One Question To Ask When You're Falling Off Track
What could you do today to be a little nicer to your 6-month future self?
That’s a question I sometimes ask clients when they’re feeling stuck or if they’re letting themselves get bogged down. It’s a question you might want to ask yourself too.
Should I have that glass of wine tonight?
Should I get popcorn at the movies?
Should I make it into the gym even though I don’t have time to complete my full routine?
Is that apple fritter worth having today?
Should I criticise myself for having a few fries at lunch?
Each day we’re all confronted with dozens of small decisions that impact our future self’s health and well-being. Every day we work through our very own (but slightly less exciting) choose-your-own-adventure book (if you don’t know what that is, google it). What you decide to do in the morning, afternoon and evening all influence what page you land on at the end of the day.
When you’re tired or frustrated or in a rut, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed or apathetic and thinking that your decisions don’t matter.
But they do. When they add up, they make all the difference. Your future self will be exactly where you put it based on the sum of all your tiny decisions today, and tomorrow and the next day.
So, should you have that glass of wine tonight?
If you’re at the party of the century, all the best people are there, and the champagne is flowing like a swollen river, chances are your future self is going to look back on this and think “uh yah, duh, that was totally worth it!”
But if it’s just another overcast Tuesday night after work (and assuming that it’s important to you to try to drop body fat, sleep better or feel more energetic), your future self will think you were idiotic for opening the bottle. Because drinking wine on autopilot just is not a habit that will help get to where you want to be in the long-run.
So next time you’re trying to decide what to do, the first step is to stop, take a few seconds, look at the decision tree that’s unfolding in front of your eyes. Then wonder: what would I think about this when I look back on it 6-months from now? Will I be pleased? Disappointed? Or do I not particularly care either way?