3 Surefire Ways to to Protect Your Future Self

A person sitting on a table Description automatically generatedMost of us are taught the Golden Rule by kindergarten: Treat others how you want to be treated. And most of us follow it as much as we can. But there is often one person whose feelings we forget to think about: our future self. 

Who gets it worse than him or her? If I want some chocolate cake now, it will be Future Me’s responsibility to hit the treadmill. If I want to binge out on Netflix this evening, Future Me can work double time to finish that report tomorrow. We freely abuse our future selves in ways that we never would if it was anyone else.

No more! Future Selves have rights too! And since Future You really is just you, it really will pay to start trying to make his or her life easier.

How do you do it? Do you have to abandon dessert and never procrastinate again? Some discipline will help in those obvious areas. But a lot of it starts with taking steps now that will pay off for years to come. Specifically, work on the following three areas today and you can start protecting your future self forever.

1. Be More Social

There are a ton of studies that show how much more healthier people are when they are surrounded by family and friends. In particular, we know the opposite can be very detrimental, with more and more research revealing just how harmful it can be when people isolate, especially in their older years.

According to the National Institute on Aging, an agency within U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, loneliness and isolation have been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression. To avoid all this, the best medicine may be community, so you should make efforts now to widen and deepen your circle.

2. Take Your Medicine

Our medical advancements in recent decades have been nothing short of miraculous. While we all need to steer clear of scams, overpriced placebos, and potentially harmful substances pushed as wonder cures, there are so many ways to make taking THC simple and other pharmaceuticals available today that allow you to live better and prevent diseases from progressing.

For those at retirement age, this makes signing up for Medicare Part D as soon as possible almost a no-brainer. It supplements the core Medicare plans and gives seniors access to a wide range of drugs for free or a very reduced cost. And since it is so affordable, getting access immediately can significantly help your older self stay healthier longer.

3. Live Within Your Means

Few things are worse for your future self than drowning in debt. Overspending now is a classic case of pushing a problem down the road so that you don’t have to deal with it now. Everybody thinks that they will be making more next year or that they can just tighten their belt a little when it comes time to pay it off.

But you are setting your future self up for failure if you cannot live within your means. What happens when you get laid off or injured and can’t work for eight months? What if your home is damaged and insurance doesn’t cover it? What if any number of emergencies hits? Sure, there are some legitimate reasons to take on debt (mortgage or student loans being good examples). But if you’re just putting a vacation you can’t afford on a credit card, you’re only creating a burden for Future You.

Looking Out for Number One

We all want to be successful in the future. But it can be hard to think about it in concrete terms. The concept of the future is just so nebulous and hard to envision. If you start thinking about your Future Self as someone you can help, however, it may become easier to do the right thing today.

Start by trying to cultivate more of a community with your family, friends, and social groups to stay healthier and more engaged later in life. Take your medicine and start practicing preventative care before ailments progress into serious issues. And don’t create debt burdens just because you can’t be patient enough to save up for a new shiny toy.

There are no guarantees in life, and even the best laid plans often go awry. But by applying the golden rule to Future You, there is a great chance that you both will be able to enjoy yourself more down the line.