"Thanks for dreaming big and investing in me."
- Your future self
Snow is mindfulness weather. It's beautiful, cleansing ... and annoying. Feeling captive? It's a good time to pause, reflect and take stock. Inhale the fresh cold air, exhale the staleness that no longer serves us.
Easy to say, harder to do. It's been a particularly cold, snowy month so far -- making it tough to get outside for a walk. Like the rest of us, I have PLENTY to do with those bits of time I'd typically use for a walk (I'm looking at you, overflowing closets and endless house-clutter!). But it's a lot more enticing when the sunny outdoors beckons ... and a whole lot less when a dusty closet does!
So how do we make the mind shift required to be more productive with our waning winter days? One tool that works is focusing on future benefits. A walk in nature has both present and future benefits (for legs, lungs, mind, dog). Less enjoyable tasks are more about future value and delaying gratification. We talked in our course this week about ways to curb a less-than-mindful online shopping habit. One good suggestion - - after you put the item(s) in your shopping cart, close the site and go back to it tomorrow. Do you still want it? If so (and it's in your budget), go for it. Most likely it'll look less enticing in the cold light of a new day. "Tuesday you" will thank "Monday you" for hitting the pause button ... and for the money you saved!
Here are 6 things you can do today that your future self will thank you for:
1. Get perspective. It will help today, tomorrow and everyday thereafter. There are many ways to gain perspective and break through ennui. Humor is a great one. I laughed for a solid 5 minutes after my daughter shared this tweet of a West Texas lawyer who appeared in Zoom Court as a big-eyed kitten (courtesy of a filter he didn't know was on!). Then I buckled down and paid some bills.
2. Protect your healthcare choices by creating advance directives. First, appoint a representative to make health care decisions for you in case of an emergency. Give that person access to pertinent medical information and detail what sorts of care you'd want (and wouldn't want) in different situations.
3. Protect your legacy. People often ask if they really need a will. Well, if you have minor children, positive net worth, and/or just want to leave clear instructions regarding your property and legacy -- and don't want to leave it to the state to decide who cares for your children or gets your stuff -- you need a will. It's a way to sleep better at night, and a future gift to the people who love you.
4. Invest in classes or time with a trainer. Learning how to move your body more efficiently in any sport or exercise will not only improve your ability but also lower risk for potential injury further down the road (especially from activity like skiing, tennis or vinyasa yoga where there is a good bit of repetitive motion).
5. Consider functional lab work to assess possible hormonal imbalances, genetic polymorphisms or nutritional deficiencies. Results can be utilized to target supplements and nutraceuticals more effectively and help address certain progressions of potential chronic diseases before outward symptoms even occur.
6. Make your retirement savings a line item in your monthly expenses. Paying your future self is as important as your mortgage or car payment. Start with this retirement calculator. Play around with retirement age, monthly savings and expenses to see how each affects a hypothetical retirement income plan.
An easy way to benefit your future self is by increasing your knowledge base. Read a great personal finance or wellness book, join a discussion group, or better yet, take a course like Woman's Compass Forum. You can still register now for the 3-month online course that started February 2. All webinars are live and recorded so you won't miss a thing!
Get a big "thank you" from your future self. Get grounded for life.