The future is uncertain, but with some foresight you can increase your chances of being happy in it, Lifehack’s Chris Ellis writes. The secret is to focus on who you want to be in the future and to take steps to become that person each day.
Here are some ways Ellis suggests you can do just that.
- Clear out your life clutter. Address neglected bills, communication and projects by setting due dates and checking items off your list. If a project isn’t worth finishing, write it off and be done with it.
- Form good habits. Identify the waste in your life. For example, you may be losing time watching too much TV or playing too many video games, or you could be squandering your health by eating too much and exercising too little. Be honest about your problems and tackle them realistically, one step at a time.
- Narrow down your project list. Look at everything on your plate and pick out the few things you believe are “very important.” Focus on those and on the present, and forget about the rest so it doesn’t plague you.
- Repair damaged relationships. Unless they’re with someone abusive, insane or both, you can probably patch up problems or misunderstandings with a little effort. The best thing to do is say you’re sorry something went wrong, and if the other person agrees with you, you’ve already started building a new foundation.
- Give and receive assistance. Seek out chances to help other people, because in doing so you will find your true self. Also, give others the chance to help you.
- Remember there’s always enough time for what’s important. You may have to cut out time for hobbies or leisure, but if there’s a goal that’s important to you, you can always find time to work toward it. Even if you only take small steps, you’ll eventually reach your destination.
- Become a better communicator. Poor-quality or entirely absent communication is at the root of many of the problems we encounter in life. When you learn to speak, write and listen well, you’ll have fewer troubles and life will be less stressful.
— Adapted from “30 Vital Things Your Future Self Will Thank You For,” Chris Ellis, Lifehack.