By Nataly Kogan

How your tomorrow self can help you today

How could you make your tomorrow self proud with what you do today?

This is a really awesome question to ask yourself.

Why? Because your tomorrow self can be a great guide for how to best approach your day and yourself today.

Here are a few examples:

- If you feel tired today, you could make your tomorrow self proud by making time to rest -- this way, your tomorrow self will have energy to do what you want and need to do.

- If you’ve got a lot to do, you could make your tomorrow self proud by approaching your to-dos with a sense of enthusiasm and clarity vs. dread and complaining (this will help you get more done and avoid wasting unnecessary energy!)

- If you’re working on something challenging, you could make your tomorrow self proud by focusing on your purpose for doing it vs. indulging in self-doubt.

- If you’re feeling down, you could make your tomorrow self proud by practicing gratitude or reaching out to connect to a friend.

- If you’re hesitating about getting your workout in, you could make your tomorrow self proud by getting to the gym or going for a walk or run outside.

At the end of the day (pun intended!), what matters isn’t what others think of you. What matters is how you feel about you.

So your tomorrow self can be a great motivator for choosing what you do and focus on today.

In fact, research shows that when we connect to our future selves, we make better choices.

The human brain likes short-term rewards -- which is why we reach for that extra cookie even though we've committed to healthier eating habits. The benefit of not eating the cookie is long-term but the benefit of eating it is right here and now (it tastes good!), so our brain convinces us to go for it.

This is where thinking about your future self can be so helpful. It changes your perspective and expands the timeline within which you see the impact of your actions. How does your future self, the one who you really want to be healthier, feel about this cookie?

This is the research that inspired me to think about how I could make my tomorrow self proud.

I think it can be challenging for us to think too far ahead (a week seems long enough, right?!)

But connecting to my tomorrow self is something I can really grasp. It's tangible. I can get my mind around it and it gives me a more helpful lens for making decisions about what I do today.

So, back to the cookie example.

Will my tomorrow self be proud if I eat that extra cookie?

It depends! If it's a special occasion -- say, my daughter is home from college and made molasses cookies that I love -- then you know what, sure! My tomorrow self will be proud that I enjoyed this little extra treat with my daughter.

But if it's just me, mindlessly eating too many cookies, nah, my tomorrow self will not be proud. She will be annoyed and frustrated.

I really love this idea of making my tomorrow self proud and I hope you find it helpful too.

So how could you make your tomorrow self proud today?

With enthusiasm,


Next up: How to be (a little more) OK when life isn't OK

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