Every time I go to Wal-Mart, I see about a million things that I think that I need to buy. Of course, I do not actually need any of these things (The $5 movie bin is a tool of Satan). Who really does? However, this is Today Me that needs his instant gratification. Of course, if I were to buy that $800 dollar television, it’s not like I wouldn’t enjoy it. Then, if I had that tv, I would obviously need to buy a new Xbox One to play games on it. See, the list goes on and on of all the things that Today Me wants to have in my house.
The problem with Today Me is that he is not at all concerned about Future Me or Future Me’s family. Future Me can worry about himself. Future me has plenty of time to catch up with Today Me’s spending habits. The world is full of money, right?
I read an article by Trent Hamm on The Simple Dollar today that dealt with this idea of what we feed that you should check out. It covers the same thing. What do we do? You obviously cannot indulge both characters fully. One will have to suffer while the other flourishes. There is an obvious answer to this dilemma. We should be sacrificing our current comforts to provide for our future, especially if we have more than just our selves to worry about. It is just so tempting when you’re staring at that smart tv and it is calling out your name.
A couple of years ago, I started doing some serious evaluating of my life and how well I was providing for my family. I started reading anything I could get my hands on in regards to finances. I made a choice to start living my life a little more intentionally. I wanted to stop feeding Today Me. The result: I can honestly say that, for the first time in my life, I have 5 and 10 year plan for myself and my family. I think this is what determines which Me wins. This is also probably true for all of us.
One of the things that I would like to accomplish in the next couple of years is simply getting in better shape. I weighed all of about 150 to 160 pounds for the entire decade of my 20’s. However, my 30’s have not been nearly as kind as I currently sit at around 230 pounds. I have never been too concerned about my weight but have now reached a point where I start to lose my breath when I am tying my shoes. Easy fix, wear sandals everywhere. Long term goal, the weight has to go. The problem here is that I absolutely hate exercise. Today Me says don’t sweat it (pun?). Future Me says get up off the couch Fatty.
I would like to start running. I have given it a couple of tries in the past but never really stayed with it. I get tired very quickly and then give up. Of course, carrying extra weight will do that to you. However, in an article titled Anyone Can Be A Good Runner, Kevin Draper points out that, “Running can be a vital cog in a healthy lifestyle, but as a weight loss strategy it’s bad. An average-sized American male running three times a week will take roughly three weeks to lose a pound.” From Draper’s comments, I can gather that running alone will not get the weight loss results that I am looking for. Running has definite benefits but more is required. So, Future Me needs a plan. He needs a life goal to pursue.
In the absence of a life goal, your current desires will always win out. The reason for this is simple. You have no reason to say no to your impulses if there are no other options. So……. make a list. What do you want to do five years from now? Where do you want to be ten years from now? If your life plans go no further than what show you want to binge watch on Netflix this weekend then you’ll go nowhere. Establish your life goals and then you can begin to get a picture of where you want to go.
I would encourage you to make a decision now to stop feeding Today You. Make some goals for yourself and put Future You in the picture.