I was talking to my neighbour on the weekend (from 2m away of course!) and she was saying she had been really happy with her eating the last couple of days but all she felt like doing that particular day was eating chocolate, and lots of it. I, of course, completely understood as it’s no secret how much I love chocolate.
We then joked that it’s so tempting to just let it all go and stop exercising and eat all the chocolate we want but the thing stopping us is the reality that one day, we will be out of isolation, we will want to get back into our jeans (not just our gym clothes) and do we really want to deal with the impact of all the chocolate then.
For me, it was a no. And she felt the same.
Now, I am far, far, far from perfect. My chocolate consumption has definitely gone up (Easter didn’t help!) and my jeans will most likely be a little bit tighter once I’m able to head out again (and feel like wearing something other than my gym pants) but I am really trying to be conscious of choices I make and actions I take each day by imagining the impact on my future-self.
That’s why I love this quote. Every action we take today and every choice and decision we make today is a vote for the future that we will be living.
It’s so easy to make decisions and act automatically without thinking. Our brain has been designed to do this. The more it can do automatically, the less energy it uses, and this was crucial for our ancestors in order for them to survive and evolve.
But we now have a more developed brain. One that includes a pre-frontal cortex that can make decisions, plan and think about the future. And, it’s this part of the brain that we need to engage if we want to make choices that our future-self will thank us for.
So, what does your future-self want?
This is the first step in making more conscious choices and decisions. You need to know what you want and desire for the future (your goals) so that you know what choices and actions you need to make today in order to get there. Those wants and desires don’t have to be big and lofty and years away. They can be tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.
Then, once you know your goal, set your intention each day. Each morning, ask yourself – what will I do (or not do) today that will lead me towards that future that I desire?
The fact that we are at home and that the world looks very different right now doesn’t mean we should stop creating our own future right now. Something our future-self will thank us for. Yes, we don’t know what the future will look like when we come out of this, but guess what, we never really did. No one did!
And the only things we actually had control of pre-pandemic, are the same things we have control of now and will have control of post-pandemic – our thoughts and our actions.
So, find some certainty in these uncertain times by defining your future-self. Then, focus on controlling the things you can control-your thoughts and your actions-and start creating that future-self now. One decision, one action and one day at a time.
And, if you need any help doing this because you know your future-self will thank you, then reach out. I’m happy to help.
Want more? A conscious choice is a better choice