What does “respect your future self” mean to you? For me, it’s a more personal way of making strategic choices. Let’s start with this by looking backwards – what would you like to tell the person you were 10 years ago? Obviously, we wouldn’t want to change a thing because you are who you are due to your past experiences, but let’s do this little exercise to make a point. For example, I would have wanted my younger self to be more intentional about learning from her life experiences, especially the adversity, to stand up for herself more, and make more healthy choices.
Now that we’ve got your brain focused and clear on just how much our seemingly inconsequential choices affect us down the road, let’s look at who you want to be 5 to 10 years from now. I’m not referring to the achievements that are tangible, as that’s a goal plan. I’m referring to who you will be – at your core. You’re “being” rather than your “doing” if you will. I plan on being a healthy, fit, energetic woman who goes about her day being very intentional in how she connects with others, learns from her experiences, and understands how every decision she makes affects her future self. So, knowing that this is who I want to be, with each choice I am faced with today, I ask myself “Is this respecting my future self?” Sometimes I will respond “no” and do it anyway, because I’m human; however, for the most part, it totally and completely changes our perspectives on each choice we’re faced with.
Let’s summarize – as a reflection activity, look at who you were 5 to 10 years ago, really reflect on the choices you were faced with, the decisions you made, and how they led to who you are today. Then, look at who you want to be in 5 to 10 years from now – not what you want to achieve – and with each choice you are faced with in the present day, ask, “Am I respecting my future self?”
It’s time to own who you are AND who you want to be. Create a way that the choices you make today lead to the person you want to be tomorrow. Respect your future self!