How to Be Kind to Your Future Self {+ Book Give-away}

“What would you call someone who …

• …demands that you be someone you’re not?
• …ignores your needs?
• …refuses to let you use your God-given gifts and talents well?
• …sets you up for failure, even disaster, over and over again?
• …does all of the above over and over and over?

Sounds like a bully, perhaps even an abuser, doesn’t it? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘How often does ‘who I am today’ treat ‘who I will be tomorrow’ (or next week or next year) this way?'”

Guilty as charged. That’s how I felt when I read these words. I’m not so awesome at taking care of my future self. And when I read those wise words a few months ago, God got my attention!

I was reviewing my friend Kathi and Cheri’s upcoming book, and I’d been honored by their invitation to write its foreword. But this was no longer  just an honor for me and a favor for them. THIS was a message I NEEDED TO HEAR right then and there! And after reading the whole book, I’m convinced it’s a message every woman needs.

I asked Kathi and Cheri to share some of it with you today. Here’s more from the pages of “Overwhelmed” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory… 

It happens every single day. 

We tell ourselves that although today we don’t feel like taking the pets to the vet, filling out on those forms, or scheduling that root canal, our Future Self will get right on it.

Tomorrow, we tell ourselves, I will have more drive, more energy, more excitement!.

Then, tomorrow comes, and we feel overwhelmed because we placed unrealistic expectations on our Future Selves.

So how can we help a sister out? The best way to take care of your Future Self is Pre-Deciding: making intentional decisions ahead of time about particulars and principles.

The Magic of Pre-Deciding
You’ve probably seen that word art on your friend’s walls that says, “In this family we …” (My favorite picture on Facebook is one where my friend has a wall art that says, “In this family we love each other …” with her son standing next to his sister, who gave him a bloody nose while wrestling.)

Now, I want you to consider your own, “In my life I will …” type statements.

Pre-Deciding—before you’re facing an overwhelming situation—who you are as a person, what your core values are, and how you will act saves you time, energy, and agony.

You chose ahead of time—before the question is asked, before the problem occurs, before the dilemma arises—what you will and will not do. Who you will be and who you will not be.

Pre-Deciding puts your core values in action long before they are put to the test.

Because deciding in the moment to do the right thing is exhausting. And completely overwhelming.

Pre-Deciding makes sure that your Future Self is your very best self.

Clarifying Your Personal Principles with a Personal Manifesto

I (Kathi) first came up with the idea of a Personal Manifesto when I was making some big decisions in my life and wanted every decision to spring out of the values that I held dear.

A Personal Manifesto is a personalized list of values—who you are and who you aspire to be. It’s like your own personal code of conduct that is not decided in the moment but Pre-Decided before you’re in crisis.

Even though I may not be living out each point fully, it is my goal to grow in each and every one of those areas.

I (Cheri) find that having a Personal Manifestos is especially important for me since I’m a Highly Sensitive Person. Even when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, Pre-Deciding helps me act on my values rather than react to my circumstances.

The purpose of a Personal Manifesto isn’t to limit you—it’s to help you focus your time energy and even money on the areas that are important to you.

Here are ours:

So how does my Personal Manifesto keep me from being overwhelmed?

1. It keeps me from saying yes to things I should say no to.
I recently was asked to donate to a worthy cause, but as I prayed about the amount to give, I felt no nudging from God to give. My PM says, “I give generously as God directs.” I kept the money, and we used it the next time God directed us to sponsor a child through Compassion.

2. It reminds me what I should say yes to.
If it’s a choice between supporting a friend at her art opening or Roger the night before Good Friday at church (one of his busiest times of the year), I choose Roger. Other people will go to my friend’s art opening, but I’m the only wife who will bring Roger dinner during that incredibly busy time. Yes, he can get his own dinner, and has told me that. But I’m on his team. Always.

3. It reminds me of what—and who—is important.
If I’m tempted to take on a new project, but keep complaining to my husband that we aren’t spending enough time together because my schedule keeps getting in the way, my PM reminds me that I’ve already chosen my priority: I just need to live it out.

Make your own Personal Manifesto. It will take a little time right now, but it will save you a lot of overwhelm in the days to come.

It’s worth the effort.

You Future Self is cheering for you! 

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it’s possible to move from “out of my mind” to “in control” when you’ve got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?

Kathi and Cheri share five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don’t often work, and how you can create a plan that finally works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you’ll understand how to…

  • trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life
  • decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite
  • replace fear of the future with peace in the present

You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.

ENTER TO WIN: Kathi and Cheri would like to send a copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity to one of you!To qualify for the drawing, simply do these TWO things:

1. LEAVE A COMMENT below this post on my blog, where it says “Share Your Thoughts.” All entries must be on my blog. Click here to leave a comment.

2. SHARE this POST on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, with the hashtag #OvewhelmedBook

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into a random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. Our random drawing will take place on Monday, March 13th. {Giveaway is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

Want help creating a Personal Manifesto? Sign up here for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you! 

renee-kathi-and-cheri-photoKathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the bestselling author of several books, including Clutter Free, The Husband Project, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four young adults.

Cheri Gregory spends her weekdays teaching teens and weekends speaking at women’s retreats. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, for more than 28 years. The Gregorys and their young adult kids, Annemarie and Jonathon, live in California.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. Patty Vance says:

    I would love to be entered to win a copy of Overwhelmed. Thanks so much for all your wonderful words. You will never know this side of Heaven how God has used you powerfully to bless the spirits of women all over the world. Have a gloriously blessed day.

  2. Overwhelmed seems to be a MIDDLE NAME for my emotions, and thoughts. I do not always have a good friend to talk with or to share my “over the bank” feelings. It seems that times happen on the weekends when I cannot contact my support folks. Thus I pray, listen, pray some more, and read scriptures. I then- pray more. The verse pertinent for me this weekend is Psalm 34:17 “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles” I know that my Lord will help me. I just need to get over my “overwhelming” feelings and listen!
    Overwhelmed will awaken me to what is up and then I go to the Lord. He is my help!

  3. Myra Hogue says:

    I would love this book!! Love your blogs!!

  4. What a great idea to have a personal manifesto to avoid being overwhelmed. Please enter me!

  5. Great article and been wanting this book.thank u for giving us this opportunity to win shared on fb

  6. Tiffany George says:

    This book sounds amazing. Unfortunately, I am guilty of the same things that all the above was describing and know all too well how it feels too become way OVERWHELMED!! I would love to be entered for this giveaway and am sharing to my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so hopefully others can see this and have a chance at this giveaway as well. Thank you!!

  7. #OverwhelmedBook. Speaks to my heart today…Knowing I don’t always live prioritizing what I value most. A work in progress.

  8. Carol DeVries says:

    This book sounds like just the read that I need. The title says it all.

  9. Kathleen K. says:

    The title is my life right now. Praying this can change because it is too much to face each day being overwhelmed. Single parenting with no support gets difficult some days. Would love to win this book.

  10. Tricia C says:

    Oh this post had perfect timing. Overwhelmed so describes the past 6 years plus of my life. Thank you so much for what you do spreading the word.

  11. This is what I needed today! Looking forward to reading this book!

  12. I am just reminded each day to practice mindfulness. Thinking about what I’m thinking about and judging my motives before acting. Everything isn’t profitable. Is it a good thing or a God Thing?

  13. Kristie Nelson says:

    This book sounds life changing for me. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  14. Susana Rucker says:

    Sounds very interesting! I think it would be worthwhile to create a personal manifesto. I would love to get my hands on this book!

  15. Marisha says:

    The book sounds great!! How many points did you list here that we should be clear about in our lives and they ring a bell with me and where I am in my life now. It’s funny how above it says that we should have a personal manifesto including “in this life I…” But then I paused and realized that I don’t know what I would say, I would definitely need to seek God’s guidance. And it’s a bit embarrassing that at my age I cannot complete this sentence off the bat.
    I would love to have no fear of the future and to know with confidence whose feedback to take in and whose to discouraged. I would like to develop a personal manifesto that would be pleasing to God, but also respected and accepted by other people in my life.

  16. Jeanette says:

    Wow! This sounds like a book written for me! Would love to win a copy!

  17. Wendy s says:

    Yes, overwhelmed can relate to that

  18. Susan G. says:

    Thanks for this Renee!
    Cheri’s and Kathi’s new book “Overwhelmed” sounds like a must read!

  19. I would love to win a copy. This makes so much sense to me and I think it is a great tool for kids as they face the many challenges that peer pressure creates.

  20. Marcia Glase says:

    I would of course love to win a copy of this book. I can relate to being highly sensitive. I wear my feelings on my sleeve. But to rearrange my schedule and get rid of the clutter…to learn these things. To put Jesus first. Thank you for writing the #OverwhelmedBook.

  21. I need to read this book. I can’t win it because I live overseas. I am a person who gets overwhelmed often and the thought of pre-deciding is very new to me. Something really connected with me as I read this post and I guess I’m looking for some answers. If I can get this book here in Australia I will take it with me to read and pray over when I go on a three day retreat alone. Thank you for sharing this, Renee!

  22. Doing life without a partner to share the good & the not so good.
    Have a very stressful job in healthcare. Lost my home & belongings in the Louisiana flood in Aug 2016 (without flood insurance). Talk about overwhelmed!

  23. Sharon Gentry says:

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway! Would love to heave a copy of overwhelmed.


  25. Therese says:

    I am a busy woman and do feel overwhelmed very often. I think I need to read this book and practice what it says. I love the idea of a Personal Manifesto. This is a must read to take charge of my life. Hope I win!!

  26. Julianna says:

    This seems like a book that would benefit so many! I would love to win a copy!

  27. Rachel Ogden says:

    #OvewhelmedBook sounds like it was written for me!
    I would love to win a copy!

  28. Gail Carlisle says:

    This book sounds amazing and I would LOVE to have #Overwhelmed in my library. I have problems with many things – actually dating back to 1st grade in the 60’s!I’m trying, and getting better, by the grace of God!

  29. Hilda Quintanilla says:

    Currently dealing with anxiety/panic/depression and phobias. I need this book desperately!

  30. Overwhelmed, well that’s an understatement. Curious about the book! It is possible to spend almost all your time soaking in God’s word and still just be overwhelmed. Then what? 🙁

  31. Overwhelmed seems to be the only state I live in anymore.

  32. This sounds like a book that I need to read, I’ve let things overwhelm me in life. Taking care of my mom who has cancer has taken a toll on me. I sometimes forget tour take care of me when I am busy taking care of her.

  33. Dani Peele says:

    I relate so much. Overwhelmed and overcommitted is daily. Thank you for writing a book to help see things differently.

  34. I have been listening to the audiobook of “Overwhelmed,” and it’s fantastic! Not only does it challenge me to overcome the overwhelming in my life, but it gives so many practical strategies to make it happen! I am very grateful for Kathi and Cheri!!!

  35. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is a constant struggle for me. I would love to read this book! Thank you.

  36. What would I call this person? My X Husband! After 30 years of being beat down emotionally I finally found the strength to say no more! Life hasn’t been easy the past 11 years but God HAS Been with me every step of the way!

  37. a macdonald says:

    I would love this book! Overwhelmed is a book that would help a lot! Thanks for the chance!

  38. D millman says:

    I have often thought that I am giving future me too much credit. I’d love to read this book.

  39. Geralyn D Miller says:

    On top of all the other changes I am going through, my check to chomped lost in half and Iwas ALREADY wondering how I will pay rent AND eat. Because of the surgeries, I still only way about 94lbs! Sad but true! This time…THIS TIME, I will not REACT! I will choose to TRUST GOD FIRST! Then see what He does and LISTEN and HEAR what He wants from me. Thank You Father God for Your Spirit I Jesus precious Name!!!

  40. I love this post! The book giveaway would be a blessing! There are so many powerful truths in this post. Life can certainly plow us down especially when we lose our focus upon HIm. I have caught myself on some very rough days, lost in my thoughts instead of lost in Jesus and realized it was just pulling me in further. It shook me up. I then closed my eyes and opened my heart to Jesus and just sat still, breathing in His Presence. Thank you for this words of truth and gospel. I loved it! I love the Manifesto’s . You ladies are such a blessing to others. Thank you for being warriors in Christ.

  41. Charletta Rupert says:

    I would love to learn how to divide my time properly.

  42. Thank you for your post. I’d love to win.

  43. Sharon C.+ says:

    Overwhelmed is a great title and more over a life I live daily. I think OCD is it’s cousin and I am both. Everything in my life fits in there. I hurt all the time physically and mentally. I used to do lots of things and enjoyed doing them. Now because of the hurt and pain I rarely get out of the house. I know some of these health issues I caused. Some are hereditary and some are environmentally.. The medicine I take for this and that is like a band aid. It’s a temporary prevention but it doesn’t get to the root cause. I don’t even know if there is a way to dig deeper and get to the root. All I know is I’m hurting almost 24/7. If you can think of a way for me, I’m listening. Thanks. Sharon

  44. Mandy Janzen says:

    This book would be a great read!!! I would love to win, and share it with my entire bible study group!!! You do amazing work!!!

  45. Shelly Cox says:

    Wow, that was eye-opening. I am terrible for procrastinating and making the decisions later. I would love to read this book, and share it with my daughter!

  46. Lesly Verbeten says:

    As a single mom who works full time, boy do I feel overwhelmed at times. I need to get things in order and really know what to prioritize and what to set aside. I’d love a copy of this book.

  47. I love the idea of predeciding and being kind to future me. ?

  48. joanna kearns says:

    Please pick us we sure feel overwhelmed it would be a miracle to win !

  49. Deborah Lara says:

    I am grateful to have a chance to win this book! I’m constantly overwhelmed with life! Thank you for this opportunity to assist me with my Future self! God Bless~

  50. Mary Pinckney says:

    This will be a great tool for our women’s bible study!

  51. Elizabeth Lynn says:

    With the way my life has been going since last summer especially, I need to read this book!

  52. Overwhelmed is a trap that we all seem to fall into. I know I personally need tips on not getting overwhelmed, especially with another little one on the way!

  53. Wow, sounds like a phenomenal book! I would love to go through this this year, my year of “peace” and stillness and quiet (as much as possible for a homeschooling momma of 2 boys!).

  54. Michelle says:

    Overwhelmed is a feeling I have far too often. As a new mom, wife, teacher and so many other roles it’s hard not to get weighed down by all the responsibilities.

  55. Yep, that’s me…. Overwhelmed! Many demands placed on my time with no time to spare. 🙁

  56. Thank you for the opportunity.

  57. Kathy Bruxvoort says:

    I’m often overwhelmed by God’s goodness and glory.

  58. Overwhelmed is the perfect word for how I feel most of the time right now. I would love to win this book. Thank you so much for this offer.

  59. Overwhelmed? Yep… Even when it’s quiet, my mind is racing about what needs to get done. Help!

  60. I would love to win this ~ definitely overwhelmed! 🙂

  61. Looks like a great book. It’s sometimes easy to feel overwhelmed as a mom. We gotta cling to Jesus!

  62. Regina Lopez says:

    Sometimes life seems so overwhelming that I start to become discouraged. I could use this book.

  63. I am very interested to read yur new book. As someone who puts myself last every time, I need tools to not do this. I’ve always heard that if you don’t pour into ourselves we have nothing to give to others. My neglect of myself has ended up in daily migraines, bi-polar depression (a lot of the time) or bursts of mania, and fibromyalgia that affects every part of my body – mostly my back and shoulders. I had my parents move into myself with multiple health, including dementia, and other issues and lost my dad in January – at that point I was going to the doctor two and three times a week with him. Now, my mother is getting worse and we lost our housekeeper – caregiver a couple of months ago so my duties are exacerbated. I am not being kind to my future self – I hope to get some realizations and even tips from your upcoming book.

  64. Catherine Harrison says:

    This sounds exactly like; what/how I was living…

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