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This is Future Emma:
This is also Future Emma:
The only thing that separates the two, are the actions and decisions that Today Emma makes (that’s me!) in servitude of her sole beneficiary: Future Emma.
Okay, so it’s daft, but I very often talk like this, to myself and about myself, in a third person narrative, for two discrete reasons:
1) There is absolutely no risk that odd-balls will take the seat next to me on the train; they are frightened of me.
2) I can pretend that Future Emma is a very dear friend of mine whom I care about deeply and who will be directly impacted by my actions, both positive and negative.
It’s sometimes hard to be kind to yourself, but you would do almost anything for someone else who you love, right?
It was the 2nd of January and I was packing my bag for work, reminding myself of the catastrophic state of my workload, that I had mentally abandoned after the first glass of Christmas party Prosecco, some two weeks before. My apprehension was not of getting back into the thick of it, but the memory of the exhaustion that followed every work day. Exhaustion tempered only by sliding down the sofa every night with a glass of Laphroaig Single Malt and watching re-runs of Star Trek Voyager. *Shudders*. Quite a pitiful insight into my secret-single-behaviour. Especially because I lied, I don’t have a sofa, I sit on the stairs.
During the last two weeks whilst on annual leave I had been, quite frankly, absolutely killing it. Starting and finishing long outstanding DIY in an afternoon, digesting entire audio books on mindfulness whilst working out, and obliterating the daily niggles section on my to-do list entitled: ‘Triggers’.
Super Woman stand aside; I’ve got this.
For me, ‘Triggers’ are the irritating, slow-burning niggles that grate on you. It’s usually something you have the privilege of walking past every day as you think to yourself, ‘ah, I really must get round to dealing with that little nuisance’, like a gremlin tugging ferociously at your trouser leg. One such job was sorting out the contents my desperately over-flowing pantry room, the daily arguments with which were undoubtedly going to send me bat-shit crazy; eventually. There are only so many times an ironing board can fall on your head before an outright tantrum ensues with very unfriendly expletives filling every corner of the house, like a dystopian bird song. In fact, just thinking about it now being completed fills me with a warm relief – akin to finding your wallet, after a frantic 30 seconds of not being able to locate it at the bottom of your handbag.
I’d made substantial and tangible progress in key areas. I wasn’t sure how I was going to maintain a level of commitment to my goals when back at work, the desire to continue ‘batting one out of the park’ on an hourly basis was going to have me crawling the walls.
This got me thinking, if I can’t keep up this level of commitment, what can I do? Would it make a difference to do just one small thing for Future Emma every day?
I grabbed the reem of Post-Its next to me and every day wrote with the heading of ‘Today I…’ in my five goal areas.
- Financial Freedom
It compounded. It didn’t matter what it was, how big or small, it was something, by the end of week two I felt like I was still making meaningful progress. Surprised at how much the little things are everything, I felt enthused. I could do this.
The true test of taking action however, comes not from feeling like you have forward momentum, but from tangible outputs. What could I do in a month, in two? Would the progress be enough to see my year-end goals achieved? I had wanted to become accountable to myself, and now I was…
2018 Goal Specifics:
These are the specific goals I have for 2018, the promises am I going to make to myself, to future Emma.
By the end of 2018 I will.. have removed anchors; anything that is holding me back. Relationships, belongings, beliefs.
- Have moved house, to a nicer area that is larger and closer to my family and transport links.
- Have decluttered my entire house, leaving only the things that I love or need.
- Be spending less time engaging in relationships with people who don’t build me up.
By the end of 2018 I will.. not need to work full time, allowing me the opportunity to pursue other goals.
- I will have set up passive income streams that bring in a cash flow equivalent to my current wages. I will be able to manage these streams in less time than my current full time employment, aspiration is 2 days a week.
- I will have set up the infrastructure for a scalable business idea to be implemented in 2019
By the end of 2018 I will.. be spending meaningful time in the company of people I care about.
- I am not distracted by my next appointment or my phone whilst in their company. I am not ‘too busy’ to support people when needed.
- I schedule free weekends that will allow for spontaneous fun.
- I am living my best life, I spend time in activities I enjoy and with people who are like minded, meaning I can attract the type of intimate relationships I want.
By the end of 2018 I will.. have made incremental improvements to my health in a way that is sustainable
- Have tailored my diet to reduce my intake of foods that I have an intolerance to.
- Have built a relationship with a counsellor and be getting longer-term independent support to manage the complex challenges that come about through being a human on this earth. Reminding myself that I am not the finished article, nor should I aspire to be.
- I get fitter every day, as I have the energy and time to take part in the regularity and variety of physical activity that I want.
By the end of 2018 I will.. have continued to grow as a person; I will have not let a day go by without learning something new and have the courage to continuously challenge my core beliefs, assumptions and values, where needed.
- Regularly take part in active learning by seeking to understand things that I do not know, in a wide variety of subjects, there are no boundaries.
- Have read a book a month, either fiction or non-fiction.
- Finished painting the 60 x 40 cm picture that I sketched out during my annual leave. A visual representation of the challenges of life working in a corporate world, entitled: The Career Trap. It will be framed and hung on the wall, in my new house, as a daily reminder in 2019 that I am doing the right thing.