10 Things You Can Do Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For

We’ve all heard it –Live in the present. There is a great deal of focus these days on living in the moment and living for today.  And while that might be a wonderful piece of wisdom, you can actually do something today that will also benefit you in the future. Whether it be acquiring skills to qualify for a better job, saving money for a rainy day or retirement or quitting smoking, having an eye on the future is not a bad thing. Whether you are 20 or 60 or 80, there is always something you can do today that will benefit you in the future.

  1. Exercise for 30 minutes a day (at least). You don’t have 30 minutes? How about three 10-minute chunks? We all have 10 minutes here and there. Go for a walk, jump rope, swim, garden, dance! Regular exercise is an important part of not just physical health, but also mental health.
  2. Avoid toxic influences. Whether it is junk food, smoking, the grouch next door, living in a noisy neighborhood or watching bad TV shows, everyone and everything you connect with has an impact on you. Choose your food, friends, your surroundings and how you spend your time wisely.
  3. Invest in yourself. Get a makeover, learn a language, take up a musical instrument or sport, get rid of bad habits, travel. Be the best YOU you can be.
  4. Improve your communication skills. Communication at home, work and in life affects you and others in many important ways. What you say, what you don’t say, what you share and how you say things does matter. It can make or break a marriage, a work relationship and even how countries relate to one another.
  5. Challenge your brain. Read, solve a crossword puzzle, play chess, solve math problems. Keep your brain busy and challenged.
  6. Volunteer! Pay it forward. We are not in this world alone. Make someone’s life better any way you can. University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives: “…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.”
  7. Another thing you can do to improve your future life is to budget. It is amazing what happens when we actually write things down and see where our money is going. Make sure you know how much money is coming in every month. Then create 3 columns for: needs (mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, etc.), savings (college, retirement, vacation, Christmas gifts, etc.) and wants (manicure, frapuccino, new purse, fishing trip to Baja). Allocate the funds in that order.
  8. Wear sunscreen – it helps prevent skin cancer, premature aging and improves overall skin health.
  9. “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health,” says Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh.
  10. Wear sunglasses every time go outside. Yes! even on cloudy days and in winter! Shield your eyes from harmful UV rays today and you will be protecting the health of your eyes of tomorrow. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from the drying effects of wind, the damaging effects of sand and debris which we notice instantly. However, the dangerous effects of UV rays may take years to manifest into diseases such as eye cancer, macular degeneration, cataracts, Pterygium (benign growths on the eye), sunburned eyes and crow’s feet. Be good to your eyes today and you’ll be glad you did tomorrow.  But not all sunglasses are created equal so look for sunglasses that are Polarized and have 100% UVA/UVB protection or say UV400.

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