Maybe it will help to think of your Future Self as a Dear Friend.
Why is self-care so hard sometimes? I find that most people (including myself) treat their friends better than they treat themselves. And give them better advice.
And why do we procrastinate? Because (for one thing) delayed gratification is hard! Most of us, at any given moment, would much rather do something to satisfy our current self than do what would benefit our future self.
I think self-care and procrastination go hand-in-hand.
Self-care experts suggest treating yourself as if you were a child, or a dear friend. All too often we criticize ourselves and feel guilty, instead of speaking to ourselves kindly and patiently, and doing what would be constructive or helpful.
Example: Having a frustrating work day.
Negative self-talk: I suck! But I have so much more work to do. Must…keep…going…
Caring advice to a Dear Friend: Oh, sweetie! Why don’t you take a break? Take a walk, get something to eat. Then come back to your work refreshed.
And procrastination experts advise thinking of your future self when deciding what to do next and what to let slide.
Example: Sink full of dirty dishes.
Thinking only of your Current Self: Ugh! I don’t feel like doing the dishes tonight. I’m going to bed!
Thinking of your Future Self: Remember how nice it is to wake up to a clean kitchen? I don’t want my Future Self to walk in and think, “Ugh” first thing in the morning! I think I’ll do the dishes right now and get it over with.
Example: Important project you’ve been putting off.
Thinking only of your Current Self: My brain hurts. I think I’ll just watch TV instead.
Thinking of your Future Self: OK, time to get clear about why this project is important (or eliminate or simplify it); break it down into do-able steps; ask for help if I need it; and get started.
Can you think of times when it would be helpful to think of your Future Self?
When would it be helpful to treat yourself as a Dear Friend?
Why do you think these things are so hard?
Please share with us in the comments below!
Copyright 2018 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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