Last night I got to thinking how most of my worst procrastinating moments or issues involve a picture of a future me. Whether it's something I'm putting off doing today, like clearing my email backlog, or some bigger goal or aspiration I'm yet to tackle, there's always this thought at the back of my mind how a future version of myself will sort all these things out, no problem. Do you know what I mean? It’s like the me I'll be tomorrow will be super motivated and organised, and the one I'll be next year will have it All. Figured. Out. The problem of course is that when tomorrow comes I'm still going to feel just like me, and when next year arrives, I won't have morphed into a superwoman.
The perfect image
One of my big ‘future me' projects has been painting. I have this image of me living by the sea, never in a hurry, never bogged down by emails, only sunshine and seascapes and me painting to my heart’s content. Another one has been being healthier and eating clean. The pictures of both these scenarios are very clear in my head, and I think about a future with me doing these things daily. However, today I’m feeling frantic and too busy and tired to cook, so will probably be ordering a takeaway, and I’m definitely not even entertaining the idea of having enough time to take my paints out. But, you know, maybe tomorrow’s me will get closer to actually accomplishing it all… Right?
A two-part process
So, the problem is, how can we bridge that gap from the me of today, to that fabulous and blissfully happy ‘future me'? I’m starting to realise that there are two parts to the process. The first part is having that clear idea of what you want your ‘future me' to be like. Be very specific and paint as vivid a picture in your mind as you can; how will you look like, how will you feel like and what will you be doing with your time. You might have some versions already figured out, like I do, but you can get even more specific and imagine how a ‘future me' would feel dealing with any type of task or goal you're putting off.
The second, and most important part, is starting to act like that future me today. Even if she feels like a million miles away right this moment. The thing is, it’s the only way to ever reach that person you want to be. It's such an important shift in your thinking, to stop assigning tasks to an imaginary ‘future me', who might never materialise, and instead own that version of yourself right now.
From now on, every time you catch yourself thinking about how your future me will take care of something you should (or want to) be doing today, step up. Decide to be your future me now. And watch the future explode wide open in front of you.