Have you ever seen a meme where people leave a snack, a refreshing beverage, or a hangover “cure” for their future self just before going out on a bender? The thing is that both good and bad decisions give dividends in the future. The biggest problem with feeling motivated to do good is that it’s sometimes hard to see too far down the line.
Sure, you know you’ll eventually look better by working out, but how much better, and how will this improvement make you feel? If you could look at yourself in the mirror or, just for a second, feel the pride of your new physique, you may find it easier to go to the gym today.
Now, to help you out, here are the top seven ways you can definitely do a favor to your future self and start doing so as early as today.
1. Get up earlier
Getting up early is one of the best ways to improve your life. You’ll feel like you’re stealing extra time by getting up early. First of all, studies show that the first two hours in the morning are your peak hours of productivity throughout the day.
Aside from this, the majority of people who are texting you are asleep. Even if they’re not asleep, they’re not up to chat. The only reason why people get up that early is to follow their morning routine. This means that they won’t disturb you while you’re on about your business.
Another great thing about getting up this early is greater accessibility to the feeling of accomplishment. You’re already winning when you just get up and do something productive. Admiral McRaven claims that by making your bed early in the morning, you’re already setting up a consequence of one positive action in the day.
2. Do your daily workout
Just getting up in the morning is great, but it’s even better when you use this time of day for something productive. Why not dedicate this time to a workout?
Working out is generally great for your health but gives you numerous immediate boosts. For instance, you get a boost to numerous cognitive abilities and an increased focus. Then, there’s the fact that your health generally affects your cognitive abilities. Chess players try to stay in shape because you can’t focus on the game if you’re already focusing on the back pain.
The workout is tough, but the benefits are too great to ignore. As Marcus Aurelius once said, ordering yourself to work out is your mind showing your body who’s in charge.
3. Start an emergency fund
When you face an emergency expense, you will be thankful that you’ve taken just a bit of funding and put it toward an emergency fund. Namely, by setting aside $1 on the first week of the year, $5 on the fifth, and $52 on the fifty-second, you can save $1,378 in a year. In a few years, you’ll have a small emergency fund.
The key thing to remember is that no one is asking you to skimp on your rent money to start this emergency fund. If you find it too difficult to handle (psychologically), you can gamify the experience.
A consensus is that you should have three to six months’ worth of expenses in this fund. Just avoid dipping into it whenever you can. This is one of those things that you must have but hope never to use.
4. Make a risky investment
How is making a “risky” investment a good idea? First of all, risk is not always bad. With higher risk comes a higher reward. If you only invest money you can afford to lose, then all should be fine.
Imagine returning to 2016; how much Bitcoin would you buy? What about if you could go to 2005? The thing is that while time travel is unrealistic, what’s not unrealistic is scouting out a new initial coin offering options and figuring out which might explore.
No, this is not a gamble, and it’s not a lottery. You’re merely trying to pick up on the future trend in a volatile market and placing a bet you cannot afford to win. It’s as simple as that, but it could change your future life.
5. Stop hanging around with people who are holding you back
Some people are just bad influences. Sure, some may argue that hanging out with smokers after you’re stopped smoking will test your resolve, but not every vice is smoking, and you shouldn’t “test your resolve” more than necessary.
The truth is that some people just push you to do better and be better. Then, some are holding you back or, at the very least, taking up a spot for those who could have pushed you forward. Have you ever heard about Dunbar’s number? This is the number of people with whom an individual can maintain a stable social relationship. In other words, there’s a limited number of spots.
Sure, nostalgia creates strong connections, but sometimes it’s hard to admit that you should have ended a connection long ago. Sometimes it’s hard to stand up for yourself. Speaking of which…
6. Learn how to say no
The only people who will get upset when you learn to set boundaries are those who benefited from the fact that you had no boundaries before. Learning how to say no will not only prevent people from exploiting you, but it will also make them look at you differently.
Remember that saying no is also quite honest. Most of the time, you’re trying to come up with excuses. You’ll either be coming up with reasons why you can’t do something by pretending you lack time, energy, or money or that you’re otherwise occupied. So, what happens when they call you out or find out that you’re lying?
Saying no protects your integrity and puts an end to a discussion. You don’t have to be dismissive or impolite while doing so; you just have to put yourself first. This is a skill that will set you ahead both personally and professionally.
7. Take care of your skin
Your age is one of the most important factors regarding how old you look. This is why whenever you read about some new anti-aging program, it’s usually just a clever rebranding of a regular skincare routine.
Apart from this, your skin is a barrier between your internal organs and harmful influences from the outside world. Caring for your skin improves overall health and protects you from UV radiation, pollution, and other pathogens and chemicals.
As we’ve mentioned, your skin is what you show to the outside world, what protects you, and what reveals your age to the world. With the right skincare routine, you’ll look better and be aware of it. This means you’ll have more confidence and feel much better in your skin (no pun intended). This alone is a major difference that you should never downplay.
Both good and bad decisions tend to pay dividends in the future
The first step toward making better decisions is understanding the ripple effect that each of these positive decisions makes. This will help improve your motivation and help you keep going when it gets tough. Remember that consistency is the name of the game, so never give up.