What would your best self do?

I listened to the most unlikely podcast the other day: The Jesuit Guide to (almost) everything on the Art of Manliness. I’m not a man and not religious so how I stumbled on it I’ll never know, but I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t at all religious (or manly), just good advice for life.

The Little Gem I took from it was this: Regularly check in with your Best Self

Your Best Self

Your Best Self is like the ideal version of you: the version that gets stuff done, exercises, eats properly, works hard, doesn’t get cranky with the kids, doesn’t procrastinate, hangs their clothes up, recycles everything, doesn’t spend hours mindlessly scrolling…… Yes. THAT person.

The Idea

The idea is that you regularly check in with yourself and ask “Am I doing now, what my Best Self would do?”

There are some regular moments where it’s really super-useful to do this:

  1. In the morning when planning your day “ Is this how my Best Self would use her time?”
  2. When you are procrastinating “Would my Best Self do the work or find an excuse?”
  3. Whenever you pick up your phone ‘Would my Best Self spend the next 30 minutes scrolling?”
  4. As you open the biscuit jar “Would my Best Self eat this?”
  5. When you decide it’s too wet to exercise “ Would my Best Self let the rain stop her run?”
  6. In the evening “Would my Best Self be happy with how today went?”

And it’s also a really useful technique when you need to:

  1. Make a decision “Would my Best Self spend $400 on a new pair of shoes?”
  2. Choose your behaviour “Would my best self lose her sh*t when her daughter draws on the wardrobe?”
  3. Keep going “Would my Best Self give up because of one snarky customer?”

Give your Best Self a name

A little enhancement that’s worked well for me is giving my Best Self a name. In my head I’ve created the ideal version of me and called it Julia Eaton (same first name to keep me “me”, different surname to lose the less-than-ideal bits)

So today, when I was feeling full of cold and quite lazy and miserable and not at all in the mood to write this, I asked “What Julia Eaton do?”

And, you see, it worked.