The benefits of considering your future self

The benefits of considering your future self

When making a choice, whether big or small, it can be helpful to consider your future self (who you are weeks, months or years from now). What will they be glad you did? Can they offer you any guidance? While you can’t control every aspect of your life, considering your future self may lead you to set boundaries, establish new habits or make different choices.

“You can choose to do something new, reinvent yourself or develop another part of who you are,” says Lauren Liverman, LCSW, an oncology social worker at Piedmont Athens Regional. “We’re still writing our stories—it’s never too late to do something new.”

How to connect with your future self        

To connect with your future self, try the following tactics:

Do a life inventory. Visualize each area of your life—your health, relationships, job, hobbies, how you spend your time, etc. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with this area? Why or why not? What would I like it to look like a year from now? How about 10 years from now?”

Focus on what you can control. Liverman recommends focusing on factors within your control and what you can do differently to create your vision for the future.

Dream about the future. Create a vision board, Pinterest board or written list of your hopes, dreams and goals for the future. Regularly reviewing your list or images keeps your future vision top of mind, says Liverman. For example, if your long-term goal is related to your health, you may skip the extra cookie or glass of wine. If you want to feel more connected to your partner, perhaps you’ll plan an at-home date night.

“If you carry these ideas with you, you’re more likely in each moment to make decisions that align with those goals,” she says. “You can pause and ask yourself, ‘How will this decision impact my bigger goal?’”

Get inspired by others. “We all know someone who has done something that inspires us or who has made major life changes and has gone on to thrive,” says Liverman. “Spend time with those people.”

And when you elevate your life, you can inspire others to do the same.

“Considering your future is not a self-centered choice,” says Liverman. “When you live your best life, the people around you—your coworkers, partner, children, friends and community—are going to benefit. Growth can be scary at times, but we never regret it. No one looks back and regrets growing. We always get something good from it.”

Learn more ways to reduce stress and improve your well-being.

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