Thursday, September 9, 2021

Do Something Today That "Future You" Will Thank You For

As the world's biggest procrastinator since birth (seriously...I was two weeks late), I've always had an answer for the quote "why put off tomorrow what you can do today?"  

"Because I can."

While that's true for most things, the problem with that is that it creates unnecessary stress.  I was raised in a house that was not 'company ready.'  Piles were the theme of the day as my mom was always putting a pile on the stairs to go up which we would inevitably pass by for weeks.  A stack or two on the kitchen table that was the "later/sort" pile so you barely had enough room to sit down to eat.  Usually we didn't, it was TV tray city from 5th grade on.  If you look around my house...same thing.  Piles on the stairs that we both ignore and a stack of crap on the table that I look at, cringe and walk by.  It creates unnecessary stress for both of us and it's hard to enjoy all of the lovely Fall d├ęcor I've put out when the house isn't picked up.  I think it's a problem with living in a small house because unless you have some kind of magical storage closet, something needs to find a home and if you're bursting at the seams, that means a purge and oy.  

But I actually got off track because that isn't necessarily what I meant by the above title.  It doesn't have to be something as daunting as a whole house purge; though that would certainly help my mental state.  It can be little things.

Pre-split your supplements or pills for a few weeks in a row.  We take supplements to boost the nutrients we fall short on no matter how many fruits and veggies we squeeze in.  I don't believe in power dosing and taking 500-1000% of something.  That is ludicrous and dangerous.  I will take that 300% pill and split it 4 ways.  We both loathe it because TJ's B Complex crumbles apart and it's an orange crap show in our pill splitter.  But when we do it, and jump ahead for the following week, future us is always thankful for it.  I think I'm ahead for two weeks right now so future me (or him) is already happy.

Fill in regular items on your food tracker.  If you have foods that you eat/drink on the daily, save yourself a little time by copying and pasting them into each day for a few months.  It only takes a few minutes but for us, at least, it's always nice to have one less thing to hunt around for in the database.

Start planning your holiday expenses and/or Christmas shopping now!  There are lots of ways you can start preparing for the holiday season now.   The same shipping issues we experienced last year are expected to be just as bad, if not worse this year.  There is also chatter of production bottlenecks that will seem like shortages but are more like back ups in getting things where they need to go.  (This includes smaller turkeys for smaller gatherings!)  Be ahead of the game and start asking for Christmas lists now.  It's not like the old days when Black Friday was the only day of deals, there are plenty to be had now.  Also, get your Christmas cards now.  In a time where our connections have been broken and the likelihood of the holidays still not being the same this year, if you don't usually send cards, consider it.  I am using the leftovers I have from years past and bought a filler pack to round them out.  Amazon actually has the same Hallmark cards for cheaper!  My friend and I bought each other the same card for our birthdays and she paid a buck more!

Get your Fall gardening tasks done.  Pull those weeds (this thing is a life saver and I also use it in the Spring to make holes for annuals!).  Prune the small tree/bushes.  Better yet, get the stuff you'll need for winterizing like burlap with some stakes so when the time comes, you're ready to roll!  Plant those spring bulbs so you can have maintenance free beauty next year.

Do research on switching doctors.  More than half of people feel like their doctors don't listen to them, give them the proper amount of time or are pushing their own agenda.  If your last physical left a bad taste in your mouth, now is the time to research finding a new one.  I usually go to to see what other patients are saying since I don't trust the reviews on the doctors website.  You can filter by gender, age, distance, etc.  (Pretty disheartening to see there are no docs in my immediate town that get 5 stars.)  Many doctors schedule months in advance, especially for new patients.  Be on the ball so you're not screwed with sticking with the same dope the following year.

Get you or your kids lunches ready the night before.  The Mr always spends 15 minutes of his 30 minute lunch hour preparing his lunch, has 10-15 minutes to eat before he's back at it.  When he went to work a few days a week, he would pack his lunch the night before even getting his salad together in a salad container so he could grab and go.  I've hinted at going that route again and I bet future him would enjoy the extra time to chill with his honey!  

Meal prep for dinner.  Speaking of making stuff ahead... Whether you work from home or are waiting for dinner to cook, you can get a jump on the evening's/next day's dinner.  If you plan your meals for the week, you can see what items can be prepared ahead.  I have these bowls that do well for holding cut veggies like onions, peppers, etc as well as make-ahead sauces.  Mince anything like garlic or ginger so it doesn't feel so tedious when the time comes and give you temptation to skip it or use dried.  Often times the thing that keeps me from throwing together a more 'whole food' centric dinner is coming up from our workout only to have to do a bunch of slicing and dicing when I'm not feeling it.  This makes it so I only have to cook meat or roast veggies, pour and go.

Break down the boxes.  Some people do this the second they get something and others wait to do it.  Just keep a pair of scissors handy to break down your boxes as they come in because who has room to keep them fully assembled?  Certainly not us!  Also remember to keep boxes that are still in good shape for holiday shipping.  (Ship two weeks before the cut off this year or you could be sorry!)  Break them down and store them somewhere you can put them back together when it's time to ship.

Go through your spices.  Don't act like you don't have poultry seasoning (or a similar less used spice) from 6 years ago hanging out in your spice rack.  While they may smell okay, they aren't fresh and you're not getting the most out of them anymore.  Start with two spices per month to replenish so by the time the holidays roll around you've got all of the fresh spices your favorite cookies or homemade stuffing deserve!  

Re-Caulk the Tub.  Yes, it sucks and no matter how many times you clean or how powerful a fan you have in the bathroom, there comes a point where the mold wants to win.  While you can put some of this and a paper towel around the perimeter all night, it'll buy you a few weeks.  But if you're at the point where nothing works, just get a caulk removing tool and we recently used this caulk to redo our tub.  Use some painters tape above and below where you dug out the caulk to make a straight, clean line!

Take time for yourself even if it's just five minutes a day.  Take that favorite serum and put it on after your shower or before bed.  Put on your favorite lotion in a soothing scent to calm your senses.  Put on that sheet mask after a long day.  "Now you" can put those items on your pillow so you don't forget before going to bed!

You can see it varies on the time and effort scale on what can make future you happy but they're all worth it.  Start with the things that take five minutes and move up to the more time consuming ones.  When we are able to bring down stress levels any time of year but particularly as the holidays start to creep in, you're going to be thanking 'now you' for being on the ball!

What could you do now that would make future you happy?

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  1. Actually just getting in that workout is not only going to make future us happy but might even make sure there IS a future us. So I'm glad that has become a part of our lives for sure!

  2. I did a simple thing each night that made me happy each morning. We are in the midst of two puppies. Now they are sleeping well. But when they weren’t, I was the night time person. And I filled my thermos with boiling water each night when I went to bed. In the wee hours, 4am for example, it was the perfect hot temperature to drink. (I only drink water, I like it hot).

    I struggle with stacks too. I try hard to have the touch it once and done habit with paperwork/mail because more than once I have let a pile sit too long. Now I try to open, file, mail, shred when I bring it in so there is never a pile. It is one of those things where it is safer/easier to do every day than once in a while.

  3. I've been a terrible one with boxes because I convince myself I'll need just that size (shades of my mom) so I hang on to way too many. Since my last big break down of boxes, I have since broken down every box and have the twine ready and each week a bundled pack goes with recycling. It's also helped me realize how much money I spend that is completely unnecessary, so that has precipitated a budget amount. The two things I have been doing to bring me calmness are I exercise the moment I walk in the door from work and I have quiet time doing about 15 minutes of Bible studying as well as a couple of meeting books. The thing I'm currently working on is mental boundaries. I spend way too much time thinking about/manifesting things that aren't there or aren't my problem, and that is probably the number one drain for me, where I don't want to do anything else the rest of the day. If I'm in a mental pit, forget it. Such a waste of time and energy for me. So that's been my focus this month.

  4. I'm a huge procrastinator too. If I don't do it at the last minute, I don't do it at all. I have piles, right now my house is a disaster, but overall I've gotten better. Most weeks I can keep it contained to my "Sunday basket" and a couple of items on the bannister waiting to go to the basement. I break down boxes as soon as I empty them (except for shoe boxes which I always think I'm going to use and they stack up). I almost always set up lunches the night before or for the whole week on Sunday night, and I put out work clothes for the whole week on Sundays as well so I'm not digging through my closet in the morning before work. I actually find that it doesn't take me more time to pick out a week's clothes than a single day. Can't decide which top to wear? Pull them both and wear them both this week instead of making a decision between the two in the morning when I'm half awake.


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