Every second of every day, we're doing something that shapes our tomorrow.
Every second of every day, we're either giving ourselves a gift that will help make our future self happier, healthier and wiser... or not. Every day, we have an estimated 35,000 opportunities to make a choice that will benefit out future self, of which about 200 involve making food-related decisions.
Some of these gifts yield their cumulative payoff in a matter of hours, days or weeks, but more often than not, they unfold slowly and quietly much later down the road.
And the best gifts? They're usually the tiniest.
Here are 5 small, but impactful gifts that you can start giving to your future self, today:
GIFT #1: Forgive yourself
All of us have pain that we hold on to — pain from mistakes that we'd made, self-inflicted hurt or hurt that we allowed someone else to inflict upon us. As a result, we feel a dark, heavy cloud constantly hovering above our heads, following us everywhere we go.
Lighten your load by acknowledging these mistakes. Yes, you made some of them happen, and you allowed others to happen to you. But they don't define who you are. More importantly, they do not define your future.
Every moment you experience is already in the past, and all you can do is to focus on making the moments to come, better.
GIFT #2: Nurture a healthy, capable body
When you're going through your day, you want to have focus and energy to serve the people you do amazing work for. You want to feel at ease in your own skin and look good in the clothes you wear.
You want to have a meal and feel nourished and satisfied after, not bloated, guilty and lethargic because you'd overeaten....again.
So while this point may sound old and cliched, I think it's still worth saying again and again: Treating your body right and doing everything you can to keep it healthy, strong and capable is probably the most important gift you can give your future self.
GIFT #3: Rest, guilt-free
As our list of responsibilities pile sky high, it can be easy to discount the importance of rest so that we can get more done in the few hours that we have daily, but I'm here to tell you that it's not only important, it's necessary.
It's necessary to wake up in morning gently and peacefully so you can ease yourself into a new day. It's necessary to steal those ten to twenty minutes in the middle of your day to be still or just connect with yourself. It's necessary to make those 30 to 60 minutes before bed calming so that you can give your body the rest and rejuvenation it needs.
It's necessary because the people who love and care about you are counting on you to be the happiest and most present version of you around them.
GIFT #4: Simplify your life
The older we get, the more clutter we accumulate.
And it's not just material things that can clog up our lives — we also get bogged down by our incessant worrying and unrestrained thoughts, technology, an unhealthy diet full of processed foods, and social obligations, not to mention the emotional baggage that we inevitably get saddled with as we go through life.
This is where considering going down the path of minimalism can help lighten your future physical and emotional load, and those of us who do choose to for many different reasons — some out of a desire to opt out of the pressure that society places on us to want and have more, some wanting to live a life with as little self-inflicted complication as possible, and just as many who need to live with less out of sheer necessity.
I'm no expert on minimalism and am still discovering what feels right for me, so I rely on my fellow bloggers in the simple-living space for guidance in this area. If this is something you'd like to learn more about, I recommend that you read this post by Joshua Becker.
GIFT #5: Stop giving a f**k
Don't get me wrong.
I'm not talking about being indifferent to the people and things around you. What I am talking about is knowing enough about who you are and how you want to live your life to care only for the people and things that mean the most to you and have the biggest impact on your life.
This means not allowing the trivial and petty things life — mindless gossip, passive aggressiveness from folks who have nothing better to do in life than to be passive aggressive, rejection, bad traffic, or the type of car you should be driving to keep up appearances — to get under your skin and eat away at your happiness for days, weeks, months or worse, years.
So no, I don't want you to not care about everything. I just want you to stop giving a f**k about everything that's not important to you in life.
For the ultimate guide to not giving a f**k, read The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life by Mark Manson.
If you're too busy surviving, chances are, you're not thriving. You're feeling tired, unhealthy, unmotivated and just plain worn-out from life. I've created a FREE workbook just for busy folks like you who want to take back their health, peace of mind and happiness. To get your copy, all you have to do is ask for one to be emailed to you HERE. No spam. Just helpful, good-for-you stuff. Pinky swear.
This article was originally published at michelelian.com