Now Me and Future Me.

In the moment, especially if I’m tired or stressed, making the easy, habitual choice can feel like the right thing to do. Put off the task I don’t like to do. Get take out instead of cooking something healthy. Skip exercise.

When I imagine myself taking care of Future Me, it can feel more easeful to stand up and invest in her.

This week, notice what your relationship is with Future You. What can you choose to make life more fun for her?

  1. I love this. So simple, but so helpful. Now me has had a struggle with instant gratification and is in the process of looking out for future me. Personifying Future Me is a great idea. Thanks.

    • I’m so glad it’s helpful. The image has helped me with the same thing. Now Me says, “I’m tired, I deserve this treat (or whatever easy button I want to push)” and if I can pause and say, “Okay but how will Future Me feel about that?” It can shift my approach. Thanks for reading and commenting and being in the messiness with me! ❤

      • My pleasure! I am at a messy time of life, just post-menopausal, about to move our house in a week, and pondering my next reinvention of self. Gah!! (By the way, just found Nia a year is a real gift to the soul!. As is doodling/drawing which I got back to about three years ago!)

      • What I would do without Nia and art, I do not know. Here’s to being in the mess together. xo

  2. Lynn Pribus said:

    I learned quite a few years ago: Don’t say yes when you mean no. And devised an all-purpose reply: “Thanks so much for thinking of me, but I just can’t say yes right now.” I added the “right now” because I might change my mind and want to do whatever it was.

    • Well, that is genius and a phrase I may well steal from you whole cloth! I love it. Another friend suggests the YES-NO-YES approach, as in: YES I love that idea/would love to work with you/etc., NO I can’t do it this time, and YES what can I do to help you? That’s a great way to say No while saying YES to myself. ❤ Thanks for sharing this, Lynn!

  3. Marion Robbins said:

    Loved this image and shared it this morning with the Chair Yoga class–a wonderful way to help us make good choices…. Thanks and love and blessings always…

    • The personification and friend-making with Future Me has helped me tremendously in making better, more easeful choices! I’m delighted that you shared it! ❤

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