Top things to do now that your future self will thank you for

Ready to get some well-earned gratitude from your future self? We get it – it can be so easy to put things off when life seems hell-bent on getting in the way. That said, we’re of the mind that some things are just too important to put off. So…to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction, here’s a list of a few things you can action right now that your future self will high-five you on.


The great declutter (of the garage and your mind)

It’s time to Marie Kondo your mind! If you haven’t watched the Netflix hit ‘Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo’ then start immediately and take notes – this is life-changing advice. Her top-shelf decluttering tips include having a place for everything (and if you want to embrace your inner organiser, label neatly where everything should go), getting rid of papers (which also benefits our environment) and think about how you can better use vertical space in the house – think glorious shelves people, with everything stacked as neat as a pin.

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Moving yourself more (think like Neil Armstrong)

We are all aware of the benefits of physical exercise. However, we need to look at how we can start depositing into our ‘bank of health’, as often we only worry about our health when it is threatened or taken away from us. Director for NZ Men’s Health Week, Mark Sainsbury, strongly advises to  “take small steps towards better health, as these small steps can lead to great changes.” So… think like Neil as he placed one boot on the moon, it may be one small step for you, but one giant leap for your future health.


Throw yourself in and create the ‘rough draft’

Been procrastinating on a beautifully big idea? When faced with a ‘chunkier’ project or task, allow yourself to unapologetically throw yourself in to it and reap the benefits! All you need to do is sit down and write/make just whatever comes into your head or through your hands. Even if it sounds or looks nonsensical, it is something. And from that something you can go back and chip away at editing and refining.


Get a will – because where there’s a will, there’s a way

It can be a bit strange and uncomfortable to think about not being on this earth and the impact that might have on your loved ones (cue a few sideways glances to each other). However, making time to sort out your will can bring you a calming peace of mind. If it’s all there in black and white, you can relax knowing that what you want to see happen to your people, pets and valued items will come to fruition when it’s time to make your grand exit. So perhaps your future self may not thank you personally for this, but your loved ones certainly will.


Try yoga/pilates/meditation or mindfulness – even if to find out it’s not for you.

Bending yourself into a downward dog or uplifting your mind may not be your jam – but it’s worth giving it a go to find out. It’s often the case that the greatest advocates were previously their harshest critics. You could try an online yoga, meditation, pilates, & a fitness app like Glo, which are often free for the first week – so you really do have nothing to lose.

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Save your money – there will be plenty of rainy days ahead

Now is the time to ask yourself do I really need this? Then ask yourself again…DO I REALLY NEED THIS? Is there an alternative to purchasing new? Maybe head over to your local community Facebook page to see if anyone has taken up the aforementioned ‘great declutter’ and wants to get rid of their trash, which could be your treasure? Or consider recycling/upcycling, borrowing or the old-fashioned approach of simply doing without?


Start being more curious

Nurturing our own sense of curiosity is so incredibly beneficial for us later in life. Renowned for his intense curiosity, Albert Einstein, in his later years penned a letter to his friend describing, “People like you and me never grow old. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.” This folks, is what we are dubbing the Theory of Curiosity.  You can look to try and adopt the habits of curious people – listen without judgement, nurture your natural empathy, be okay with being wrong and of course, always ask questions!

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Protect yourself and your family with life insurance

Life insurance can help make the hardest time a little easier for those you love. If you have people who depend on you for financial support, then it’s good to consider your life insurance options. If something happens to you, a payout could help the people important to you with things like mortgage repayments, living costs, or simply by leaving a legacy - depending on what level of cover you choose. It pays to think about how this would positively affect your loved ones – how the payout can help them financially when you're not around anymore. Ticking this off the list often results in the realisation that it is easier than you think to get cover in place.


Increase your smiling time

That’s right, it’s time to get those corners of the mouth moving north and build up your smile savings. You could watch a funny movie, listen to a comedy podcast, check out these feel good songs, smile and wave at strangers on the street, dedicate a solid afternoon to hilarious cat videos, write a list of the top funniest moments of your life.

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Views expressed in this article are of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, or endorsement by, The New Zealand Automobile Association. The New Zealand Automobile Association assumes no responsibility for the products referred to in this article.