I just got back from the Women in the Pet Industry Network conference (I’d been a finalist in the Solopreneur category and am still riding that high!) Before I left for a week-long trip to the Pacific Northwest there were many things I had to “take care of” before I left.
Some of those items may make you ask, “why?” or “who cares.” The answers are, “because” and “I do” and my future self thanks me. How often do you think of your “future self?” If you’re like most, you don’t take the time to pay attention to who you will be and where you will be, even an hour from now. What do I mean? For example, before I leave on any kind of a trip or vacation I need to:
- Make the bed
- Vacuum the house
- Empty all of the trash
- Clear up my to-be-read stack of mail and magazines
- Make certain the kitchen is spotless, dishes are cleared out of the dishwasher and the counters are clear
Why do I do this?
Because I know when I walk in the door after having been away that my future self will be grateful to be walking into a clean, good-smelling, shiny house. I know that if I didn’t do all of the above items, I would walk into my home — my sanctuary — and feel immediately stressed and think, “I NEED to start cleaning NOW” and that is no way to re-enter your home life. Travel is stressful and the idea that at the end of the road I can walk into my home, be greeted by my whirling dervish of a diva poodle and a clean home is just the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow.
Other items that I do for my future self include:
- Trying to eat healthier. I admit that sweets are my downfall, but I am getting better at thinking, “Do I really need/want this donut? Will I see myself in photos in a week from now and be depressed that I am “that fat”? If that’s the case, I walk away from the sweets and have a piece of fruit.
- I clean off my desk before I close the office door at the end of the day. There are several areas of the house that I kind of let slide when it comes to cleanliness. One of those areas is the to-be-read box behind my kitchen chair. Sometimes it overflows onto the floor or creeps up onto the chair under which it resides. It is a constant nag when I walk past, but it isn’t something that truly impacts my future self so I let it slide. My desk, however, needs to be clean and neat and it makes me happy when I open the roll top in the morning and see my to-do list and a pen waiting there on a nest of neatness.
- Planning for business success. I know that traveling is draining, but I know that my future business self will thank me for getting out of the house and networking. Meeting new people and being in a networking or conference situation is also draining for this ambivert, but if I want to remain a solopreneur, it’s something that I do and my future self thanks me for my efforts.
- Planning for future life happiness. Saving money. Paying my bills on time. Making certain I visit my mom in the nursing home, hang out with my sister, visit with my kids and spend snuggle time with Henrietta are activities that money cannot buy. I don’t want the end of my life to come and to regret that I didn’t hang out with my son often enough or that my daughter asked me to come and visit and I said it was too far (it’s only 25 minutes) or that I am too busy. I don’t ever want to get a call from the nursing home that something happened to my mother and I have to really think back to the last time I’d visited her.
- Living life in the moment. My future self will thank me for having taken the time to live in the moment and not regret my life choices. Breast cancer is a slap in the face that has taught me some future self lessons. Embrace every moment. Be grateful for all that you have and your future self will thank you.
Do you take any steps to nurture your future self? I’d love to hear them.